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Your Top Questions About Lucky Bamboo Care Answered

Lucky Bamboo’s popularity has significantly grown over the past few years. It is being used as great gift items and part of Feng Shui. However, some don’t know where to begin when taking care of this plant, or what to do if they notice a change. So, we’ve compiled all of your most asked questions and listed them here as a how-to guide on lucky bamboo.

How do I take care of lucky bamboo?

Caring for your lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) can be an easy. You just need to find the right lighting, figure out a watering schedule, and your plant can pretty much take care of itself.

First off, what did your lucky bamboo come to you in, soil or water? It can grow in either. However, it doesn’t like to be switched around. For example, if you received it in water, leave it in water and add some rocks or pebbles if you like, but not necessary.

How To Water Lucky Bamboo

Multiple Stems of Lucky BambooIf your lucky bamboo is in only water, it should be kept clean and fresh. Keep your water level consistent; it’s a good idea to make a mark on where you like the water to be, which can be different for everyone. Once you have your water level, make sure you keep an eye on it. Whenever it reaches the halfway mark below your level, fill it back up. Every two weeks change the water with fresh, either distilled or tap water, whatever your plant is used to. Let your water sit out overnight in an open container before mixing it to your current water.

However, if your plant is in soil, the soil should always feel slightly damp. Test it with your finger; if it’s not damp, add a little bit more water.

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Best Lighting For Lucky Bamboo

Your lucky bamboo should be placed in an indoor location with bright, indirect light. They also do well under artificial lighting since too much sun can cause burning.

Remember that there are such things as too much and too little sunlight.

  • If there is too much sun, it can cause your leaves to burn.
  • If it gets too little sun, you will receive weak growth, stretching and poor coloring.

The solution for too much sun is changing out the water and not fertilizing for a couple of months. Move the plant into a bright area without direct sunlight. Too much sun can cause yellowish leaves and splitting, which can be fixed with trimming them off at an angle.

Now, if you’re bamboo is going through the opposite, you can move it into a brighter area to try to solve the problem, but not into direct sun.

Can I Replant Lucky Bamboo?


The answer is yes. Normally the Dracaena sanderiana family is seen in water, but if you want it in soil you can experiment with one of your stalks. It’s honestly best to leave it alone. However, if you must, here is how you can replant it.

What Type of Container To Use For Lucky Bamboo

Make sure your container has a  2” diameter greater than your bamboo stalks. Wash out the container thoroughly before placing the bamboo in it to kill any bacteria.

Photo of Healthy lucky bamboo planted in soil.Can I use My Own Marbles? As far as beads and marbles go, you can use pretty much anything that does not dissolve to support your bamboo stalks. Just remember to wash them thoroughly.

How to replant Lucky Bamboo From Soil To Water

If you are wanting to take it from soil to water, place it in a container 2” greater than the stalks. Lucky bamboo likes to be crowded, so place them together and go with a container 2” from that size. Next place rocks or stones in the bottom, followed by the stalks and top it off with distilled water. Don’t forget to let the water sit uncovered overnight before using it with your plant.

How To Replant Lucky Bamboo from Water To Soil

Transfer the lucky bamboo from water to soil into a container with a 2” diameter or greater. Place stones in the bottom of the container for drainage. Fill the container with fast draining soil, make a whole with your finger and place the stalks in it and surround them by dirt. Keep the soil very most until the stalk can get used to being planted in soil.

Troubleshooting Lucky Bamboo Problems

Why is my lucky bamboo turning yellow, brown or is droopy?

It is a common problem with the lucky bamboo for the leaves or stalks turning yellow, brown or is slightly droopy.

Lucky Bamboo Yellowing From Bottom UpSeveral things can cause this:

  • It could have gotten too much light
  • Over fertilized
  • Fungus
  • Changing location
  • Caused by the container

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Have I fertilized lately?
  • Has it been moved it to a different location?
  • Have I been watering properly?
  • Is there a smell coming from the plant?
  • Has my lucky bamboo traveled with me recently?

Over fertilizing and too much sun can cause the plant can cause it to turn yellow.

If caught early and you notice just a small amount of yellow, change the water (distilled water) and move to a place with a little less light.

If it is worse than that, but there is still green up top, just cut off the bottom and place it in a new container with fresh water. Also, stay away from fertilizing it for a while as well.

However, if you’re whole plant is yellow, it will continue to die and there is little you can do.

Notice how you are watering your bamboo. Again, maintain a constant water level and make sure your water sits out overnight before you mix it in with the plant. Too much fluoride, chlorine or salts can cause the leaves to yellow.

Lucky Bamboo With FungusIf you see insects or signs of fungus, that can be the cause of your yellowing plant. A brown, cottony substance is an indicator of spider mites or cottony scale problem. If this occurs, you will need to spray it with insecticide. However, if you notice that it’s still there after sprayed, you may need to wash the stalks and remove the infected stalks.

If you have smells coming from the water, plant or in the container, this can be the cause of a fungus or algae. Consider going with opaque containers since clear containers can cause algae with the light shining through them onto the water. Don’t forget to wash the container, rocks and stalks before putting them in as well.

Traveling can also put your lucky bamboo in shock, which can cause the yellowing of the plant, just give it a few days.

Root Problems With Lucky Bamboo

You can come in contact with several issues involving your lucky bamboo’s roots. Trimming, tangles, root rot, fungus and other issues can occur.

What do you do if your lucky bamboo’s roots have root rot? You will need to cut off the healthy tops and re-grow them. Whenever you are cutting, be sure to cut off an inch above one of the nodes, which are the raised ridges that grow around the stalk. Dip the cut ends into a rooting hormone, (which can be found at your local garden center) let dry and place them in water. Now, what if you notice that your lucky bamboo has acquired fungus on its roots? Well, you follow the same process as if your bamboo has root rot.

What if your roots are tangled? If you notice that your roots are tangled, it won’t hurt to trim them up a bit. You can also try untangling them yourself. Just run your fingers through the roots just like you would through hair to untangle it. If you want to cut them, cut as far as possible away from the stalk to ensure that it has plenty of root to sustain it. So, if you need to trim your roots for any reason, just trim from the end.

Topping Lucky Bamboo - Red Line Indicates Node - Yellow line indicates where to Make CutWhat if my lucky bamboo is too tall, how can I provide support?

The best way to provide support to your bamboo stalks is to start a new plant. These plants can be pretty flimsy, and the best way to stabilize it is to trim the top off the plant. Bamboo stalks will eventually grow to be too tall, therefore. You can trim it off and start a new plant. Just cut 1″ above the node and place it in water that has set overnight. You can use a rooting hormone found at a local garden center to encourage faster rooting.

How do I propagate my lucky bamboo?

The easiest way to do this is to cut 6” off the top of the plant, or an inch above the nod, which are the raised things that grow out of the stock to start a new one. Take the top that you cut off, dip it into rooting hormone and let it dry overnight. Then set the stalk in one or two inches of water and in a week or two you’ll have root. Continue to grow the plant the way you have been, in water or soil.

Lucky bamboo plants are great for any house. Just remember that it needs the right attention.


  1. Jill Haskin says:

    How do you fertilize the plant? Also I got mine from the store, and it doesn’t have roots. Is that bad?

  2. Aynsley Broom says:

    Hi Ashley,
    You should be fine to leave the new stalks to grow. As long as they have room to grow, they should be good to go.

  3. Aynsley Broom says:

    Hi Jill,
    “Fertilize your lucky bamboo every couple of months (you can go longer). You can use a little dirty aquarium water (if you have it) or a diluted (tenth of the normal strength) water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. The best time to fertilize is when you change the water.” From: https://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/lucky-bamboo-has-roots-now-what/

  4. My bamboo plant is long and has a skinny stemwi
    With leafs from the middle up it’s bear from the middle down
    Could I take that skinny stem and repot

  5. Jeffrey Balch says:

    Hi Thomas. Yes, you can create a new plant from the growth. Find out more here: https://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/lucky-bamboo-new-plant/

  6. Michelle Graves says:

    I bought a bamboo plant online. I understand how to pot it, I am going to use pebbles and water. However, It came with gel on the roots. Do I rinse this off, or leave it?

  7. Jeffrey Balch says:

    Hi Michelle,
    This gel is most likely water crystals that were included for shipping purposes since you bought the plant online. They won’t hurt anything if you leave them on, but they’re unnecessary now that you’ll have the plant in water.

  8. When I bought mine it was in a pot that had glued in stones how do I get it out of there

  9. Jeffrey Balch says:

    You’ll have to remove the stones that are glued in if you want to remove your lucky bamboo from the pot. There’s probably not an easy way to do this since they’re glued, but I would suggest just trying to pry them out with whatever kind of tool you have on hand.

  10. Mellwie Everblaze says:

    Hi so I got a shoot crowing out of my stalk at the top like how I got it from the store, but now after having done nothing to it (but to take care of it ofc) there’s started growing what I presume is another shoot/stem from the bottom like trough the roots. I thought only one stem was able to produce one shoot but I guess not? I guess my question is, what do I do with it? Can I just cut it off and plant it in a new pot without having to cut the original stem like when you usually propagate? Will it be ok? :c

  11. Jeffrey Balch says:

    Yes, you’ll be able to just clip off this new shoot as close as possible to the original shoot, and place the cutting in a glass of water in indirect sunlight for about a month before transferring to a larger vase.

  12. Katrina Friel says:

    my bamboo plant I’ve had for years (in plastic pot and soil) went from green and healthy to hollow and dead within a week. I didn’t move its location. I didn’t water it any differently. Its been in my office doing fine for 4 years until then. I’m dumbfounded over what could have happened.

  13. Hi! I’m a newbie in gardening and usually kill my plants. I have a lucky bamboo, a gift from a friend 3 years ago that luckily survive. 2 weeks ago I decided to repot it in a much bigger pot since it’s much taller now. It stayed inside the house for 3 years but when I repot it I let it stay at our porch facing an afternoon sun. Now, I noticed that the leaves are pale and with yellowish color. Tip of the leaves as brown. I also tried to cut a long stem and put it in a water trying to propagate it.
    What can I do so it will not die? Thank you for your help.

  14. Dani James says:

    Hi Chelle! The bamboo probably got too much sunlight, which caused the yellowing leaves. Try moving it to a different location and taking off any leaves that are yellow or brown. Hope that helps!

  15. Cathy Sullivan says:

    I have a 6 stem lucky bamboo plant that has gotten very top heavy & leggy. Can I just cut off the shoots? Will the original stems try to grow another shoot from a lower node, or do I have to cut the stem down to another node (which would make some of them too short for the container I have them in)?

  16. Hi Cathy! You can prune your bamboo to encourage more growth from the cut area. Trim the shoots to about 1 or 2 inches from the stock and this should encourage more shoots to grow and create a denser, bushier look.

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