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Watering and Fertilizing Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: Fresh Water and Fertilizer Question.

I have done a lot of reading on-line about how best to care for my lucky bamboo. There is a lot of conflicting information. I tend to change the water in my plants every 10-12 days and fertilize with lucky bamboo fertilizer every 6 months.

I have recently read to add fertilizer once a month and only change the water once a month when you add the fertilizer.

Is one way better than the other? Should I be fertilizing my plants more often? Is it okay to wait a whole month before changing the water? Jennifer

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert reply:

Every environment is different, so each lucky bamboo owner will have to determine what works for them. I tend to believe that lucky bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana) does better when not heavily fertilized. I personally don’t like to change the water as often as you do, but may be that is because I’m a little lazy. I say, If your stalks are green and healthy proceed with the way you are doing it.

The real key is to whether to change the water is the color. Cloudy water should be changed asap and clear water not for a while.

Fertilizer less is more. Lucky bamboo is sensitive to over fertilization, so error on the side of caution.

This lucky bamboo post was brought to you by the local Nampa Florists. Not in Nampa ID? Find real local florists using Flower Shop Network.


  1. Danielle Evras says:

    You said here to change the water when it gets cloudy. My bamboo is in a dark, opaque vase. Any advice or tips for watering care here? Also, what kind of fertilizer should be used? And how much?? I found no liquid fertilizer at the plant store so I thought about crumbling up part of a Miracle Grow spike?? But I don’t want to hurt my plant either. Thanks for your help!!

  2. An opaque vase is a good idea for lucky bamboo; it helps keep algae from getting the light it needs to grow. However, it is harder to tell when you need to change your water. Since you are unable to see it, try to change the water every couple of weeks. This will give your bamboo an increase in oxygen and keep it healthy. Remember to clean and rinse your container thoroughly. Lucky bamboo is sensitive to the salts and chemicals in tap water; use distilled water or rainwater if possible. If you must use tap water, let it set in an open container over night; this will let the chlorine evaporate. However, there is no way to remove the fluoride from the tap water. Fluoride can cause leaf tips to turn brown. For fertilizing, when it comes to lucky bamboo less is more. Lucky bamboo doesn’t require much fertilizer and can survive in pure water for quite a while. If you must use the miracle grow spike, use it very cautiously.

  3. carrie sedwick says:

    Can I use cactus juice food for my bamboos

  4. Jamie Woods says:

    I would not use cactus juice food for your lucky bamboo. You should only use a fertilizer that is made specifically for lucky bamboo because it is very easy to overfertilize and is very sensitive to any additives.

  5. My Bamboo is healthy except a couple brown tips ( maybe a little to much water) but what I’m concerned about is only one stem is turning yellow while the rest of the plant is a healthy green.
    What does that mean? Did I over fertilize ?

    I give my plants Bloom Booster ever so often. Just a very small amount.

    Please advise !

  6. Jamie Woods says:

    Too much light or too much fertilizer is usually the cause of yellowing bamboo. If this is the case, you will need to cut the yellowing part of the stem off, because it will not recover and will continue to damage the plant.

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