Lucky Bamboo, Dracaena sanderiana, is not a true bamboo but a type of tropical water lily from Africa. It is grown as a houseplant and is said to bring good luck and good fortune to the household.
Horticulture Chair Nancy Percivall shared tips for purchasing and caring for Lucky Bamboo. When purchasing your plant, look for one that is vibrant green throughout. If the stalk and leaves are yellow or brown and has an odor, it may be unhealthy. Lucky Bamboo plants can be grown in soil or hydroponically – in water with small rocks or pebbles to hold the stalks in place.
When caring for your Lucky Bamboo, you should provide enough water but not too much. For hydroponic plants, make sure your plant has enough water to cover the base of the roots. The water should be changed once a week to prevent the plant from rotting. Rinse the vase, pebbles, and plant each time. If the plant is grown in soil, water the plant just enough so that the soil is moist, not soaked. When watering, use bottled water, rain water or distilled water. If using tap water, let it sit out for 24 hours to remove any chemicals before watering. For quicker growth, add a very light fertilizer periodically. Too much fertilization is worse than none at all. In nature, the plant is usually shaded from direct sunlight. You should place your plant in an area that is open and bright and not exposed to direct sunlight all day. Lucky Bamboo grows best in temperatures between 65° F and 90° F.
If the tips of the leaves turn yellow, it could be because your plant is not getting enough water, there's too much soil or fertilizer, or too much direct sunlight. You can trim off the yellow parts or remove the whole leaf. To remove the yellow tips off your leaves, sterilize a pair of scissors or pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or vinegar then cut the yellow part off following the natural shape of the leaf. To remove whole leaves, pull them down off the stalk at the base of the leaf.