Lucky bamboo trees are technically not bamboo at all, but a species called Dracaena sanderiana. The stalks of these plants are braided or twisted by growers into spiral sticks and sold for ornamental purposes. The lucky bamboos pop up wherever and need little care to survive.
Lucky bamboos are sturdy plants and will survive even with minimal care.
It should be made sure that they get plenty of water and the required amount of sunlight.
Chlorinated or dirty water is very harmful to the plant and should be replaced immediately.
Dead leaves should not be allowed to rot in the water. In case the plant is kept in a clear vase then the container should be replaced with an opaque one as a clear container letting light penetrate through it and thus inducing the growth of algae.
Finally, healthy lucky bamboo roots are red in colour. If any black root develops, it should be cut off.
The lucky bamboo can survive in a vase filled with water and pebbles for support. However, the bamboo is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals. Therefore, it should be watered using only distilled water or tap water that has been left out in the open for 24 hours (so that the chemicals evaporate).
The water should be changed weekly.
These plants should be kept away from direct sunlight as it will scorch the leaves. They prefer bright but filtered sunlight.
In any case, they should not be exposed to too much sun. However, if the colour of the leaves fade, they should be give more light.
Apart from water, the lucky bamboo stems can be planted in well-drained, rich potting soil. The soil should be kept moist but not soaking.
Ideally, these plants should be grown at 65 degrees-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plants should not be placed near heating vents or air conditioners.
Special lucky bamboo fertilizers are available in the market. Alternatively, a single drop of very weak liquid fertilizer can be added to the water in which the plants are being grown.
These plants need fertilizing once a month.
Shaping lucky bamboo stalks in the shape of a spiral stick at home is a bit tricky and needs a lot of patience. They have to be shaped by rotating the plant stalks periodically in front of a light source. The stalks naturally grow towards the light and thus takes a spiral shape.
At home, the intricate designs on a lucky bamboo stalk can be achieved by placing the plant under a three-sided box and rotating the plant slowly and regularly. The growth rate has to be watched carefully and the plant should be rotated to face the light based on the observations.
In case the top of the plant becomes heavy, the offshoots should be cut using snippers.
Algae may develop in the water if the plant is kept in a clear vase. Therefore the pot should be replaced with an opaque one.
If the leaves are becoming yellow then it means that there is too much sunlight or fertilizer. If the leaves are turning brown then the air is dry or the water polluted. Adjustments should be done accordingly.
The stalks of the Lucky bamboos are used to make the spiral sticks which are used for ornamental purposes.