Growing Dracaena Sanderiana: How To Care For Lucky Bamboo Plants

The common name “Lucky Bamboo Plant” really isn’t bamboo even though it may resemble one. It comes from the Dracaena family and is the species Dracaena sanderiana. It also carries the synonym Dracaena braunii.

Whatever you want to call this “good luck plant” it has opened up a whole new way for people afraid of or who carry the “brown thumb” badge with them, along with adding some green with unusual flair to their interior space.

lucky bamboo - Dracaena sanderianaPin

Numerous questions come in concerning the novelty plant – Lucky Bamboo.

There isn’t much on the net dealing directly with the care of this plant… it can still experience some pest problems but there is more on the web than you may think.

The marketing of the “Lucky Bamboo plant” is best described as follows:

  • “Grow” as a hydroponic plant (grown in water)
  • Keep its roots in water
  • Plant inside a decorative container or vase
  • Use rock, pebbles, marbles, polished stones to keep the “bamboo stalk” upright
  • Keep water in the bottom
  • Do Not use soil, even a well-drained soil.

How To Care For Dracaena Sanderiana Lucky Bamboo


The best way to describe this one-of-a-kind green interior houseplant care requirement – minimal.

What is required In Lucky Bamboo Care?

  • Clean the leaves regularly (all houseplants need that)
  • Change the water weekly
  • Place in areas with lots of indirect sunlight but without direct sunlight.
  • Every month remove the plant from its pot
  • Wash the plant and roots off thoroughly
  • Place the “bamboo plant” back in the pot after washing the plant itself and change the water.

Lucky bamboo Dracaena sanderiana is not a large plant like Dracaena Massangeana – the corn plant.

The harvested luck bamboo canes or stems are cut into much smaller lengths just as many Dracaenas. The tops are waxed off to help stop the entry of fungus or rot.

The indoor plants or canes then get grouped together creating some unique looks. The “Lucky Bamboo” sort of combines the production methods of Dracaena Massangeana and the flexibility of Dracaena Marginata.

So what can you do specifically or what should you be aware of in caring for your Dracaena sanderiana Lucky Bambo?

When grown indoors in dry air mist the leaves every other day.

Related: Lucky Bamboo is one of the Best Plants for the Bathroom.

Beware of Fluoride Problems

Tips for growing bamboo in water.

Right off we know that many Dracaenas experience fluoride problems, and where do most of the fluoride problems come from?

Our water… use good clean pure water, try to stay away from the tap water. I like to use distilled water, bottled water, or rainwater.

If you’re going to use tap water let it sit out overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate, it won’t remove the fluoride but the chlorine can also damage the plants.

More on Dracaena Fluoride Toxicity

Most of the care recommends changing the water every 3-7 days, so you can see good water is important for these plants to do well.

Next, we know that high salts show up as yellow leaves, burned leaf tips, and brown edges of Dracaena sanderiana plants.

Most of our salt build-ups come from adding water-soluble houseplant fertilizers to the water. You’ll also find salts in your city water.

It’s probably best to not fertilize Lucky Bamboo or dracaena plants at all.

Again you see the importance of a good clean water source.

From all my growing experience and observations the “Lucky Bamboo” does best in good indirect light but not direct sun. Too much light will make the plant light green or yellow.

Remember it’s a novelty plant not a 6′ foot tall specimen and doesn’t have the same demands.

How about when the house plant grows too much and you want to take a cutting or cut the stems.

Handle it just the way you’re currently growing your “Lucky Bamboo”. Place the new cutting in a small pot with some rock and keep it moist until roots appear.


There are claims that the “Lucky Bamboo” can live for years and I don’t doubt it. Just about any plant can be enjoyed for years with proper care.

Just in case you’re wondering if Happy Bamboo is that much different than the more familiar and commercially grown Dracaenas.

Other than being a different variety and grown or presented in an unusual way… NO. You’ll find Dracaena massangeana marketed in a similar fashion as… “Lucky Tree Logs”.

It’s really no different. Most Dracaenas could be produced this same way. Size is the real issue.

Lucky Bamboo Arrangement – Stalks And Canes Has Meaning

The number of cane stalks and the size of the plants in an arrangement is not left to chance.

The number of stairs the lucky bamboo plants form bring unique meanings and good fortune according to Feng Shui:

  • Three stairs bring happiness, health and a long life
  • Five stairs stimulate the 5th elements of life
  • Six stairs bring health
  • Eight stairs bring development and prosperity
  • Ten stairs symbolize perfection and fulfillment
  • Twenty-one stairs bring a powerful blessing

They make a wonderful gift for a home or office, everyone loves the unusual look, combined with easy care and long-lasting display.

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