Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lucky Bamboo
Dracaena braunii

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dracaena (dra-SEE-nah) (Info)
Species: braunii (BRAUN-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Dracaena sanderiana
Synonym:Pleomele braunii
Synonym:Pleomele sanderiana

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

22 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 29 photos.
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20 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sunkissed On May 2, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is growing in my garden, it was in a pot that my father gave me and I left it out when the last two winters dipped into the twenties. To my surprise the root system must have gone out through the hole in the bottom of the pot and sprouted next to it this year. I first noticed it in late February. It is now a good two or three foot tall. It is in a shady area right next to our porch, gets a tiny bit of very early sun. Must like our Central Florida climate and sandy soil.

Positive CherokeeGreg On Sep 28, 2009, CherokeeGreg from Fresno, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I had one for over a year it was in water on my patio for half the year lived out side fine. This summer I put it in soil and moved it under my cabanna which gets dappled sun all day. Its doing great. I just received another one yesterday and put it in a pot of soil. Its also under the cabanna. These will live outside in zone 9 fine.

Positive dan8 On Jun 15, 2009, dan8 from Stockton, CA wrote:

It does a lot better in soil. I've had mine for 8 years and i love it so much

Positive RTilley On Jul 14, 2008, RTilley from Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I was given one some years ago in a tiny decorative pot, it has been repotted several time but now has grown MUCH too large, I have 12 ft ceilings and it has reached the ceiling.
Has anyone any suggestions as to what I should do with it

Neutral krugzie On May 13, 2008, krugzie from Eustis, NE wrote:

My wife and I just recieved one of these great plants. We are very new to this kind of houseplant. The plant is doing great, but we have a few questions on how or if we need to transplant to a bigger pot when it gets bigger. Right now it is in a small ceramic rock/water combination. Where can I find this information? Thanks for all your help.

Neutral gray_53 On Dec 26, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

I have had similar problems, such as the stems turning yellow and dying for no apparent reason. None of my four remaining plants are especially beautiful, and they grow about as fast as dead logs. We just acquired a display with about 20 short stalks, but I find nothing particularly attractive about it. One of my tall ones does look good in Hydrolight's hydrocrystals with blue food coloring.

Positive KDot_N_DallasTx On Sep 30, 2007, KDot_N_DallasTx from Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have 9 of these plants. All were gift while I've been in and out the hospital. They are so easy to take care of and I love to see them grow. Not only that, they are gorgeous decorations in my house in the different and colorful decorative ceramic containers. I have one of them in soil and water in a tall vase, and the rest in ceramic containers with rocks and water. They all seem to do very very well either way. When I change the water in the ones with rocks, I change the water every month or so, and just add water when needed in between. I don't take the rocks out (because I noticed this disturbed the roots and actually hurt the plants), but what I do is pour filtered water into the container and let the water pour out the sides. Then tip the container to the side and let the water drain out (I do it twice) then fill it up so that the water is alittle over the rocks. Add a drop of Green-Green Lucky Bamboo Fertilizer for each container and sit them on the southern facing windowsill for a day every 3 weeks to make them grow faster and make sure they keep their green color without sunburning the leaves. This way they stay healthy and very beautiful. I uploaded my pictures of all of them on the side with all the other pictures of this type of plant.

Positive bdosmike On Jan 11, 2007, bdosmike from St. Peter
Barbados wrote:

My plant (in the stone/water medium with three stalks) grew to nearly three feet in height and was in danger of falling over. I was unable to find any information about trimming it, but had to do something. I risked cutting each of the three stalks about an inch above where it grows out of the curly stem. It took about three or four weeks, but slowly a tiny new node appeared on each and has now grown fresh, healthy stalks. It is a slow process and you need to be patient, but contrary to my original concern, I did not kill the plant. If anything, the new growth seems healthier and stronger than the old.

Positive therica On Nov 12, 2006, therica from Falling Waters, WV (Zone 7a) wrote:

We've had numerous of these plants over the past 8 years. We were told to keep them in water-only, just enough to cover the roots. Some salespersons said to keep them in indirect-sunlight shade, others said they love full sun.

Our various experiences of success and failure have been interesting learning lessons. The ones which did the absolute best in water-only were kept on an interior wall in the north bedroom with barely any sun exposure, in the warmest in the house.

However, the absolute best-growing one is simply planted in potting soil with about 50-percent perlite, and watered regularly-- kept moist but not soaking wet. It gets only interior flourescent lighting, but plenty of it.

When they're really doing well, the canes will turn a really dark green. Light seems to help with their health, but definitely not direct sunlight. The plants turned dark green once we were using a lower-pH fertilizer. Pond plant food seems to be the best fertilizer -- but just a small amount in the water or soil.

When the leaves start to yellow, there are problems. Usually the cane will eventually yellow and rot hollow, inside. We've had some 50/50 success by cutting off the hollowed cane portions and putting what remains of the plant and leaves in water to the point where even parts of the leaves are submersed. This is a new discovery, so we're still watching for longterm success. Several have gradually developed tiny root-bump attempts, and I've just finally buried them in soil up to and including the lower origins of the leaves. We'll see how it goes.

There seems to be little explanation why some will suddenly go yellow. We've had these in clumps of 6-12 plants, and then suddenly a random one or two will suddenly belly-up, while the others remain perfectly healthy.

Thanks to Dave's Garden and various members' posts for helping to educate us on the care of this plant!

Positive servicegenie On Sep 25, 2006, servicegenie from Brookshire, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

My Lucky Bamboo has grown on my Houston patio for 3 years with no protection. May of this year I moved to Brookshire, Texas & planted it in a flower bed with bougainvillea, so far it loves it, has doubled it's height in 4 months. On freeze warnings I will protect it with "tent" and light bulb. I am uploading pictures.

Positive chako On Oct 30, 2005, chako from Linz
Austria wrote:

Of course, the Lucky Bamboo is real easy to handle and looks really tropical.

Positive Kwanzon On Jul 3, 2005, Kwanzon from Milford, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is perhaps one of the easiest plants I have ever grown. I got it last year when it was less than a foot tall. The one i own has three story effect and has grown nearly 2 feet.
I feed mine some liquid fertillizer once every other week and it is still growing.
It grows in nearly any amount of sunlight and can sunburn if left in direct sunlight. This is a good plant to grow for a beginner.

Neutral jjoliver99 On Jan 7, 2005, jjoliver99 from London
United Kingdom wrote:

I got a great display from my Girlfiend of Lucky bamboo . . . cept it's not soo lucky . . . similar problem to the above. There's about 20 - 30 shoots in the display but some have gone yellow, and faily rapidly . . .

I'm growing them in water / stones combination and they are in about 2 inchs of water in a 7th floor apartment in central London.

Positive xoxokristinoxox On Dec 20, 2004, xoxokristinoxox from Fort Wayne, IN wrote:

After staying in the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, we knew we had to have some bamboo. My sister had to watch our pets so we brought her it as a gift also. I think we have both had good luck despite previous claims: her career got bumped from part to full time, and a dream job fell into my lap as well as a chance to promote my career. This fall I will have a paid internship and a permanent position at an elementary school as a school counselor where all I do is counsel--an oppertunity that occurs once in a blue moon.

On a seperate note, mine are in a glass pot with stones and water. One of my three stalks is very light green possibly even pale yellow. The other two are fairing well. I am not sure what happened or what to do. I have tons of other plants that are doing very well. Maybe this plant is just for beginners and not us green thumbs. :) However, they have not died, just one is looking sickly. Maybe I am too critical? :)

Neutral Maudie On Dec 11, 2004, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

This seems to be a very interesting plant and one easy to grow. I need some good luck (the plant has to be given to one to bring good luck).

Positive xyris On Aug 4, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

See comments I posted on propagation under Dracaena sanderiana. These methods should work just as well for this species. I have both growing indoors in rocks/water, and the Dracaena sanderiana are ones I propagated myself this year.

Positive PurplePansies On Aug 3, 2004, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

A fun little plant...... easy to grow...... nice as a gift to a child or to a housewarming...... a lucky feng shui plant....... a common gift in asian cultures...... looks pretty in asian style arrangements or gardens...... can be added to fishtanks..... nice as a desk plant...... can grow anywhere little light..... appreciates a little fertilizer...... regularly change water....... don't let it mold...... I've even seen it sold in cuttings arrangements..... buy some at a florist's and let it root in water...... like a living arrangement plant can be put anywhere....... :)

Positive Larabee On Jun 2, 2004, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:

Lucky Bamboo doesn’t like too much sunlight and does very well indoors. If you have it in water instead of soil, you can fertilize it by adding a few drops of aquarium plant food when you change the water. This has helped the coloring on mine a lot—it was a light green and is now becoming a dark green. This plant loves humidity, so try misting it with a spray bottle of water a few times a day and it will thank you.

I haven’t tried cuttings yet but have heard that you can cut lucky bamboo right by a node and *dip it in rooting hormone* before leaving it in water to develop roots (or the stem may rot before it has roots).

Making the stems curl is a simple but very slow trick (it will not grow this way on its own—you must train it to). Place your lucky bamboo in a room with light exposure coming from a single source off to the side a few feet away (maybe a guest bedroom with the lights kept off but sun coming in through a window). The “bamboo” will begin reaching for the light and will grow in that direction. After it has, turn it very slightly and it will grow in that direction from another angle. After several turns, you have a curl. It takes months to make curls, but bamboo farmers do this in mass and sell them (and they don’t cost much more than straight sticks).

And, of course, this “bamboo” is supposed to only be lucky if it’s given to you as a gift—you’re not supposed to buy it for yourself.

Positive Tash1985 On Apr 24, 2004, Tash1985 wrote:

I have 5 sticks of it two in water and three in soil all growing indoors. I love the look of it and how easy it is to grow. One of the sticks had been trained to curl.

Positive SChap On Nov 29, 2003, SChap wrote:

I have never had an easier plant to grow. Mine are about 2' now, they were about a foot when I got them. I have heard that they can get to 3'. I have eight planted all together in rock and water. I only use distilled water, and they seem to grow alot faster than I have heard about. I love them, and I would tell anyone without a green thumb to give them a try. SChap

Positive Kaufmann On Oct 29, 2003, Kaufmann from GOD's Green Earth
United States (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought one of these last Spring. I have placed it in various areas -- full sun to full shade. It does quite well in any location. Mine is growing in the water/rocks combination. It has quadrupled in size since I purchased it. Couldn't ask for an easier plant! I love it.

Negative Caymanval On Oct 29, 2003, Caymanval wrote:

I recently cut my plant into two pieces, and placed both pieces in water. The top half, with leaves went yellow and is no more. the bottom half, with roots...nothing has happened yet but the stalk is still green. These plants are clearly cuttings from something, but I don't know how do they do it.

Positive CDauphinet On Jul 20, 2003, CDauphinet from New Iberia, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have three long stems of this plant in water and rocks. I wonder if it would harm the plants to cut them in half to create more plants.

Positive AngelODreams On Jul 19, 2003, AngelODreams wrote:

My experience with this plant has been very pleasant. I have bought several of these plants and have tried several techniques for growing them. This plant has grown strong in every way I planted it. I have even had many grow in curves, with training.

I tried it in water, soil, and rocks and I found that each way was a success. In soil the water need to be moderately moist. In water and rocks the water needs to be changed once or twice a month. Partial sunlight is always a must.

Positive HOLLMART On Dec 19, 2002, HOLLMART from SEYMOUR, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

I purchased my first three Lucky Bamboo plants in Virginia (U.S.) in 2002. The salesperson said to place it in enough water to cover the roots and to use rocks or stones to keep them up straight in the vase {never use a metal jar or let the water dry up.) This is a very slow-growing plant; be very patient and never put it in direct sunlight


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bessemer, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Elk Grove, California
Fresno, California
Hawthorne, California
Stockton, California
Denver, Colorado
Fountain, Colorado
Auburndale, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Mcdonough, Georgia
Niles, Illinois
Scranton, Kansas
Marrero, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Auburn, New Hampshire
Deposit, New York
Browns Summit, North Carolina
Waxhaw, North Carolina
Zanesville, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Tyrone, Pennsylvania
Brookshire, Texas
Garland, Texas
Greenville, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
Portsmouth, Virginia
Kalama, Washington

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