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Video:How to Care for Lucky Bamboo

with Lynn Schmitting

Lucky bamboo is a beautiful plant that can really quickly liven up any room you place it in. Here is a quick guide on how to take care of lucky bamboo.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Care for Lucky Bamboo

Hello, I'm Lynn Schmitting for About.com. In this video, you will learn how to properly care for lucky bamboo. Lucky bamboo can make for a warm and beautiful addition to your home or office. It's a remarkably sturdy plant that is easy to care for and will make a good gift.

Light Needed by Lucky Bamboo

When it comes to providing light for your lucky bamboo, it's better to err on the side of caution. Lucky bamboo thrives on bright, filtered sunlight – such as light that trickles through a forest canopy. Be sure to avoid direct sunlight, as this can easily scorch the plant's leaves. Indirect sunlight is best. Lucky bamboo does better with less sunlight than with too much. However, if the bamboo's green color begins to fade, provide more sunlight.

How to Water Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is very sensitive to chemicals found in tap water – two of which are fluoride and chlorine. To help ensure your plant's health, fill an open container with tap water and let it sit out for 24 hours before watering. This will allow most of the harmful chemicals to evaporate. Your bamboo will flourish best in a simple vase filled with an inch of bottled or distilled tap water. Line the bottom of the vase with pebbles to help support your bamboo. Be sure to change the water once a week. Bamboo should be fed with liquid fertilizer, or a liquid plant food, such as aquarium plant food, every two months. If your bamboo is growing in soil, be sure to keep the soil slightly moist and you'll want to use a stronger food solution. The best time to feed your bamboo is right after changing its water.

Proper Lucky Bamboo Trimming

Trimming is essential for proper bamboo care. To keep your plant healthy, cut offshoots of the bamboo to within an inch of the main stem with snippers that have been sterilized. In general, trimming will help protect the original intricate shape of the bamboo. It is usually not a good idea to cut the main stem of the bamboo; yet be sure to keep any offshoots you've cut as these can be planted to start up new lucky bamboo plants.

Common Problems With Lucky Bamboo

Though lucky bamboo is relatively strong, it's not indestructible. There are a variety of environmental factors that may pose a threat to the health of the plant. As with most plants, any drastic color changes should raise alarm. If you find that the bamboo's leaves are yellow, your bamboo is most likely receiving too much sunlight or fertilizer. Move your plant to a shadier location and cut out any fertilizer for a few months. If you find that the leaves are brown, your bamboo is probably being affected by polluted water or dry air. You can mist the plant regularly to keep up humidity. In addition, lucky bamboo roots should be reddish; black roots should be cut away. Be sure to remove any decaying or mushy stalks from the water, as these will threaten the health of the other bamboo stalks in the vase. Remember – with proper care, lucky bamboo will thrive in a variety of indoor environments.

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