If you’re not lucky enough to have bamboo in your yard, here’s a way to bring some luck to your household. Lucky bamboo is a symbol of luck and success because of its rapid growth, strength and fortitude. Actually a resilient member of the lily family, lucky bamboo plants are found in households and offices as people take advantage of the lucky properties brought on with the practice of Feng shui. The art of Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that aims to maximize the beneficial movement of chi, the universal life force present in all things that flows through an environment.
The number of stalks in a lucky bamboo plant represents different areas of lives in which people hope for good fortune. Two stalks for Love & Marriage; three stalks for happiness; five stalks for health; six stalks for harmony; eight stalks for wealth & abundance and nine stalks for good fortune. Avoid four stalks as the word four in Chinese sounds too similar to the Chinese word for death.
Lucky Bamboo can be made into 2 or 3 tier towers to help anchor Feng shui or they can be made into trellises that are used to prevent bad energy flow. The trellises are also symbolic of the ladder of advancement. A more intricate lucky bamboo arrangement is a braided pillar or pear-shaped sculptural tree. Double braided canes bring good news and triple braided canes bring new development into business and life.
Lucky bamboo is considered even luckier in feng shui when the lucky bamboo plant represents all five elements which are:
- Wood – the bamboo itself
- Earth – the rocks or soil that the bamboo grows in
- Water – the water the bamboo grows in
- Fire – tie a red ribbon gently around the stalks or around the vase or bowl to symbolize fire
- Metal – either plant in a ceramic pot or if using a glass vase, place a metal coin or metal figurine in the vase.
Another reason that the lucky bamboo plant is so popular is that it is generally considered idiot-proof to maintain. While it is very low-maintenance compared to other houseplants, there are some basic guidelines to follow:
- Light: Lucky bamboo prefer bright, filtered sunlight, such as found under a rainforest canopy. Avoid direct sunlight as it will scorch the leaves. They are more tolerant of too little light than too much. If the plant begins to stretch, however, or the green fades, provide more light.
- Watering: Lucky bamboo can grow indefinitely in a simple vase filled with pebbles (for support) and at least an inch of water. However, they are very sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals commonly found in tap water. Water your lucky bamboo only with bottled or distilled water, or tap water that has been left out for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Healthy lucky bamboo roots are red, so don’t be alarmed in a glass vase if you can see red roots. Change the water weekly to keep your plant healthy.
- Temperature: Lucky bamboo likes warmer temperatures of between 65ºF and 90ºF. Do not place the plants in front of air conditioning or heating vents.
- Potting: In addition to water, lucky bamboo can be grown in a well-drained, rich potting soil. Keep the soil moist, but not soaking. Water as you would any lily species.
- Fertilizer: Plants grown in water will only need to be fed every other month or so, using a very weak liquid fertilizer. A single drop of liquid fertilizer is plenty for most lucky bamboo arrangements. Alternatively, specialty lucky bamboo fertilizers are available.
A common misconception is that the lucky bamboo plant is shaped the same way as bonsai, with plant wire and disciplined trimming. They are shaped in a more natural manner by rotating the plant stalks in front of a light source, causing the plant to naturally grow toward the light. In China, the stalks are often grown on their sides to cause the distinctive spiral. Trimming is an important part of keeping your bamboo healthy. Plants may become top heavy or intricate shapes will begin to lose their form. While it is not a great idea to cut the main stalk of the bamboo, the offshoots can be cut with sterile clippers. Offshoots can be trimmed back to within an inch or two of the main stalk. New shoots will emerge and the resulting growth will be bushier. To discourage new growth, dip the cut end in paraffin. If you want to change the shape dramatically, you can cut a whole offshoot flush against the main stalk.
Lucky bamboo brings wisdom to your home by teaching you the ultimate wisdom – how to be flexible and hollow (open) on the inside, so the chi can flow freely and heal your being.
Luckiest when received as a gift, pair it with other fabulous bamboo gifts from Green Earth Bamboo to wish the recipient nothing but good fortune. For the newlyweds in your life, pair the gift of incredibly absorbent bamboo bath towels with a lucky bamboo plant of two bamboo stalks. For the new parents, combine a gift of organic baby wear with a five stalk lucky bamboo plant for good health.