GROWING BAMBOO INDOORS – Do you love plants or wish you had a few inside your home that were easy to care for? Then maybe a lucky bamboo plant is for you. Growing a lucky bamboo plant is simple because it has very few requirements, is a slow-growing plant and lives in water. This adds to its beauty and low-maintenance.
Bamboo plants may be purchased from most nurseries and on-line companies. There are several types of bamboo and out of them the lucky bamboo is one that can grow in either soil or water, so be sure the ad states the plant will grow in water and if buying from a nursery check the stones to be sure it is not planted in soil.
Being a slow grower, it will average about an inch of growth a year, means you will not be transferring it to bigger pots constantly. Light needs are met simply as well. Harsh, direct sunlight is too strong so keep your plant on a table, or shelf where it can receive several hours of diffused sunlight or lamplight. Yes, even lamplight will work as a supplement light on those dreary days or long winters when the sun is rarely seen. They are also very flexible when it comes to temperature. As long as they are watered they do not mind heat, and are fine in cooler temperatures as low as 55 degrees.
You will need: A vase, jar or some other container to put your plant into. I like glass, but you can use porcelain or some other decorative container. Be sure it is at least 5 inches tall and to wash it thoroughly. Pebbles, small river rocks or glass beads-enough to fill your container 3-4 inches deep. They should be rinsed before use.
How to Plant: After choosing the type of bamboo plant you prefer, it is time to place it in your container. Put in 2 inches of rocks/beads. Make an indent in the center and place your bamboo-do not allow it to rest on the glass bottom. Add additional rocks. When you are satisfied that it is stable you may add your water. Fill your container so that the water level is 2-3 inches high.
After-care: Be sure to water your plant once a week, checking during warmer weather to keep the level constant. Fertilize with a liquid fertilizer once every 2 months. Before fertilizing, remove the plant from its container and rinse the root area of any slimy build-up. This is also a good time to rinse your container and rocks. Once clean, replace rocks and bamboo, add fertilized water. Bamboo plants also enjoy a good misting now and then, so spray once a week and occassionally wipe any dust from the leaves.
Decorate: I like to place a grouping of small flowers in my bamboo plants, not always, but sometimes. You would be surprised how many people tell me they didn’t know bamboo flowered-then I have to confess that I added them. I have also heard of people placing a beta or a goldfish in the water with the plant. This may look nice as a centerpiece at a wedding, but long term this would not work out well for the fish and I do not recommend doing this. I do however have several different containers that I switch out for the season/holiday when it is time to clean the container. I find that to be a convenient time since I have everything already out and clean.
If you like the look of bamboo you may consider a wider container and putting in 2-3 plants. The fullness adds to their beauty and will give a nice focal point to any area of your home.