How to Care for Bamboo Stalks

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Bamboo stalks, often called lucky bamboo, are a popular gift. While some might consider them lucky because they're hard to kill and thus one of the more idiot-proof plants, they also occupy an important place in the tradition of feng shui. While bamboo stalks are easy to care for, there is one easy way to kill them: Use tap water with fluoride, chlorine or lots of minerals in it. Take the best care of your bamboo plants by using filtered, distilled or natural spring water.

  • Keep your bamboo in a container filled with at least 1 to 2 inches of gravel. This provides a firm base for the bamboo stalks to root in.

  • Check the water level in your bamboo container at least every three days and refill as necessary to keep the water level with the top of the gravel surface. Any part of the stalk covered by water will produce roots, so don't keep the level of the water any higher than the top of the gravel surface.

  • Change the water entirely once a week. Place your hand around the bamboo stalks to keep them from falling out and to help keep gravel in, then upend the container to pour the old water out. Add new water to the container until it reaches the top of the gravel.

  • Add two drops of liquid aquarium plant food every time you change the water for your bamboo stalks.

  • Keep your bamboo stalks out of direct sunlight. They do well with indirect light or under artificial light.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the tips of your stalks start to turn yellow, this can be a sign of too much light or too much fertilizer. Move the bamboo to a more shaded place and change the water without adding fertilizer.

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