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Help with Bamboo (?)

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by plantkiller on March 31, 2006 05:59 AM
I am beyond hopeless when it comes to plants (thus the screen name) and am hoping someone can help me. Normally, I don’t even try to keep plants, but I love this one, so I’m hoping for help not to kill it …

The person who gave me this plant (plants?) told me it was bamboo. It has three stalks (?), very tall, that curve off toward the top (please see links to pictures).

It is in rocks and water. Recently, a foul plant-rot smell was coming from it, so I cleaned the rocks and vase, etc. Now I'm wondering how much water should be in the vase. Right now, the water comes up well above the rocks and the roots are some above, and some below the rocks.

Anyone have thoughts about the proper way to care for this lovely thing, which really deserves a better owner than I?


I'm hoping these images work:

by Amy R. on March 31, 2006 09:34 AM
Hey plantkillah! I planted my "Lucky Bamboo" straight in a small pot of soil and it's going like gangbusters. Check out this link, as it might help shed some light on how to care for your little guy. Good luck!
by plantkiller on April 01, 2006 07:17 AM
Thanks, Amy!

So is mine indeed Lucky Bamboo? I didn't even know that ... (sigh).
by Amy R. on April 01, 2006 07:34 AM
Aww, don't sigh! We all had to learn sometime. And yes, what you have is a Lucky Bamboo, or a Dracaena sanderiana. The only reason I have any living Lucky Bamboo at all is because I live real close to a dollar store that sells them. =) I've killed all of them except the one I planted in soil. Here is another link for you that might help. Good luck!
by Will Creed on April 01, 2006 08:20 AM

It looks like your lucky bamboo cuttings have lost a lot of their leaves. I am not sure what that has happened. Perhaps age. Perhaps not enough light. Perhaps they were allowed to get too dry at one time.

Right now it appears that the vase is too large (wide) and the water level is too high. However, I am not sure that these will ever flourish again just growing in water. You might try moving then into a small pot with soil or just toss them and start over again as Amy recommended.
by carnivorousplantsarecool on April 01, 2006 08:55 AM
I have some Lucky Bamboo in water and it isn't doing so well, should I move it to soil also?
by Will Creed on April 01, 2006 09:01 AM

Not before you determine why they are not doing well.
by plantkiller on April 01, 2006 02:48 PM
Thanks so much, all.

So, given how tall mine are ... what size pot? And then how often should I water them? I so much appreciate your help!

(And Will, you nailed it. They were indeed allowed to dry out once upon a time before I got them and their previous owner was moving.) Should I ditch them and start again? or see if I can nurse them back?)
by Amy R. on April 01, 2006 02:57 PM
Nothing to lose by trying to nurse them back, IMO. I would pot it in a small, two inch pot, something with good drainage. Place in a moderately lit room, keep moist until the plant adjusts, and then hold off and water when the top inch or so of soil is dry. Of course, I'm no expert, but that is what works for my little Lucky Dracaena. Worse case scenario have to buy a new plant! And what's more fun than plant shopping?!
by Will Creed on April 01, 2006 11:00 PM

I would cut off the entire lower portion, including the roots, of your cuttings to get rid of the legginess. Then, I would put the shorter stems back in the pebbles and water until they root again. When the roots are an inch long, then you can transfer them to a small pot of potting soil, as Cricket and Amy have suggested.

When they are in a small (2-inch) pot, be sure to water as soon as the surface of the soil gets dry. In larger pots, you can wait for the top inch to dry.

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