In honour of Chinese New Year, occurring on February 8th this year, I wanted to learn a bit more about Lucky Bamboo, a common gift in China (and other areas!) that has varied meanings depending on the number of bamboo stalks included. Of course, there is some discrepancy about the meaning of the numbers depending on where you look, however during my reading, I did uncover some very strong themes attached to each. Consider the following meanings when you’re choosing a gift of Lucky Bamboo to give away or bring into your own home:
1 Bamboo Stalk symbolizes simplicity and a meaningful life.
2 Bamboo Stalks means best of luck in love and marriage. This is a common gift for newly married couples!
3 Bamboo Stalks is the most popular number and represents happiness.
4 Bamboo Stalks is NEVER given! It is considered very unlucky and represents death.
5 Bamboo Stalks symbolizes creativity.
6 Bamboo Stalks means prosperity and wealth. It also symbolizes harmony.
7 Bamboo Stalks represents health.
8 Bamboo Stalks symbolizes luck in wealth, as well as luck in fertility.
9 Bamboo Stalks means good fortune and over all luck.
10 Bamboo Stalks represents completion or perfection in life.
21 Bamboo Stalks symbolizes a powerful all purpose blessing.
So now you have an idea of how many bamboo stalks you want in your arrangement, you go out and purchase your bamboo and you bring it home or give your gift. Now what? Luckily, Lucky Bamboo is a long lasting, tough plant that takes very little care!
Light & Temperature: Lucky Bamboo needs indirect or filtered bright light and moderate temperatures.
Water: Lucky Bamboo needs a minimum of 2” of water (making sure the roots are covered). Change the water every 1-2 weeks, using distilled water, as Lucky Bamboo is sensitive to the salts and chemicals in tap water.
Fertilizer: Lucky Bamboo doesn’t require much fertilizer. You can fertilize every couple months (or less) with a water-soluable houseplant fertilizer that is diluted to 1/10th strength.
Trimming: Eventually, Lucky Bamboo can become top-heavy. To prevent this, trim the shoots within 1”-2” of the base of the stalk. This promotes new growth and better health.
*If the leaves and stems start to turn yellow, your plant is probably getting too much fertilizer or light. Change the water immediately and do not fertilize for a few months and move to a darker area.
Best of luck with your Lucky Bamboo!