wikiHow to Propagate Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo (botanical name "Dracaena sanderiana") is a small, shrubby plant that is sold extensively as a hardy houseplant. Despite its name, lucky bamboo is not related to bamboo and is not even native to Asia. Because of its development as a rainforest understory plant, it works well as a houseplant because it can tolerate moderate temperatures and very low light. The plant grows very quickly, and therefore it is useful to learn how to propagate lucky bamboo to produce new plants and avoid crowding the original plant.


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    Select a stalk for propagating. The stalk of the lucky bamboo plant is the thick, cylindrical base from which the smaller, leafy shoots grow. Select a stalk with at least 1 long, healthy shoot to take your cutting.
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    Trim the leaves from the shoot. Once you have selected a shoot to cut, remove all of the smaller leaves by plucking them off with your fingers. Leave only the few long, mature leaves at the top of the shoot. Removing the leaves keeps the plant's energy focused on growing new roots rather than supporting the leaves.
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    Cut the shoot off of the stalk. Use a very sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut cleanly through the shoot about a half an inch (1 cm) away from where it meets the stalk. The cleaner and straighter the cut, the less likely it will be to succumb to a bacterial infection. It is a good idea to sanitize your blade in rubbing alcohol before making the cut.
    • If you want to save the stalk from which you took your cutting, you will need to cut it as well. Cut the stalk about a half an inch (1 cm) below the area where the cut shoot joined it. Garden shears will make cutting through big, woody stalks easier.
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    • Once the stalk is cut, you need to seal the wound with wax to prevent bacterial infection. Melt some candle wax onto the wound until it is completely covered. When placed back in water or soil, the stalk will grow new shoots in a month or so.
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    Prepare a pot for rooting the new shoot. Lucky bamboo cuttings can be rooted in water or soil, but water works best for stimulating root growth. Prepare a small pot by filling it with purified water (bottled water works well). If you use tap water, it is best to let the water sit out exposed to the air for 24 hours before using it - this keeps the chlorine from damaging the plant.
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    Place the cutting into the pot. Place the freshly cut end of the shoot into the water, making sure it is submerged at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Place the pot into a shady spot, as direct sunlight will harm the plant. In 1 or 2 months, the plant should have developed several roots from the cut end. The shoot will eventually grow new shoots and can be propagated again using the same method.


  • For healthy growth, change the plant's water every week.

Things You'll Need

  • Lucky bamboo plant
  • Knife or scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Garden shears
  • Lighter
  • Candle
  • Pot
  • Water

Article Info

Categories: Planting and Growing