Winter Survivors And A Lucky Bamboo

By Nikki Tilley | March 29, 2022
Image by solarisimages
by Nikki Tilley
March 29, 2022

Lots of plants have symbolic meanings of good luck or new beginnings, but for me nearly any plant that survives winter indoors is the lucky one. I’ve been known to lose more than a few houseplants during winter, usually from excessive love and attention – aka too much water. Of course, when I back off on the watering I tend to forget altogether and then they shrivel up and die, so there’s that too. I’ve never been one for giving up easily though, which is why I grow a number of plants, probably too many.

Lucky Indoor Plants

It’s true that all my surviving plants have more than earned a symbol of luck, and if I’m fortunate enough to have succeeded another year in extending their life, I consider myself pretty lucky too. But in all honesty, and jokes aside, there is one specific houseplant that brings good luck traditionally, and yes, I’m lucky enough to successfully grow it every year. My lucky bamboo plant (Dracaena sanderiana). It’s the epitome of good fortune to many people. No, it’s not a bamboo plant, though the stalks certainly look similar and it does grow fairly quickly. In fact, these features are where the common name is derived.

Tradition holds that this Feng Shui plant brings health, love, and luck to whoever has one. And they just might be on to something. Lucky bamboo plants are often given as gifts of good fortune. The amount of stalks each plant has can mean different things. The more stalks, the more fortune and luck, with the exception of four. This number is deemed unlucky. Typically, two will provide luck in love. Three stalks represent happiness and new beginnings. Five assigns a stalk for every area of your life, bringing with it wealth, longevity, luck, happiness and prosperity. The numbers continue on and on, but I think you get the point – luck increases with each new stalk. At the moment mine has ten, meaning completion. Of course, I’ve also taken a number of cuttings from this plant too. The more, the merrier, right?

How to Grow Lucky Bamboo

As luck would have it, this houseplant supposedly has a reputation for being nearly indestructible. I have to admit this one has merit since my lucky bamboo plant has survived many years now despite my flair for kindness killing. Whether growing in soil or water makes no difference, though my largest and most robust plant resides in soil. It, along with all the babies I’ve started, has maintained good health. Something I learned some time back is that the roots of healthy lucky bamboo plants are red. Yes, most healthy rooted plants are white. I nearly passed out while repotting as I discovered this little-known fact. I couldn’t understand why the plant appeared fine, other than needing a larger pot, but didn’t have the nice white roots I would have expected. So, I looked it up and discovered that it’s perfectly natural in healthy plants. Phew! Crisis averted. Guess that good luck prevailed after all.

Unfortunately, the plant is not so lucky for our fur babies, as it’s toxic to both cats and dogs, so you may want to keep it well out of reach or avoid the plant altogether. Luckily, my dog Maya doesn’t care much for plants, and rarely nibbles on them. She generally smells whatever new plant additions I acquire and then gives me that same look of scorn, as if to say “another plant, really?” If you’re in the market for a houseplant that brings good luck though, this may be the one for you. Lucky bamboo not only symbolizes luck and fortune for its owner/grower in life but can be perfect for anyone that’s previously been unlucky growing houseplants.

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