Dracaena braunii, also known as lucky bamboo plant, dracena sanderiana, dracaena bamboo, ribbon dracaena, or just the sandriyana plant, is an easy-to-grow houseplant that makes a fun and long-lasting gift or decoration. It’s perfect if you’re looking to add some personality to your workspace or give someone an unconventional birthday gift (all while being environmentally friendly).
Lucky bamboo plants are one of the most popular plants in the world, but few people know much about them beyond their name and country of origin. Lucky bamboo plants are technically not a bamboo, although they do resemble one somewhat; they’re actually Dracaena braunii, a tropical plant found in India and Southeast Asia that’s cultivated in China and Japan, and this makes lucky bamboo plants so popular today.
Because it’s quite common, you can usually find Dracaena braunii at your local nursery or plant store, where it will be referred to as a lucky bamboo plant.
Origin and distribution
Dracaena braunii, also known as lucky bamboo plant or Dracaena sanderiana, originates from South Africa. It’s a great indoor plant that doesn’t require much attention and has the added benefit of absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen at night while releasing some nitrogen during the day. This makes it an excellent houseplant for improving air quality in your home.
Lucky bamboo is available at most garden centers and nurseries, but if you can’t find it locally, you can order it online through Amazon or Ebay. The good news is that even though its name implies otherwise, there are no actual bamboo plants involved; instead, they’re made out of what looks like a green string with black joints that gives them their distinct look.
Because they don’t have any real leaves to speak of, Dracaena braunii simply grow out of each joint, they aren’t true plants; rather, they’re considered aquatic bromeliads.
Dracaena braunii propagation
Plants propagated from cuttings produce more of themselves. To propagate your Dracaena braunii, you’ll need to separate a piece of your plant’s stem and allow it to dry for about a week. Once it is fully dried, place it in water where it will eventually form roots.
From there, you can transplant your new baby plant into its own pot. As long as you keep your lucky bamboo well-watered, it should continue to grow. If not watered regularly, your plant may die or go dormant until conditions improve. It’s important to note that if your lucky bamboo has flowered, it will not be able to re-root itself after going dormant so make sure that doesn’t happen!
Lucky bamboo plants can also be propagated by dividing them up and replanting them in pots with soil. This method is a bit harder than using cuttings but produces faster results.
For example, if you have one large container of Dracaena braunii and want to split it into two separate containers, simply dig out some soil around each side of your original container. Then carefully remove your plant from its current container and divide it in half at a point just below where leaves begin growing off the main stem.
After doing so, fill each newly created hole with fresh soil and put one half back into each hole. Water both sides equally until they are established in their new homes.
Lucky bamboo care information
Dracaena lucky bamboo plants care is not difficult. It requires bright, indirect light. In the summer months, it can be placed outdoors, but in colder weather, you should move it indoors. Lucky bamboo needs to be kept wet at all times and water once a week. They may also be sprayed with distilled water every other day if there is less than 50% humidity in your home. Do not allow them to sit in stagnant water or it will rot quickly.
Lucky bamboo plants like bright, indirect light. A window with plenty of natural light is ideal, but these plants can also thrive under fluorescent lights. Dracaena braunii prefers low to medium-intensity light and can suffer from exposure to strong artificial lighting. To keep your plant healthy, rotate it regularly in its place and shield it from direct lighting as necessary. This will help prevent spotting or burning on one side of your plant’s leaves.
For a lucky Dracaena braunii, you’ll need to mix equal parts potting soil and small river pebbles. If you don’t have river pebbles, regular gravel will do. Add a few tablespoons of black or red lava rock, it’s good for drainage and looks pretty cool as well.
You can get these at your local garden center. Make sure to use sterilized soil and rocks; wash them with soap and water first, then boil them in water for 10 minutes before mixing them into your dirt. This is important because it helps prevent root rot and other fungal diseases that can be fatal to plants. Once you’ve got everything mixed together, pack it down into your pot with a trowel until it reaches about an inch below the rim of your container.
Although Dracaena braunii is relatively easy to care for, it’s also important to remember that it’s a type of dracaena and like all dracenas, it has special watering requirements. Dracaenas, including lucky bamboo, are succulents and therefore require water more infrequently than plants such as cacti or other popular houseplants.
Lucky bamboo should be watered once every two weeks during its growing season, the warmer months, and not at all during its dormant period in winter. To water your plant, you can either submerge it in lukewarm water for 15 minutes or pour lukewarm water into its pot until it drains out through holes in the bottom.
Lucky bamboo requires fertilizer to stay healthy. Use an all-purpose fertilizer according to package directions, once a month during the growing season and every other month in winter. Also, try foliar feeding, spraying it with water mixed with liquid seaweed or fish emulsion to encourage lush green growth. If your lucky bamboo is kept in a vase, be sure to empty out any water if you’re going away for more than two weeks. Lucky bamboo will wither and die if left submerged for too long.
Dracaena braunii is a tropical plant, so it must live in warm, humid conditions. If you can’t provide that kind of environment in your home or office, don’t worry: You can make sure your lucky bamboo lives for years by keeping it close to a warm source of water such as an aquarium heater. Do not let your plant freeze! If possible, keep its home between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, above freezing but below 80 degrees. Avoid temperature extremes!
Ensure proper humidity for your plant by misting it daily. Dracena sanderiana is one of two varieties of lucky bamboo, and its more forgiving care requirements makes it a great choice for beginners. Dracaena braunii will tolerate less-than-ideal conditions better than other varieties, but be sure to keep it well hydrated with enough indirect sunlight.
The ideal humidity range for Dracaena braunii is between 40 and 60 percent. A good way to check your plant’s humidity level is to use a hygrometer, which you can purchase at most garden supply stores. If your lucky bamboo gets too dry, its leaves will begin to droop; if it gets too wet, its leaves will become limp and fall off. To correct either situation, simply mist your plant with water until its leaves perk up again.
Dracaena braunii is an invasive species in many areas. When grown outdoors, it tends to spread out of control and eventually overwhelm native vegetation. As a result, many states and countries restrict or prohibit its sale and distribution. To avoid becoming an invasive pest, you should prune your dracaena whenever it outgrows its space.
It’s important to remove entire stems when pruning rather than just cutting them back. This will prevent re-sprouting and keep your plant from taking over more territory than it has room for. Pruning is also necessary if you want to propagate new plants; simply cut off an arm with at least one leaf node, place it in water until roots form, then plant it in soil once new growth appears.
When to repot
Dracaena braunii, lucky bamboo plant, is a great beginner plant and requires minimal care. In order to keep your dracena in optimal health you will need to repot every three months or so. This is also a good time to replace any spindly or rotten roots with fresh ones. Repotting is an essential part of keeping your plant healthy and happy!
Dracaena braunii go through dormancy during cold weather, which means they’ll look limp and lifeless without water for several months, during which time it’s okay to remove them from your home and keep them inside your garage or basement. When spring comes around, however, bring them back into your house and give them some sunlight each day; after about two weeks, they should perk up again.
Lucky bamboo flower & fragrance
Dracaena braunii is a flowering plant that gets its common name, lucky bamboo, from its ability to bring good fortune. Lucky bamboo is grown primarily for ornamental reasons but also as a potent antioxidant. It has also been used in traditional medicine as an antiseptic and antispasmodic. The fragrant flowers of lucky bamboo are usually white or purple-ish and grow on top of each stem in clusters like grapes.
Dracaena braunii is a type of Lucky Bamboo that can grow up to 3 inches per year. It’s an aquatic plant that grows best in water that’s filtered and free of chlorine, and prefers temperatures between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an all-purpose fertilizer for new growth.
All dracaenas contain silica. Ingestion of high levels of silica may cause silicosis, which can lead to fibrosis or, in severe cases, death. Silicosis usually results from occupational exposure and is most common in miners who inhale crystalline silica dust on a daily basis.
USDA hardiness zones
Dracaena braunii thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 10b through 11. It can be grown indoors or outdoors, though it prefers direct sunlight and regular watering. If you’re growing your lucky bamboo plant indoors, choose a pot that is at least 1-gallon in size to accommodate its long root system. You can fertilize your dracaena with a liquid houseplant fertilizer every two weeks during spring and summer but refrain from fertilizing during fall and winter.
Pests and diseases
Dracaena braunii are susceptible to mites, scale insects, aphids, and mealybugs. In general, most problems can be prevented with proper care. Keep plants clean by washing them regularly with a soft cloth dipped in water and mild soap. Water dracenas only when they need it, as over-watering can cause root rot.
Dracaena braunii is a great low-maintenance houseplant to add to your collection. Growing in soil and water only, it’s easy to care for and provides ample greenery to make any space look lush. However, if you prefer a hardier plant, consider Dracaena sanderiana as an alternative. This subspecies has similar features but can flourish outside year-round in certain areas, giving you fresh foliage all year long.
Repotting every few years helps promote vigorous growth. When repotting, use a pot that is one size larger than its current container. Use an all-purpose potting mix that drains well and has some organic material mixed in for added nutrition. If you notice any pests or diseases on your plant, treat them immediately to prevent further infestation.