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Watering bamboo—its needs, how often and winter care

Watering bamboo—its needs, how often and winter care

Houseplants make great gifts, but what if you’re not a very green-thumbed individual and you’ve found yourself on the receiving end? Fear not, we’ve got tips for you, starting with the wonderful bamboo.

Are you sure it’s bamboo?

First, we suggest you’re not green-thumbed, and now we’re asking you if you’re even sure you’ve got your hands-on bamboo? We’re not trying to insult you—promise! It’s actually a common mistake people make when they get lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)—that’s the kind most people have as houseplants. We’ll show you how to care for the ‘imposter’ bamboo, as well as the varieties that grow outdoors. 

Lucky bamboo—it’s with you!

To make up for maybe having insulted you, we’d like to point out that your lucky bamboo is, well, lucky because it’s with you! Technically it’s supposed to bring you luck, but it’s give and take, right? After reading this guide, you’ll know exactly your bamboo’s watering needs and how often to water the bamboo plant.

Lucky bamboo is an easy-to-care-for plant, and you can actually grow it in water! Replace the water every week, and that’s it. However, to ensure that your plant enjoys a longer life in your home, we suggest growing it in soil instead. With soil, keep it damp but not dry, and don’t place it by a window since it doesn’t do too well in direct sunlight. This is probably best anyway, because in the winter months it prefers a warmer spot, away from drafts. 

Garden Bamboo—watering outdoor bamboo plants

When you first plant your bamboo in the garden, you’ll want to water that hole thoroughly to help give it a good start and fill out any air pockets. After planting, water bamboo weekly until it gets settled; that is, until it is established. Once it is established, keep up this watering routine, making sure to water the bamboo with one inch of water a week. Watering bamboo a lot can help it grow roots deep into the soil, which makes for a sturdy plant!

Bamboo watering in winter

In the winter, you don’t need to water the bamboo as frequently because there will likely be enough rain (if it’s the outdoor bamboo we’re talking about here—because lucky bamboo gets the same watering). Keep an eye on the soil—if it gets too dry you can always top it off. Make sure that the outdoor bamboo isn’t standing in water, though. Freezing water could damage the stems.

For other gardening tips, check out our DIY section. And for more great articles and special promotions, sign up with Ask Team Clean.