Lucky Bamboo

  1. Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    Common name: Lucky bamboo, ribbon dracaena, ribbon plant, belgian evergreen, chinese water bamboo, friendship bamboo, water bamboo, and Sander’s dracaena

    Scientific name: Dracaena braunii (also known as D. sanderiana)

    Family: Asparagaceae

    Care level: Easy

    Lighting: Low-light, too high of light will cause yellowing of leaves

    Plant size: 5 feet, though this won’t happen in aquariums. The leaves can grow 9 inches high.

    Water temperature: 65-90 Fahrenheit.

    Fertilizer: Not required, in fact, fertilizing them may cause the plants leaves to turn yellow.

    Growth rate: In my experience, slow. I have had new leaves growing though. Outside of aquariums it will grow faster. Some leaves need to be above the water line in order for it to grow new ones.

    Placement: I think it looks best in the middle or the back of the tank.

    Propagation: Cut about an inch above the node- the rings on the bamboo. You will now have a top and bottom.

    pH: 6.5-8.0

    Notes: Not actually an aquatic plant. If kept fully submerged for too long (a few months) it will rot. It’s highly toxic to cats and dogs, but I’ve never heard of problems with fish, nor have I had any of my own. Shrimp may also be affected by it's toxin. It’s available in a curly variant too.

    Please let me know where I can improve on this, feedback is also appreciated. A picture will be added later.

  2. Riley Coleman Initiate Member

    My aquatic dracaena has not fared well at all. I have a very nutrient rich substrate and high mineral water. Too many minerals and too much fertilizer will cause lots of yellowing.
    Leaves towards the bottom will also yellow as they age. If you don't trim them, they will become leggy and the bottom leaves will fall off and die.

  3. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    Anders247 - overall good job. I would add something to emphasize that the plant needs to be grown emerged from the water with some leaves above the water line. Light coming from above the tank where these leaves will be able to process the light for photosynthesis, is very important. This is why it doesn't do well for many people.

    Some people also grow this out of a refugium or out of HOB filter.
  4. Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    @Riley Coleman- Thanks for the info. I did mention that fertilizer will cause plant yellowing though.
    @Dolfan- thanks, I'll add that. My bamboo plant has leaves above the water, and it's been growing new leaves, thanks.

  5. Et tu Member Member

    You may want to add that Dracaena/lucky bamboo is highly toxic to cats, and most cats will go to great lengths to chew on it. Good write up, very helpful.
  6. smee82 Well Known Member Member

    Its also a plant that i had a lot of trouble with when keeping it in a shrimp tank. It doesnt seem to affect fish but i had large die offs of shrimp when i had it in my tank and wouldnt recommend it for anyone who has shrimp.
  7. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Just wanted to add that the curly one isn't actually a variant of the straight. When the stems are growing and soft they're held in the spiral shape until the stem matures and becomes woody;)

  8. CricketKeeper Well Known Member Member

    I wanted to add that I think the roots are toxic to shrimp. I used to have one in a small pot in gravel in shrimp tank (unexposed to shrimp) and everything was fine, but I took the plant out of the pot and exposed the roots to the shrimp thinking they would love picking at the roots, but they all died within days.