How To Grow Bamboo In Water

by | Dec 1, 2023

grow bamboo in water

Growing bamboo in water is an effortless and cost-effective way to propagate new plants. In this article, we will discuss the most effective methods to grow bamboo at home.

Here are some simple rules to follow to grow bamboo from cuttings in water:

1. Container Selection: 

It’s essential to ensure the container has adequate stones at the base. Lucky bamboo thrives in water and necessitates a water level of at least 1 to 3 inches (3-8 cm).

Selecting the correct container is pivotal for the successful growth of the lucky bamboo plant. Choose a tall glass vase or ceramic container over shallow bowls. Alternatively, you can leave the plant in the container it was purchased in.

A transparent container works excellently. At the same time, a regular terra cotta pot is preferable for soil cultivation. The container should be of sufficient height, approximately 1 foot (30 cm), to provide stability for the plant.

2. Light and Temperature:

Bamboo flourishes when exposed to bright, filtered sunlight reminiscent of the dappled light that permeates the upper canopy of a forest. Direct sunlight can lead to leaf scorch, so it’s essential to avoid it. 

Moreover, it’s advisable to keep the plant away from air conditioning or vents, as it thrives at temperatures between 65ºF and 90ºF (18-32ºC). 

If you wish to manipulate the plant’s shape, a three-sided box with one side open can help. The plant will bend towards the light source, so rotating the box to change the direction of light will encourage the plant to curve accordingly.

3. Lighting and Humidity:

For optimal growth, place your lucky bamboo in a warm location and provide indirect sunlight. Monitor the amount of light the plant receives, erring on the side of too little light rather than too much. 

If you’ll be away for a while, turning off the air conditioning can create a more favorable environment for the plant, as it prefers slightly warmer conditions.

4. Water Management:

In the case of hydroponic growth, change the water weekly. When selecting the water source, be aware that lucky bamboo is sensitive to chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine. 

If using tap water, allow it to sit for 24 hours to allow the chemicals to dissipate. Alternatively, opt for bottled water.

Sufficiently wait for the roots to grow, it’s imperative to maintain water coverage over the roots. A water level of 1-3 inches is sufficient.

When watering the plant grown in soil, it’s crucial to provide just enough water to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Overwatering can result in dry rot. To enhance humidity and maintain moisture, you can also mist the plant’s leaves. 

Once again, it’s advisable to use filtered or bottled water to avoid any potential damage from chemicals.

5. Fertilization:

Fertilizer for bamboo is highly recommended once every month. When using soil, opt for organic fertilizer to ensure the plant receives the necessary nutrients while avoiding the risk of deterioration associated with synthetic fertilizers. 

If you are growing it hydroponically, use liquid fertilizer in the water. However, be mindful that lucky bamboo does not require excessive fertilization, so diluting the fertilizer to one-tenth of its strength is recommended.

6. Tip Burn Prevention:

To prevent tip burn, it’s advisable to use filtered or bottled water, as tap water often contains chemicals that can cause this condition. In cases of tip burn, it may persist even after switching to better water, as some chemicals may have already affected the plant.

Patience may be required as the condition gradually improves over time.

7. Regular Trimming:

Regular trimming is essential to maintain the health of your lucky bamboo, as it tends to become top-heavy over time. When trimming, focus on removing offshoots without cutting the central stalk. Use sterile snippers for this purpose.

Trimming these offshoots within an inch or two (2.5-5 cm) of the base will encourage new shoots to emerge, resulting in a bushier and healthier plant.

8. Leaf Color and Health:

Vigilance is necessary to monitor the color of the leaves. Dry and dying leaves may indicate a water-related issue, as discussed earlier. Yellowing leaves often result from excessive sunlight or fertilizer application. 

In the case of brown leaves, increasing humidity by spraying the plant with water can help. For mushy leaves, immediate removal, water change, and replanting of any salvageable portions is recommended.

9. Plant Recovery and Cutting:

When a part of the plant is ailing, such as the base turning yellow due to root rot, consider cutting off the affected section and replanting the healthy portions. If part of the plant is deteriorating, it may be the right time for cutting it off. 

For instance, if the base of the plant exhibits signs of root rot, the plant may not recover, and you can cut the top portion and attempt to replant it, although there is no guarantee it will grow. If the plant’s shape is undesirable, cutting and reshaping may also be an option. 

When cutting, avoid discarding the trimmings, as they can be used to propagate a new plant. New shoots will emerge from the older part of the plant’s base, while the top section can be potted separately.

In cases where a plant is in a state of decline, removing the decaying sections promptly and repotting any viable stems or branches can lead to successful recovery. Swift action is essential for the best chance of rejuvenating the plant.

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia, an engineering graduate with a diverse background, has been passionate about entrepreneurship since age 13. Founder of edtech startup Technoshaala, Bhuwan now focuses on leading his innovative water management startup, FLOTAA, in Kanpur to create sustainable solutions.
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