How to Grow Lucky Bamboo in Soil

You have heard of the lucky bamboo plants standing in offices or given as gifts. Yes, these plants are found everywhere and are fun to care for. As a gift, they symbolize luck and wish that person good fortune or their life travels.

Still, whether the lucky bamboo brings luck is for you to decide, which does not mean you should not own one. While the bamboo plant is mainly grown in water, you can also grow it in soil.

So, please keep reading to learn how to plant lucky bamboo plants in the soil and care for them.

The Best Soil For Lucky Bamboo Plants

When you care for lucky bamboo plants, there are a few fundamental things to know when creating a good soil base for your lucky bamboo stalks to grow. First, despite the name, it is also known as a fancier name, Dracaena sanderiana.

Still, it does not relate to the bamboo family; hence it is not a true bamboo with a deep root system. Instead, it is a popular houseplant that gives a lush tropical vibe to your living space. But what soil works best for this feng shui plant?

Healthy indoor plants grow best in well-drained potting soil with the correct moisture amount. The soil needs to hold nutrients without becoming soggy. So, lucky bamboo care provides them with slightly acidic soil with pH levels of 6.0 to 6.5.

In addition, we recommend adding a cactus soil mix with peat moss to help retain moisture.

Does Soil Choice Matter For The Lucky Bamboo Plant?

lucky bamboo in soil

The potting soil used with most lucky bamboo plants, like water, can affect your outdoor plants’ health. For this reason, using suitable ground is essential for the lucky bamboo to thrive.

For example, when you grow lucky bamboo plants in water, it is recommended to use distilled water instead of tap water. So the same rules apply when it comes to soil. The same applies to using the correct potting soil, as the water is the foundation for the roots.

So add positive energy for your outdoor plant as the soil delivers nutrients, oxygen, and water to the root system. Here are some ways that plants rely on soil to survive:

  • Lucky bamboo plants need nutrients from calcium, nitrogen, minerals, and more provided through the soil.

  • The plant roots need air that transforms into sugars and energy; hence the tiny spaces between soil particles are pores filled with the air the roots need.

  • When you plant lucky bamboo, it needs water regularly and is found in the soil as it retains moisture.

  • Another important thing is that the soil works like insulation to protect the roots against temperature changes.

What is in Soil?

lucky bamboo soil

Soil is a mixture of compost, decomposing plant/animal matter with mineral particles. Still, the type of soil you use depends on the size and texture of the particles.

For example, sand has larger particles and can provide excellent drainage and a lot of air to the roots, but it does not retain moisture or nutrients well. Then you have clay with smaller particles.

While clay holds water to nutrients, it does not help to remove excess water that could lead to root rot when overwatered. Neither do the roots receive enough air. Lastly, you have silt that holds moisture to nutrients and drains water moderately.

Hence, investing in potting soil with all these particle sizes is known as loamy soil. Then you get peaty soil with a higher compost offering moisture and nutrients to aeration but having a lower pH level.

Lastly, you have chalky soil with more alkaline and drains fast without retaining nutrients.

What are Soils Primary Components


When you buy a potting mix, it has different elements blended to hold moisture and nutrients and provides excellent drainage to aeration. Still, each plant has specific needs, and you must choose suitable soil to keep your plant healthy. Here are the elements that make up some potting mixes:

  • Coco coir is a material of the coconut husk that helps with aeration.

  • Compost or organic matter helps to provide nutrients to the roots. When added to a potting mix, you need not give much fertilizer.

  • Pumice is a lightweight volcanic rock for drainage and aeration, while perlite is a broken-down volcanic rock that services the same purpose with moisture retention.

  • You can also find pine bark fines to increase acidity with moisture retention.

  • You can also have sand for drainage with a soil activator containing humic acids that speed up the composting process for added nutrients.

  • A non-renewable resource is sphagnum peat moss harvested from wetlands to increase the acid level in the soil.

  • Last, you have a lightweight amendment known as vermiculite to boost nutrient and water retention.

How Do You Know You Are Using The Right Soil?

Before we plant lucky bamboo, let’s see how you know you use the right soil. Well, one of the first signs is yellow leaves showing a problem.

We recommend you first check if the excess water drains correctly, too much water causes the leaves to turn yellow and rotates the root system. Another sign of yellow foliage is that the soil pH is too high. The lucky bamboo plant cannot tolerate alkaline soil.

Adding some pine bark fines or peat moss will lower the pH level. The same applies to watering. You may think the plant will love wet soil as the lucky bamboo grows in water. The truth is it is the opposite.

When grown in the water, you must provide them with fresh water weekly and leave the roots to dry. The same applies to the soil, which needs excellent drainage for a healthy plant. Soggy soil will lead to rotting of the roots as the roots cannot get enough air.

To help improve the soil, you can amend it with pine bark fines, peat moss, vermiculite, sand, or perlite.

Making an Ideal Lucky Bamboo Potting Mix

As you can see, lucky bamboo is a versatile plant you can grow in filtered water in a glass vase or plant in soil.

But it helps to have the best soil for your Dracaena sanderiana with good drainage. The soil must hold the proper nutrients and moisture and be slightly acidic with good aeration.

So grab a clean container, mix these ingredients, and don’t forget your gloves. Also, add some water to the soil until it feels moist and not heavy. If you need to improve the drainage, add sand to the mix.

  • Two parts loam or peat moss

  • One part sand

  • One part of pine bark fines

  • One part perlite

Choosing The Right Pot

terra cotta plant pots

Another crucial thing when planting Dracaena sanderiana in the soil is choosing the right pot. You want well-draining soil and a good pot with enough drainage holes.

If you do not use a container with enough holes, the soil retains too much water leading to the rotting of the roots. Another recommendation is to add some gravel to the bottom of the container.

Take Care With Watering

Lucky bamboo prefers water without the added chemicals as the roots are mainly sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water.

Still, if you cannot use any other water like filtered or distilled water, it helps to leave the tap water standing for 24 hours.

This lets the chemicals evaporate before using it on your lucky bamboo plant. While you also need to keep the soil moist and water weekly. Keep an eye on the soil before watering.

Preferably only water when you feel the top few inches of the soil dry.

The Right Sunlight For Lucky Bamboo

Now that you have planted and watered your lucky bamboo, you must find a perfect spot for them.

Your Dracaena sanderiana must not get too much sunlight and prefers indirect sunlight. So, if you plan to place them near a sunny window, it helps to have sheer curtains to provide dappled sunlight.

With indirect light, it will not scorch the lucky bamboo leaves. But if you notice your lucky bamboo stretching and reaching for the light you can move them more to direct sunlight.

With your lucky bamboo in the soil and the plant starting to fade, it can be from receiving too little light and needing a brighter spot.

A Warning Using Fertilizer

plant organic liquid fertilizer

Okay, as your lucky bamboo plant is in the soil, you might want to add fertilizer. Yet, it is a bad idea as too much fertilizer can damage your plant.

We recommend an organic fertilizer made for the lucky bamboo plant if you want to use a feed. Use the feed sparingly, like a liquid fertilizer, once a month only a drop.

Using the wrong water and soil and going overboard with feed can also result in yellowing leaves.

Repotting Lucky Bamboo From Water to Soil

If you had your lucky bamboo plants growing in water and want to transplant them to the soil, you can do the following:

  1. Get a sterilized container filled with the recommended homemade soil we provided previously.

  2. Remove the lucky bamboo plant from the water and leaves the roots for a short while to dry.

  3. Check the roots for any damage or diseases to remove the roots that are dead.

  4. Place your lucky bamboo plant in the soil in an arrangement you had in the water.

  5. Keep the lucky bamboo plant moist for the first couple of weeks to help them acclimate but not waterlogged.

  6. Place them in filtered sunlight, and once established, you can cut back on your watering.

Final Thoughts

With this adaptable plant, you can grow your lucky bamboo in soil or water. In both cases, your lucky bamboo plant has specific needs you need to cater to.

We hope the information helps you to keep your houseplants like the lucky bamboo happy.

Whether you want to buy, sell, or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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