Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo best water growing houseplant for tank

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo

The lucky bamboo plant is a perfect example of false advertising and an example of how the market can sometimes intentionally deceive consumers to sell a product.

In the case of Lucky Bamboo, which also goes by the common names Chinese Water Bamboo, Friendship Bamboo, and Ribbon Dracaena, the deception goes far beyond calling this plant a “bamboo.” It is not a bamboo, nor is it from China or anywhere else in Asia. Dracaena is all from Africa and this one, in particular, is from Cameroon in western Africa. But there is a bigger problem with the marketing than just the name and that is the fact that it is sold to people as a water-loving, sometimes fully aquatic, plant. It is not.

If you attempt to grow this plant fully submerged, it will live approximately two months before the stem turns to mush and the leaves rot. It will fare better if grown with the leaves above water as shown in the picture or in the filter material of a hanging filter. It may last over a year in those conditions. However, so will many other houseplants.

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I have often used an aquarium to root cuttings of plants like coleus, geraniums, philodendrons, pothos, spider plants, etc. However, that is meant to be a short-term situation. The plants are supposed to be removed from the water once the roots are well-developed. The same is true for the lucky bamboo.

If you want it to live longer and reach its full potential, take it out of the water and pot it up. After adjusting to the soil, they no longer tolerate soggy conditions. While the solid green form is the one most frequently sold to aquarists (because it is not really that attractive when compared to other forms), houseplant growers can buy Dracaena sanderiana with attractive white or lime green margins.


  • Cameroon

Size of Bamboo:

It can grow easily 1.5m/ 5 ft as normal but the figures can be varied if you care them properly.


They can bear and tolerate the water temperature of 15-32°C/ 59-90°F in the aquarium. But if you are using the heater in your tank you must care about it.


Dracaenas do not like too much fertilizer. Fertilize only once or twice a year. An overfertilized plant turns yellow. This will also happen if kept in water containing fluoride.


Dracaena sanderiana likes bright indirect light. In nature, they grow in forests and receive strong but filtered light. Their soil should be neither wet nor dry. Wet soil makes the roots and stem rot. Dry conditions will cause the tips of the leaves to dry and turn brown. Keep their soil moist by watering once a week and must the leaves with bottled water twice a week. Tap water contains fluoride and chlorine which causes yellow spots. While the chlorine can be removed by aging the water 24 hours, the fluoride remains.


Divide by cutting anywhere on the stem. The cuttings of any type of Dracaena are easily rooted in water.

Important Note: If you want to buy a dracaena (and in my opinion Dracaena marginata, the Dragon Tree, is best), purchase it at a garden shop, not a fish store. If people continue buying them there, the stores will continue to sell them and more people will be deceived into planting them in their aquariums.

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