Do bamboo sticks need to be watered?
Zaneta from Montreal, Canada
The "lucky" bamboo plants you find in discount stores and garden centers (and this includes those sold without leaves and labeled sticks) do need to be watered. Bamboo sticks are typically sold in vases containing only enough water to cover the roots (1-3 inches). They can also be grown in soil, but it is generally not recommended because it requires care that is more complex.
As for the type of water to use, filtered or natural spring water is best. If your tap water contains high concentrations of salt and you do not have access to bottled water, rainwater is your second best choice. Chemically treated tap water should be allowed to stand overnight before being used to allow the chemicals to evaporate. Yellowing leaves are usually a sign of too much direct sunlight, not enough light, or a sign that the water contains too much salt or fluoride. Do not use distilled water, as it lacks some of the trace elements necessary to maintain optimal plant health.
The most important care requirement is keeping the water clean (plan to change it every week) and giving the plant enough light (artificial is fine). If you have a leafless bamboo stick and want to encourage it to grow leaves, place it in a warm room (at least 65-70 F) and under full spectrum lighting. Keep the stems green by adding a small amount of liquid fertilizer to the water on occasion (once a month or so).
Yes, but just a little. You can also grow them in plain water, just enough to cover the roots.
Are you talking about the living plant bamboo or about the hollow rods you would use for supporting garden plants? If it is the rods, then no. They are dead "trunks" of the bamboo. For the actual plant, I have tons in my house. I arrange in pretty glass pitchers and bowls and put those cute glass stones from the dollar stores around them for support. I pour alot of water in them and let it soak up and evaporate. I usually water every two weeks or so and never have to bother with them. Just enjoy. I have at least six bowls of bamboo and some of it has grown from 6 inch shoots when I purchased it to near two feet tall now.
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