Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
Evidence that quick and inexpensive doesn't have to mean tacky and cheap. This elegantly simple good luck bamboo arrangement cost less than $10 to make, and was literally assembled in the back seat of a cab. It took less than fifteen minutes, not counting shopping and planning time. All the materials were bought at the local "Everything for a Buck" store - including the bamboo. If your dollar store doesn't carry living bamboo, you can usually pick up cut pieces for $2-$5 per piece.
The good luck bamboo is a traditional Chinese gift to those starting a new endeavor in their lives. Bamboo is typically used as wedding favors and given to those moving into a new home or beginning a new business. Because bamboo has such a long lifespan and can live and grow with little sustenance other than water, it's the perfect gift to wish prosperity and good luck.
Compare it to a florist's arrangement using similar materials at $25-$40.
Caring for the bamboo plant is a simple matter of giving it plenty of light, and topping up the water whenever it evaporates and the top layer of marbles is dry. It will grow for years with just a little care.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I broke my mother's bamboo plant at the stalk, upsetting us both. Will it live or die? It's still attached, and she taped it for support. Will it live? How do I fix it?
By Gabby from PA
It's fine! Bamboo is impossible to kill. It grows and spreads forever and ever.
I don't know anything about bamboo outside, but if the bamboo is a house plant you can cut it off at the stalk where it broke. You can then put the broken piece in a new container, or even in the same container as the original plant. You may be able to root it. Leave the bottom part of the broken stalk in the original container. It will probably send out new stalks from the original. Be sure you keep the stalk ends in water and do not fertilize. You may end up with two bamboo plants instead of one!
I don't know anything about bamboo outside, but if the bamboo is a house plant you can cut it off at the stalk where it broke. You can then put the broken piece in a new container, or even in the same container as the original plant. You may be able to root it. Leave the bottom part of the broken stalk in the original container. It will probably send out new stalks from the original. Be sure you keep the stalk ends in water and you have a good chance of success. You may end up with two bamboo plants instead of one!
How can I twist a straight bamboo stem into a curl or twist? I bought a straight bamboo stem and now I want to make it curly. I need help.
You can't just "twist" a straight bamboo stem. It's not like hair! :-) The curls in bamboo stems were grown that way. The part of the stem that is already straight will always stay straight.
It's possible to grow a curly plant yourself, but it will take many months to get a curl, and during that time it must remain covered by a box with one small hole that lets light in, which the plant will bend and grow towards and make the stem curve. Not the best way to enjoy your plant!
There are instructions online for how to make bamboo curly, but if you really want one it would be a lot faster and easier to buy one that was already grown that way by professionals.
And just a little trivia, these curly (or straight) plants being sold as "lucky bamboo" aren't really bamboo at all - they're not even related to bamboo! They're called dracaena, and are actually in the lily family!
I read the previous answers and I am wondering about transplanting my "lucky bamboo" from its ceramic stone filled 2x5in box to a 5 to 10 gallon smartpot. With this I have plenty of time and indoor grow equipment to work with during winter months. My question is how large will this plant get and is it worth growing in a 5 gallon or larger pot? Also how do I clone or will it just spread on its own?
My friend gave me a branch from her bamboo plant. I first had it in water, then it seemed the leaves were turning yellow and it ended up dying. So I am now trying another branch in gravel in a little amount of water. My bamboo plant seems to just sit and never grows. I want to do a twisted plant, but cannot have success in growing them. Can you help? What am I doing wrong?
By Pat H from Ragland, AL
I have a small twisted bamboo that grows on stones in water. My question is can I trim the roots to promote growth or should I just leave them alone? I have had it for almost 2 years and change the water occasionally; it grows beautifully. So do I leave it alone or is there a benefit in trimming the roots? Like you would with fresh flowers put in a vase?
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Q: There are plants which can grow in water only and are sold at Oriental booths in the malls. They look like a tall stick but they begin to twist near the top. What is this plant and how do you get it to twist?
Hardiness Zone: 9b
Sindi from Phoenix, AZ
The plant you're referring to is bamboo. It normally grows in straight sticks, but you can make it curl by manipulating the light conditions as it grows. As the plant grows, it is shielded on three sides. One easy way to do this is to put the bamboo sticks in a vase of water and place the whole thing in a covered box. Cut a small hole (a few inches in diameter) in one side of the top of the box. This allows only one side of the vase inside access to bright light. As the plants grow naturally toward the light, you can manually rotate the vase every time the stalk grows a few inches (usually once every week or so). Each time you rotate the vase a new side is exposed to the light and the stick will start growing in that direction. It can take as long at 6 months to make 1 full curl in the bamboo.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
We have one in my office. It has sat in a tall vase for 2 years in only water. I have to add water about once a month, but I have never had to change the water. It twists on it's own. It has grown to over 5 feet. It sits on my desk and goes to the ceiling with no support. Great plant for those without a green thumb. (05/10/2006)