Bamboo Good Luck Planter


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.


  • 1 wine goblet or brandy snifter, at least 6 inches deep
  • 1 package glass aquarium stones or marbles (I chose deep blue for both glass and stones for this arrangement)
  • 2-3 stems of living bamboo
  • 1 good luck wine charm


  1. Choose bamboo with fresh shoots and interesting patterns. I chose stems of three different sizes to capture the asymmetry that is so lovely in Oriental ikebana.

  2. Trim the bamboo with a sharp paring knife if needed. Be certain that the knife is sharp. A blunt knife can crush the bamboo, making it more difficult for it to draw up water into its stems and leaves.

  3. Stand the tallest bamboo stem in the glass, holding it in place while arranging a single layer of glass aquarium stones or marbles around its base. Nudge the stones in close around the bamboo stem to give it support - but don't let go of the stem yet.

  4. Add the second bamboo stem, to the right or left of the first. Again, fill in around and between the two stems with glass marbles or stones. At this point, the stems should be able to stand on their own with the marbles holding them in place.

  5. Add the third and shortest stem, then fill the glass to the top with glass marbles, being careful not to crush the bamboo. Once the glass is filled, you can adjust the angle and direction of the bamboo shoots till it's pleasing to the eye.

  6. Choose a fitting wine charm to clasp around the stem of the glass. Because I made this arrangement to celebrate the grand opening of my brother's shop, I added yet another Chinese good luck symbol - a small silver turtle. Other appropriate ideas might be a flower, a frog or a coin.

  7. Carefully fill the glass with tepid water to within a half inch of the top. If desired, you can add plant food to the water, mixed according to package directions, but the bamboo will do just fine without it.

Caring for your bamboo plant

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.

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August 4, 20050 found this helpful

This is my opinion....but I don't buy bamboo and have advised my dd not too either....guess I think of the pandas too much and their loss of their food so we are dead set against any bamboo lucky or not.....not lucky for the poor pandas ;0(

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By LaDonna (Guest Post)
August 5, 20050 found this helpful

The "Lucky Bamboo" that is being talked about is not real bamboo. It is actually a corn plant, so the pandas wouldn't eat it.
I would worry more about the hunters who capture and kill pandas.

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By Fran (Guest Post)
August 5, 20050 found this helpful

Your bamboo lucky plant really look pretty. I have three containers with glass marbles. I started with one and they grow so fast in the window that I always have to make another one or it gets too big. Just cut it off and leave it in the water and it will grow roots also.


I have one in at my garden tub in the corner and it has grown half way up the wall. I guess that is why you see so many on sell, because they grow fast, like bamboo.

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