Bren2(z9)August 20, 2006

What do you use if anything? Mine is looking rather sickly, like getting pale and one stalk has died. Mine is in water with pebbles for support.


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I stick aquarium root tab ferts in my pebbles and occasionally add a little miracle grow to the water. Works great for me :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 8:46PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

The biggest problem is that Dracaena sanderiana, the common houseplant sold as "Lucky Bamboo" in a stripped leaf stunted form is NOT an aquatic/bog plant.

They live for awhile but don't thrive or grow normally in water.

Changing the water often and using very dilute liquid fertilizers such as Miracle Gro helps.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 12:36PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I must disagree with part of what you say. Although this plant is not an aquatic species, it (and most other plants) can live for many years in water. If the water were oxygenated, they would thrive. But since most people don't do that, plants subsist.

'Soil' is not one of the requirements for healthy plant growth but oxygen, water, basic elements (minerals), and sunlight are. Most plants just find it easier to obtain three of those requirements from the soil...but we sneaky humans can work around that with some effort. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 2:34PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I used a houseplant fertilizer (the kind that says safe to use each tme you water your plants) and now some of the leave are turning brown at the tips. Did I kill it or will it recover?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 7:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

When growing plants in water, one must use a very dilute formulation of soluble fertilizer. If you mixed the product according to label directions, it is too strong. Change the water, snip off the tips of the roots, trim the browned leaves, and hope for the best.

Water grown plants are fragile.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 10:49PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I guess I should have mentioned that I have it in potting soil, not the traditional pebbles and water. It was actually in soil when I purchased it, and wasn't stripped of its leaves. I didn't know it was "Lucky Bamboo" at first, since the tag only said Dracaena Sanderiana.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 12:11AM
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Hi bren. I use liquid Miracle Gro at 1/10th the recommended dosage. For water-grown plants it is absolutely imperative that you dilute, dilute, dilute. A full, strong dosage will in fact cause harm to the plant, primarily burning its roots.

Also, please do not ever be discouraged from growing this plant in water. Do not heed advice that says that houseplants cannot thrive or grow normally in water. On the contrary, if given proper care, plants will grow indefinitely in water. They do not NEED soil.

For your Dracaena Sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo), after you have fertilized, I suggest changing the water after one week, two at the latest. The plant does not need/want the fertilizer sitting in the water where its roots soak for too long. Along those lines, do not fertilize too often. I have found that this plant - Dracaenas in general - do not like being fertilized often. I'd suggest no more than once a month during the growing season.

For optimal health, change the water regularly. Can you dump it and refill it every two weeks? Great! Once a week? Even better! No more than once a month (and that's long!) There is oxygen in the water so every time you change it, your plant will love you for it! Pay attention and watch for signs of oxygen-depleted water. If the water starts looking cloudy, the oxygen is depleted - that's not good; it's time to add fresh water!

Do not keep your plant in very dark areas. Dracaenas, although able to tolerate low light, prefer brighter areas for optimum growth. I would not recommend strong, southern afternoon sun but almost every single plant appreciates at least a little morning sun. So medium to bright (indirect) light will work best for your stalks.

Give it fresh water regularly, be very careful with fertilizing and place it in a decently lit spot - it'll thrive for you. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 9:39AM
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joy4me(z6 NY)

I was advised to also use bottled water if your water is fluoridated or has a lot of chlorine in it as many city a suburban homes do. Also suggested was to keep the LB in a container where you are able to see the water so you know when to add water (weekly) etc. Along with the very good info above and you should do fine!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 9:19PM
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I have had mine for about 8 years now and I have it in a large fountain like owl. It has an airator that makes the water flow down cascading "lily pads" to the open pot. I use SUPERthrive nutrients about once a week with fresh water and use Leaf Zone aquarium fertilizer about once a month. I looks great!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 8:50AM
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I think we are talking about hydroponics here. Only plants grown for food are efficiently grown in such conditions. It would be wise to plant in a less stressful situation.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 3:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

No sense in giving out false advice, ikz5ia!

Serenity, your 'set-up' sounds ideal! I'm not sure about what the Superthrive actually does, but it appears something works for you!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 3:44PM
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