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House Plants/watering my Bamboo tree


I have a bamboo tree & I'm wondering about.The amount of times to water it.And what amount of water to give it.When I bought it,the soil was damp.So,I've taken it that,the next to time.It needs to watered to water it to the point.That the soil is damp,just as it was when I bought it. I have noticed that the soil has white colour on parts of the soil,why is it going that colour? The soil is brown mostly but this white colour is showing up on the soil.
Thank you for yr help

ANSWER: Julie-Ann,

There is no plant that is know the world around as a bamboo tree so i am not at all sure what plant you are asking me about. You can send me a picture and I will be able to give you a more detailed answer but I can give you some general watering instructions that are almost fool proof.

To monitor water closely insert a bamboo skewer into the soil all the way to the bottom of the pot and cut it off 1/2 inch above the soil line with scissors or wire cutters. When you think the plant needs water pull the skewer out and see if the top half of the skewer is dry. If it is not put the skewer back in the pot and wait a few days and check again. If it is dry give it enough water so all the soil in the pot gets moist and some of the water goes into the drain tray. An hour later empty all the water out of the drain tray so the plant is not sitting in water. That would rot those fine roots. You should only need to water it once a week or less.

The white color can either be lime from very hard water or mold from overwatering and poor quality of soil. You can cut back on the amount of water by following my instructions above and spray the surface of the soil with Lysol. If it is mold Lysol will kill it. It will nt regrow if kept dryer.  Again, if you send me a picture I will identify your plant and give you a more detailed answer. Good luck!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your reply,if I may have e-mail.I can send you the photo of this bamboo tree.When buying it,it came with a piece of paper.Saying,this is a double lucky bamboo,and you will see from the photo its very much like a Minicher tree.

Thanks again.


My email address is  Your lucky bamboo is not bamboo at all, it is a dracaena sanderiana. It can be grown in plain water or in a very sandy soil. If it is in soil that is not sandy or if it is kept too wet the soil will get moldy. It must be allowed to dry out between waterings and must never sit in a drain tray full of water.

This container plant does well in bright filtered light as well as shady spots. It is mostly used as a container plant for indoor gardens, as bright direct light will scorch its leaves.

To propagate your lucky bamboo, cut offshoots off the plant and use the cuttings to start new plants. Plant cuttings should have at least one leaf joint, but preferably more. Take the leaves off the bottom leaf joint to expose the root node. Place the lucky bamboo cutting in water and wait for roots to grow. After the root emerges, you can plant the new lucky bamboo plant in a glass jar with pebbles. The baby plants will not have the same shape as the mother bamboo plant unless you grow it like the professional growers do. It takes time to grow spirals and braids, and if you want to do this, grow the lucky bamboo on its side. The stalk will grow toward the light, so turn it as needed to keep it growing in a symmetrical pattern. It is very difficult and time-consuming to grow lucky bamboo in this way, but it can be done.

Lucky bamboo is actually not a bamboo at all Ė it is one of the species in the Dracaena genus (which includes many popular houseplants, such as Dracaena 'Janet Craig'). Donít keep this plant in too hot or too cold temperatures (it does best between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit), and keep lucky bamboo away from heating vents. Cut off offshoots about an inch away from the stem to make the plant bushier and to keep its original shape. Never cut the plant's main stalk. If your garden's lucky bamboo plant develops yellow leaves, it may be getting too much fertilizer or too much sun. These plants are usually seen as short office plants, but they can actually grow to 5 feet. Good luck with your plant!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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