Don't tell the recipient that the bamboo is nearly indestructible. It will live well in a vase of pure water, in soil, and in a variety of light conditions, particularly in filtered light. It thrives in hot weather, too.
The lucky bamboo is actually not bamboo. It belongs to the Dracaena family and does not grow outside.
The vast majority of the lucky bamboos are shipped from Taiwan or China where professional growers braid, twist, and turn the stalks into intricate shapes. They also come with a hefty price but there are many beautiful bamboos at more reasonable prices, too.
The bamboo require little care, but it is recommended that the water be changed once a week and that chlorinated water not be used. Healthy bamboos have red roots. It is important to trim the bamboo plant by cutting shoots within an inch or two from the stalk. Yellow leaves indicate too much sun or too much water. Move the plant to another location and hold off on the feeding for a while.
Bamboo is a sacred plant in most Asian cultures. The bamboo stalk symbolizes the wood element and a red ribbon tied around the plant enhances the fire element. Elizabeth Murrow writes in Cultivating Sacred Space that the bamboo "is a symbol of graceful aging because it remains evergreen, unchanging with the seasons, and grows more beautiful with maturity." Why not give someone a special gift today? It may bring good luck and good fortune to both of you.
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