A common house plant, lucky bamboo, resembles real bamboo in the look, hence the name. However, it is an essentially different species. Called Dracaena braunii or Dracaena sanderiana is a plant grown in containers with pebbles and water, without any soil.
Aside from a decorative purpose, Lucky Bamboo brings special history and symbolism, as it is cherished for healing properties.
Where does the significance of lucky bamboo come from?
If you have ever gone in a garden that grows lucky bamboos and heard sound of breeze touching the leaves, you would know how calming it is. In Chinese traditional culture, this plant carries a plethora of positive meanings, but overall, it brings peaceful and prolific energy.
Lucky bamboo is especially significant to the Feng Shui tradition. It is thought to be following the vital principle in the Feng Shui culture- it is open on the inside, allowing the spirit to flow, as that is what soothes us.
What is actually Feng Shui?
Feng Shui stands for ‘’wind and water’’. It is a culture concentrated on energy, particularly Chi energy, as a force that keeps us alive and assuring health, well-being, and overall prosperity.
What does it have to do with today’s world?
Feng Shui principles are still in practice today, as people, regardless of the culture they are coming from, believe in positive bounce this kind of healthy energy provides.
In 21st century homes, Feng Shui is used to clean the energy and bring its different aspects back to balance. It serves to remind us of the connection of the surrounding space and our lives. Thus, a clean and organized environment makes us feel better. When the uplifting energy flows through the house, you are far more likely to feel accomplished and stimulated to succeed.
On the broader level, this practice should remind our modern minds that we should live in harmony with nature, just as much our ancestors were required to. We keep turning away from it, but a little bit of such a connection would for sure breathe in peace and prosperity.
How to arrange Lucky Bamboo according to Feng Shui?
Wise Feng Shui maters were studying powers of our Universal energy (which is called Chi in Feng Shui concepts). They discovered that a closed, unnatural environment, to dwell in this prosperous energy, should be made to resemble 5 key elements. Each of the components is associated with certain sounds, plants, locations, body organs, or colors. The elements defined 5000 years ago include Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Thus, lucky bamboo should be arranged accordingly.
Wood– the plant of lucky bamboo itself expresses the element of wood.
Fire– if you decide to give your dracaena a meaning higher than its decorative aspect, you should tie a red cloth around it, as this color symbolizes fire element.
Earth- as the plant is supported by pebbles, rocks stand for growth and fertility of Earth.
Metal- a pot the lucky bamboo is grown in already represents the metal element. If it is made in glass, make sure to add a metal coin inside to satisfy this aspect entirely.
Water- lucky bamboo is grown in pebbles and water. Thus, its roots need to always be covered in water. This is where the final element of Feng Shui comes in.
A number of stalks carry their own symbol.
A single stalk means unity and undistracted energy flow. Two trunks are thought to be spreading love, while number three stands for happiness. Five and six stalks are related to wealth. Seven serves to assure health in all of its aspects- physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and of any other area of life. Number eight is believed to stimulate growth and nine to bring good fortune. Ten stands for perfection. If you gift 21 stalks of lucky bamboo, you are sending out a wish for blessings.
Why there is no number 4?
Well, according to Chinese beliefs, number four refers to negative connotations, such as ‘’ death’’. Consequently, if you were keeping four stalks of lucky bamboo, it would be stimulating undesired energy. You should be careful when you gift this plant, as bringing in four of them would be offensive or rude.
A ‘’ bamboo’’ in the name is already clear from the look, but why do we call it ‘’lucky’’? This plant is capable of surviving and growing in quite harsh conditions. It does not need more than light, some rocks, and water. Thus, according to beliefs, it represents vitality, strength, and growth.
Where should I place my lucky bamboo?
In Feng Shui, the right position is vital to a desired transcendental effect. It is believed that if you keep your lucky bamboo on the eastern side of the house, it brings the energy promoting health luck, while if you move it to the southeast, it calls for wealth luck. It can also be placed on the south, as this position stimulates the fire element.
Keeping a lucky bamboo on the living room table is suggested, as it is believed this position prevents chi energy from accumulating. Chi is necessary for your body to run properly as it allows circulation. If you have ever felt a bit off-balance and could not detect the reason, Feng Shuists would explain your chi is accumulated. Thus, keeping lucky bamboos in the middle of coffee table prevents this powerful energy from being trapped and lets it flow freely instead. If you place it on the dining table, you would double this effect, as that is the center of family activities.
It is useful to keep lucky bamboo in the bathroom, as the wastewater gives out negative chi. On the shelf over the toilet, or on the bathroom cabinet, would be both an effective and aesthetic position. A dracaena in the eastern corner of the kitchen is a thought to bring happiness and joy.
However, as it may be a beautiful ornament to most of the corners in a house, avoid taking it in the bedroom. Any kind of green plant, according to Fung Shui adds extra energy that would hinder your sleep quality.
As we have demonstrated how lucky bamboo cares for you, how do you care for it?
A dracaena needs bright environment. It can survive in not so lit areas as well, but for its best prosperity, it should be exposed to enough sunlight. Try turning it around regularly, so all of the branches receive enough of this nutrient. However, sunlight should be indirect as the too strong wavelengths would damage the indoor plant.
Roots should be always covered with water. It should be checked upon regularly, around twice a week, and added when the level falls down. Every two to three months, you should change the water completely. Consider refreshing leaves with a bit of distilled water, to create humidity and moisture the plant loves.
When choosing a pot for lucky bamboo, make sure to add an inch of space between trunks, so the roots can develop properly. Accordingly, a vase is preferably made of glass or some other transparent material. Not only that it looks better, but it allows us to check on roots. If the plant outgrows the pot, you can easily replace the container, adding pebbles and some fresh water.
Although this plant is famous for its hardy nature, touch it and care for it. When leaves get dry, you should cut them away for the health of the plant and of energy that is being released.
Benefit on the chemical side
Like every other green plant, lucky bamboo contains chlorophyll, a substance that allows it to feed itself with photosynthesis. In nature, plants rely on sunlight, and this photochemical process to make food and yield oxygen. Interestingly, dracaena responds well to the unnatural, LED light, refreshing air in your home even at night.
It is not toxic to humans, but it is for cats and dogs. Make sure to keep it away from pets’ but also children’s reach, as if a baby eats some of the lucky bamboos, the child may experience some short-term consequences.
A bit more on Feng Shui History
In ancient China, villages were established within the mountain shields, keeping the population away from strong winds and some other harmful weather patterns. People who practiced Feng Shui principles were succeeding in agriculture, gaining social power with trade. Among them, social, military, or cultural leaders aroused. On the contrary, people on the other side of the mountain were struggling with harsh weather conditions. However, the beliefs around Feng Shui installed in communities, being redefined over centuries.
In the traditional setting, Feng Shui was regarded as a secret that used to be monitored by the Chinese Imperial Court. It was strictly forbidden to spread a word of this treasure to the ‘’outsiders’’. That is why this tradition was passed on from generation to generation in the family and thus got preserved to dare.
Hold tight for another legend!
Lucky bamboo is considered auspicious in terms of Vastu Shastra as well. This is an ancient Hindu study of architecture and design in view of nature. In terms of this culture, lucky bamboo promotes harmony and prevents us from negative vibrations.
To sum up
Lucky bamboo or Dracaena is a household plant that carry more than just beauty. Over the centuries, it was holding a culture of South Eastern ancient times. Significant in Feng Shui, the ancient mastery of utilizing energy to produce harmony between an individual and its surroundings, lucky bamboo arrangements have specific meanings on one’s life. The position and the number of plant strands are bringing various types of energy, allowing for perfect balance for prosperity in the household. Along with health benefits of chi, on the chemical level, this plant yields considerable amount of oxygen, keeping your house clean.
This minimalistic looking plant carries so much power as it reminds humankind that nature is part of our being, it heals us, and we cannot disconnect from it. We hope you can now understand this mastery, and bring its value to your life. Go to the store, and get your chi fixed.