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Monday, January 12, 2015 Home DecorHouseplants

Get Lucky w/Lucky Bamboo

Whether you believe in good luck or that we make our own, it never hurts to have two plants associated with good fortune around you: lucky bamboo and money tree.

Lucky Bamboo
Happily, you can find lucky bamboo in all shapes and sizes, from minis just a few inches tall to large, dramatic specimens woven into intricate designs. No matter what form your lucky bamboo is in, the care for this easy-growing plant is the same. Give lucky bamboo some light (though keep it out of too much direct sun) and ensure the container it's growing in has plenty of moisture in it. If you want your lucky bamboo to grow large and leafy, you can fertilize periodically with a fertilizer for aquatic plants (often available at pet stores in the aquarium section). 

The name lucky bamboo is a bit of a misnomer; it's not a true bamboo. Instead, it's a type of Dracaena and is more closely related to corn plant (the houseplant), annual spikes (sold in planters with geraniums and other flowers in spring), and dragon tree. It is, however, considered lucky as it brings the elements together: wood (the plant's stem); water (the water it grows in); earth (the rocks that support it); fire (the red ribbon often sold with it); and metal (the container it's in). 

Additionally, there's lore about the number of stalks in the container. For example, three stalks represents happiness; five represents wealth; eight represents health; and nine represents good fortune. 

Lucky bamboo also helps in a more concrete way: It efficiently filters pollutants (which can come from carpet, furniture, tobacco smoke, the toner in printers/copiers, etc.) from the air. Lucky bamboo is a natural air filter you don't have to change! 


Money Tree
Money tree (also called Pachira) is a large tree native to the tropics but is also often grown as a houseplant. Legend has it the plant attracts good luck. The leaves are divided into five segments, which represent the five elements, and like lucky bamboo, it's a symbol of good fortune to bring those elements together. 

You'll commonly see money tree grown with a braided trunk; this practice (which you can do with many indoor trees) gives it a more graceful, dramatic appearance in the home, helping it go from something in the background to a prime display piece. 

Money tree prefers a spot with medium to bright light and allow the potting mix to just dry between waterings. Being from tropical rain forests in Central and South America, it prefers plenty of humidity in the air --- making it a perfect pick for a well-lit kitchen or bathroom. 


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