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Thread: Observations of lucky bamboo

  1. #1

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    Lightbulb

    Don't mind me, i was bored and felt like being productive instead of working for a little. So...on with the post. Hope someone finds any of this info helpful.

    We all know that these things grow, duh, but apparently most of us have never had any luck through propagating them without a 2-3' long piece to hack up and a lot of time to watch most of them rot.

    Well, welcome to the office world, where plants of all sorts are forgotten about and most don't make it. This is where our story begins.

    I was walking past a persons desk in my office one day and noticed a rather etoliated bunch of lucky bamboo. I was confused at first because these were some of the thinnest lankiest looking pieces i've come across yet, even beating out the .99 cent store variety.

    Upon closer inspection I noticed something rather odd at the node of a shoot, and climbing part way onto the shoot. Apparently they turned out to be the start of root formation. I've heard through the grape vine that as another Dracaena these can be air layered for propagation...could this be a natural occuring feat in the midst of a corporate wasteland? I decided to approach this woman and ask her about the care of the plant, assuming that this had something to do with the nodal formations. According to the way she cares for the plant, and the way it's etoliated, it's almost like rooting or layering a cactus which threw me for a loop. The woman never fills it completely with water, the level is always pretty low, and definately below the rocks at all points...she is keeping it drier than most of the world would. I was thinking that this drier period, but with enough water to still barely sustain the life of the plant would increase the chances and rates of root growth. That's 50% of the theory...get the plant to think it needs to form more roots. So far so good, have half a theory...what about the other side of the coin? Half a theory is a start but a quick way for something to yellow up and die off. Now, the etoliation and the root growth seemed like a weird combination. Why would a plant that can't get enough light, and needs to stretch waste energy on root growth? Simple after a few minutes of thought. The plant would stretch over so much to get out from under something that blocked out the necessary amounts of light, to reach the light it would need. This extreme stretching would therefore place too much weight on the shoot, sooner or later bringing it into contact with the ground. The only way most plants deal with this sort of treatment is through extra support and layering themselves over the soil...or simply just putting down new roots to keep it going.

    This is only a theory and hasn't been put into practice by myself just as yet, going to try aquiring a few new pieces of stock to test it out on, but at least it's a theory, and something more to work with than most of us can seem to find on the internet. I'd like to hear some feedback on this, some thoughts, anything. Let's uncover these "secrets" of propagating this interesting species of Dracaena.
    Lithops care info: If you take care of it, it will die.

  2. #2

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    Are you sure those "lucky BAMBOOS" are Dracaeanas the ones they sell here look like they realy are Bamboosa(Sp?).
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

  3. #3

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    Real bamboo is a member of the grass family and honestly I haven't heard of any types of bamboo that wouldn't rot if you grew it in just water.

    Lucky Bamboo or Ribbon plant is actually part of the Dragon Tree family. It just looks like bamboo so they call it that. It's a lot of fun when you go into a shop selling it and ask if it's real bamboo, most places will tell you it is. It's just a very interesting species of Dracaena, which has also been called False Palm.
    Lithops care info: If you take care of it, it will die.

  4. #4

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    I have a few sticks of it and I keep it in about 2in of just water all the time and it's doing great. I've noticed a small growth in the shoots within just 2 months. I thought these things grow extermely slow. Mine sits near a window, but not direct.

    I understand your thoery and it makes sense. I just don't understand what you meant by the looks of it. I guess I can't picture it very good. To bad you didn't have a picture. I'd love it see it.

  5. #5

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    I'm only working in this office for 2 more days, then it's off to a new job.

    If I can i'll try to drag my big ol' cam into the office and snap a few photo's of the root formation on the plant. It would definately be nice to have just to prove it can be done.

    From the pieces that i've grown I really can't say that this plant is slow growing at all. In my last office I bought a piece and in 5 months it didn't put out a leaf, now I have it sitting in an easter facing window that gets some direct, and lots of indirect light and the thing is now exploding. In the first week and a half it put out two new leaves where it never put one out before and now it seems to be putting one new leaf out almost every week if not faster.

    I should get some fertilizer for it though. There's not really much in just water for it to absorb, and I know that they do make a specialty fertilizer mix for it to keep them extra green.
    Lithops care info: If you take care of it, it will die.

  6. #6

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    Yeah, I seem to like this plant. A lot of people don't, b/c it's "fake bamboo". So? It's still a beautiful plant. My shoots are rather increasing fast also.

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