Common Names: Lucky Bamboo, Ribbon Dracaena, Ribbon Plant, Belgian Evergreen, Chinese Water Bamboo, Friendship Bamboo, Water Bamboo
Synonyms: Dracaena braunii
Distribution & Habitat: Dracaena sanderiana is native to Cameroon in West Africa. It has become widely popular due to its ability to intertwine eastern mysticism with western new age culture. Dracaena sanderiana is a popular Feng Shui plant.
Dracaena sanderiana can be grown hydroponically or in soil.
This plant is rather diminutive. The leaves are widely spaced along the upright stems, giving the plant an open, airy appearance. The upthrust foliage curves gracefully ourward and backward. The plane , distinctly vertical, is an ideal choice for small side yards and planter boxes. It is an excellent container plant for a shaded terrace or lanai and may be placed inside a room provided with sufficient window lighting.
Dracaena sanderiana is a vertical, woody, evergreen shrubby species with slender stems and flexible strap-shaped leaves that grow as understorey plants in rainforests. It is an upright shrub growing to 1.5 metres (5 ft) tall, with leaves 15-25 cm (6-10 in) long and 1.5-4 cm (1-2 in) broad at the base. branching if it occurs, is from low down on the stem. Indoor height rarely exceeds 90cm (3ft).
It’s not really a bamboo. This member of the Dracaena genus has been around a long time, but has become a favorite of feng shui enthusiasts because it is believed to enhance chi energy and bring good luck. It is marketed in the developed world as a Chinese decorative plant “Lucky Bamboo” (although unrelated to Bamboo and not native to Asia), propagated from short cuttings, usually in water.
Proper Care: Dracaena sanderiana requires a constant clean water source and well lit area. It must maintain moisture and it is important to keep it out of direct sunlight. The Dracaena sanderiana does not require pruning, but fertilizing it occasionally with the Lucky Bamboo liquid fertilizer may help it healthy.
Dracaena sanderiana is a tender dracaena, this plant requires protection from excessive sun and wind; it prefers areas of rich, well-watered, well-drained soil; nor a dryland or beach plant.
Dracaena sanderiana has a slow growth rate and is easy to be transplanted.
Light: bright indirect light. In it’s native environment Dracaena sanderiana receive an ample amount of light. However, the surrounding plants shade the Dracaena sanderiana from direct exposure to the sun. Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn. It is important that the Dracaena sanderiana receive adequate light; lack of light will cause week growth, stretching and poor color. Low light conditions will, also, cause stunted growth and inhibit new leaf growth. The light requirements for Dracaena sanderiana are the same whether grown in water or in soil.
Temperature: Dracaena sanderiana needs moderate temperature. Normal household temperatures are fine 16-24°C (60-75°F). However, placing Dracaena sanderiana next to an air vent or a door can cause problems due to rapid temperature changes.
Dracaena sanderiana grown in Water:
Dracaena sanderiana grown in water is known under the common name Lucky Bamboo. Erect, bright green, cane-like stem with terminal, corkscrew twist bearing shoots of small, lance-shaped, parallel-veined, green leaves.
Water: Water level should be at least 5cm (2 in). Make sure the roots are covered with water; add water to keep the water level constant. Every couple of weeks change the water completely. Refill the container with clean water. Dracaena sanderiana is sensitive to the salts and chemicals in tap water; use distilled water or rainwater if possible. If you must use tap water let it set in an open container over night; this will let the chlorine evaporate. However, there is no way to remove the fluoride from the tap water. Fluoride can cause leaf tips to turn brown. Low humidity can cause leaf tips to turn brown as well. Mist the leaves of the Dracaena sanderiana every couple of days if lack of humidity is a problem.
Fertilize your Dracaena sanderiana every couple of months (you can go longer). A diluted (tenth of the normal strength) water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. The best time to fertilize is when you change the water. Lucky Bamboo liquid fertilizer is a handy fertilizer to use.
Dracaena sanderiana grown in Soil:
Dracaena sanderiana grown in soil is known under the common name Ribbon Plant. Lance-shaped, twisted, shiny,green leaves with cream/white margin; Up to 22cm (8 in) long; a tall erect, cane-like stem; bunches of 10’s.
Soil & Water: The Dracaena sanderiana should be kept moderately moist. Dracaena sanderiana does not like to be soggy or dry. To determine water needs stick your finger in the soil up to your first knuckle (about 2cm (1 in) deep); if soil feels dry, it is the time to water the plant. It is very important for Dracaena sanderiana to have good drainage good drainage when planted in soil. Dracaena sanderiana in soil will need to be misted every couple of days.
Fertilize the Dracaena sanderiana grown in soil with the same type of fertilizer as above, however you will need to fertilize once a month. Just replace one of your regular water cycles with the diluted water-soluble fertilizer.
Propagation: Take stem cuttings in summer and stand in fresh water. Re-cut stems at 45o with a sharp, clan knife or secateurs; put stem ends into conditioner enhanced, fresh water, away from heat and droughts; store at 12-15oC (53-59oF).
Dracaena sanderiana may be propagated from seeds. Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed. Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds. Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible.
Flowers: Bloom Color: White/Near White. Small, erect yellowish flowers clusters appear periodically. They are followed by small round, orange-coated fruits. The flowers have not esthetically appeal. The plant is grown for its brilliantly variegated and graceful foliage that makes it one of the most ornamental members of the genus. Bloom Time: Late Fall/Early Winter.
Leaves with brown tips can be caused by fluoride burn or lack of humidity.
Treatment: Fluoride Burn – replace water with clean distilled or rain water;
Dry Air – mist leaves every day or every couple of days.
Yellow leaves may be caused by too much light or fertilizer.
Treatment: Too much light – place more distance between the Dracaena sanderiana & the light;
Too much fertilizer – replace water with distilled water & don’t fertilize for several months.
Stalks yellow from bottom up can be a sign of too much fertilizer.
Treatment: Replace with distilled water and don’t fertilize. At the point that the stalks turn yellow it is often too late for the Dracaena sanderiana to recover. It is often better to cut the green top off and start a new plant. If you have more than one stalk in a container, but only one is yellow, remove the yellow stalk and change the water.
Brown or mushy stalks indicate root-rot; roots have rotted from over-fertilization or over-watering (plants potted in soil).
Treatment: Cut the healthy tops off and root new plants.
White sticky substance on stalks, snail-looking growth on stalks or cottony substances on stalks are caused by insects. Scale and spider mites can be, although rarely, a problem for Dracaena sanderiana.
Treatment: Clean the container and pebbles with soapy water (a few drops of dish detergent in water works well) and rinse completely. Wipe each stalk gentle with the soapy water and rinse well. Place the clean stalks in the container and fill with distilled water or rainwater.
Algae growing in water and on container is a result of too much fertilizer and light. Algae grows in nutrient rich water with ample light.
Treatment: Clean the Dracaena sanderiana, pebbles and container with soapy water following the same procedure as above. Place the Dracaena sanderiana in the container and fill with water. You might need to move it a little farther from the light or switch to an opaque container.
Availability: Dracaena sanderiana is available all year round.
Foliage – green or variegated
Shape – upright
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 18°C max 24°C (64-75°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 18°C max 24°C (64-75°F)
Humidity – high
Hardiness zone: 10a- 11