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Bambusa vulgaris

Bamboo Houseplant: Easy-Care, Exotic Air Purifier

An easy-care plant, bamboo is said to attract positive energy and bring good luck and feng shui to the household. Lucky bamboo, the houseplant grown in rocks and water that most people are familiar with, is not a true bamboo.

Other names for this plant...

Common bamboo Golden bamboo Yellow bamboo Feathery bamboo Lucky bamboo Curly bamboo Chinese bamboo Chinese water bamboo

About Bamboo

Bamboo houseplants can be grown indoors if you provide adequate light and humidity. They need regular watering and pruning, though they can handle a bit of neglect.

While most people are familiar with the short, stout, bright green bundles of lucky bamboo plants, it is not actually bamboo.

Golden bamboo is one of the most popular indoor bamboos to grow, and its large size and exotic appearance make it an excellent focal point. Bamboo is a known air purifier and is a symbol of strength, growth, and flexibility.

Botanical Name

Bambusa vulgaris

Plant Type

Bamboo is from the subfamily Bambusoideae, of the grass family Poaceae. This means they are tall, perennial grasses.


The most common place for bamboo to grow natively is Southeast Asia.


Bamboo is a member of the grass family. It is usually vibrant green or golden-brown and is a woody plant with hollow canes and feathery lance-shaped leaves.

There are many types of bamboo, but most have slender frond-like leaves.

Types Of Bamboo Houseplants

There are over 1,200 types of bamboo plants. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Buddha Bamboo (Bambusa ventricosa)

  • Friendship Bamboo (Dracaena Braunii)

  • Giant Leaved Bamboo (Indocalamus Tessellatus)

  • Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)

  • Hedge Bamboo (Phyllostachys glauca)

  • Lucky Bamboo, (Dracaena sanderiana)

  • Succulent Bamboo (Poaceae bambusoideae)

  • Umbrella Bamboo (Fargesia murielae)

Bamboo Houseplant Styling 

Most questions about bamboo styling refer to lucky bamboo arrangements, which are not true bamboo plants. Lucky bamboo indoor plants have become wildly popular recently and are commonly styled in deep, square pots of rocks and water.

Golden bamboo and other true bamboo varieties can grow quite large. They need a large, heavy, sturdy pot with plenty of sun and humidity. They’re happy in your sunniest window or as focal points in corners with plenty of natural light.

Smaller, bonsai-type bamboos also exist. These plants have shallow roots and look good styled in wide, flat pots. With rocks and moss added to the planter, they can resemble a mini jungle!

A large pot of bamboo makes a dramatic backdrop to a grouping of plants. Good choices include snake plants for vertical interest and trailing Pothos across the ground.

Small, lucky bamboo looks good styled in shallow pots, which tall varieties fill large, empty corners.


Most bamboo plants like to receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

However, some types do better in low light or indirect light. Be sure to research the specific type of bamboo plant you’re interested in to ensure you have a good spot for it.


Water bamboo once a week and allow the top inch of the soil to dry between waterings. Drainage holes and well-drained soil prevent root rot.

Bamboo plants can be sensitive to chemicals commonly found in tap water, so you may need to use collected rainwater, distilled, or filtered water.

Over-watering your bamboo plant can be detrimental to its health.


Most bamboo species can thrive in temperatures from 65 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit.


Indoor bamboo plants prefer relatively high humidity, especially when the temperature is warmer. You can increase the humidity between waterings by misting the leaves, using a humidifier, or placing the pot on a pebble tray filled with water.


Most bamboo plants will thrive in fertile soils ranging from neutral to slightly acidic. They like potting mix with good drainage.


New plant shoots that start to come up can be snipped off to prevent overcrowding in your bamboo plant. In addition, the root ball can be trimmed annually to prevent overcrowding of the roots.

Because bamboo is a fast-growing plant, repotting may be necessary every few years if pruning doesn’t keep new growth in check.


Bamboo needs a balanced, slow-release, liquid fertilizer. Growers should fertilize approximately every 3-4 weeks.

Height & Growth

Size is not consistent among types of bamboo. Some very tiny varieties only grow a few inches tall, such as dwarf bamboo. Some bamboo can grow over 50 feet tall in the wild, like the giant timber bamboo.

Golden bamboo, one of the most common varieties of true bamboo grown indoors, can grow 5-8 feet tall.


Both true bamboo and lucky bamboo are non-toxic to people.


True bamboo, like golden bamboo, is pet-friendly and non-toxic to dogs and cats. 

Lucky bamboo, which is not true bamboo, is toxic to your pets.

Common Problems 

  • Fungal Spots: Bamboo plants are susceptible to fungal problems, which typically present as rust-colored spots. Treatment can include a copper-based fungicide or simply trimming the diseased parts of the plant away.

  • Yellow Leaves: When bamboo plants have yellow leaves and are not doing well, it’s usually a sign of too much sun or damage from chlorinated tap water. It can also be as simple as over- or under-watering.

  • Over-Watering: A common issue is that the soil gets too moist and causes root rot. Because bamboo has shallow roots, this can cause the bamboo stalks to collapse and fall over.

  • Pests - Like any houseplant, bamboo is susceptible to mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. Quarantine affected plants and treat them with a pesticide.

How To Propagate Bamboo Houseplants

When looking to propagate bamboo, the easiest way is to trim cuttings off of the parent plant. Cuttings need to be done with clean scissors or shears. The cuttings should be placed in water until new roots have had time to form.

A second way to propagate bamboo is to place the cuttings in fresh potting soil. The soil should be moist and have plenty of holes for drainage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do bamboo plants need sunlight?

Most bamboo plants require at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day. However, like any houseplant, watch for signs of too much sun, like brown, crispy leaves or drooping.

How often should you water bamboo house plants?

Bamboo houseplants should be watered about once a week. The soil should be allowed to dry before watering again.

Is bamboo a good indoor plant?

Bamboo is a popular houseplant because it is relatively easy to grow. Always research the variety you’re interested in to see how large it gets and the growing conditions needed.

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