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What Fertilizers to Use for Lucky Bamboo?

Lucky bamboos have become an indoor staple addition in homes and offices. Are you wondering what to get for your friend as a birthday gift? Get them a lucky bamboo.

And a good NPK fertilizer as well, just in case! Trust me; your friend will love that gesture as well as the baby plant!

The best fertilizer that you can give your lucky bamboo is organic manure or compost. If your lucky bamboo grows in a water medium, make sure to provide them water-soluble liquid fertilizers.

A Collection Of Spiral Lucky Bamboos
A Collection Of Spiral Lucky Bamboos

Here’s something fascinating, did you know that lucky bamboos were popular even 4000 years ago among the Chinese people? 

With all that prosperity it is supposed to bring, if your family owns a historic lucky bamboo, I bet you’re a millionaire!

Lucky bamboos love that extra bit of love along with minimal plant food. And, with the appropriate mixture of a perfect growing condition and fertilization, you will get the lucky bamboos of your dreams.

How about we go deeper into the kinds of fertilizers suitable for your lucky bamboo plant?

Instances Where you Need to Fertilize Lucky Bamboo

To all those people out there who are either busy or just too lazy to fertilize your plants, here is good news, lucky bamboo requires minimum to no fertilization.

However, if your lucky bamboo has come across the following instances, fertilization might be their greatest friend!

1. Distilled Water Lacks Nutrients

Are you using distilled water for your luck bamboos? If so, I am pretty sure that your beauties are not growing as much. Want to understand why?

Distilled water is free from most mineral compounds such as iron and magnesium, which is crucial for the proper development of plants.

And, if you do not have access to any other kinds of water, go ahead and get yourself a mineral-rich fertilizer. Sometimes the plant stores have plant-specific vitamins as well.

However, make sure to read the instructions properly before incorporating the fertilizers. Too much of a good thing can be harmful!

A Single Stem Of Water Rooted Lucky Bamboo
A Single Stem Of Water Rooted Lucky Bamboo

2. Dirty Water Breeds Disease

Dirty water usually invites plenty of diseases, bacteria, and fungi to your lucky bamboo.

And, this is remarkably accurate in case you have planted your lucky bamboo in a water medium.

If you see that the water has started developing algae or has a dirty and cloudy appearance, change the water immediately.

The dirty water might have already infected the roots. Therefore, to avoid any problems in the future, it is best to add some liquid fertilizers in an adequate amount.

Remember that lucky bamboos in a water medium require considerably fewer fertilizers than those in a soil medium.

3. To Stimulate Growth

What’s a quick fix to a stunted lucky bamboo or any other plants? Fertilization!

If you want your lucky bamboo to grow efficiently and produce large foliage, fertilize them once in a while. A well-fertilized lucky bamboo will have a strong stem and produce lush green leaves.

However, make sure not to over-fertilize, or you might end up killing your bamboos. Fertilization is encouraged only during the growing seasons, that is, spring and summer.

4. Yellowing Plant Leaves

Yellow leaves in lucky bamboos can be either due to over-fertilization or under-fertilization. If you haven’t fertilized your lucky bamboos in a long time, or ever, then it is probably due to a lack of nutrients.

Add in some good fertilizers to prevent the yellowing of the remaining leaves. It is best to cut off the yellow leaves and stems to avoid the rotting of the plant.

NPK Values of Fertilizer

NPK fertilizers are trending in present days for all good reasons. From gardeners to farmers, all promise by this particular mix of beneficial minerals.

Go to a plant store, and you might be dazzled by the numbers on the packaging of fertilizers. You will come across denotations such as 2-2-2, 8-12-6, 4-8-16, and so on. What exactly do these numbers denote?

These are the NPK value, their concentration in a particular bottle of fertilizers. But again, what is NPK?

NPK is simply the short form for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, the three most influential macronutrients for plants.

A Close-up Image Of  Lucky Bamboo
A Close-up Image Of Lucky Bamboo

The higher the numerical value, the more concentrated the fertilizer is. What is the role of each of these compounds?

  • Nitrogen – Nitrogen is responsible for the growth and development of the leaves of the plants.
  • Phosphorus – Phosphorus is responsible for flowering, fruit development, and root growth.
  • Potassium – Potassium is responsible for overall plant development and functioning.

The numerical denotation for each of these nutrients helps you choose the best kind of NPK fertilizer for your plant.

It is best to use NPK fertilizer in the ratio of 2-2-2 for lucky bamboo.

For instance, if you want to grow green leafy spinach, you could opt for a fertilizer with high nitrogen content.

Likewise, if you want your peace lilies to flower, go for a fertilizer with a high phosphorus content.

What Fertilizer to Use for Lucky Bamboo?

Lucky bamboos enjoy natural and organic fertilizers. And, you can never go wrong with all-natural plant boosters. Fertilizers specifically manufactured for grass also work well for any bamboo plants.

Nevertheless, it is always best to use fertilizers explicitly for lucky bamboo plants to be on the safe side.

Most of the lucky bamboo fertilizers available in the market are NPK. These NPK synthetic fertilizers are suitable for the vigorous and quick growth of lucky bamboos.

Below you will find a few of the most popular lucky bamboo fertilizers in Amazon.

Name of the FertilizerElementsProduct Link
Grow More 7857 Lucky BambooNPK (2-2-2)Click here!
EarthPods Premium Bamboo + Bonsai Plant FoodPlant nutrients and mineralsClick here!
Super Green Lucky Bamboo Fertilizer Ready-to-use All Purpose Plant FoodNPK (0.01-0.008-0.02)Click here!
Bamboo Special 12 Month Control Release 13-5-11 High Nitrogen FertilizerSlow releasing nitrogenClick here!

Fertilizer for Lucky Bamboo in Water

Lucky bamboos in water are prone to fungal and bacterial infections as the roots are exposed. They also have high chances of the development of algae along with other harmful microorganisms.

Hence, a nitrogen-based liquid fertilizer works best to address all concerns relating to lucky bamboos in water.  

Fish tank water works like magic! Dilute the water from the fish tank with an equal amount of tap water before adding it to your lucky bamboo.

For starters, add the nitrogen-rich water once in 15 days or a month, depending upon the size of your plant.

See how your bamboo reacts and increase or decrease the frequency accordingly.

Fertilizer for Lucky Bamboo in Soil

Organic compost or manure works best for lucky bamboos that are planted outside your living space.

And, due to their pungent smell, it is best not to use manure or compost fertilizers for indoor potted lucky bamboos.

It is best to use a liquid fertilizer for indoor lucky bamboos and dilute it with an appropriate amount of water.

How to use Fertilizer in Soil Based Lucky Bamboo?

Scoop out some soil around the base of your lucky bamboo. Add in the fertilizer and cover it up with the same soil.

Make sure to use fertilizers only as needed and in small amounts to see how your plant reacts. As lucky bamboos are not heavy feeders, too many fertilizers can degrade them.

What Would too Much Fertilizer do to your Lucky Bamboo?

Under-fertilization is unhealthy, but over-fertilization can be life-threatening to your lucky bamboos.

If you add in too many fertilizers, the roots cannot filter out the vitamins and minerals. And, they end up soaking everything available around.

As a result, the first signs are visible in the leaves. Next, they tend to go yellow and sickly. Unless treated, eventually, the stems start appearing yellow and squishy.

Once the stem is damaged, there is no way you can revive the plant.

Overfertilization is the best way to kill your lucky bamboos.

Sometimes, if the fertilizer is very potent, it immediately affects the root system and kills it. This could be a plant lover’s worst nightmare!

Henceforth, if you are unsure whether your lucky bamboos need that fertilizer, you are better off not fertilizing it unless the situation demands it.

Lucky bamboos in water medium are more prone to damage due to excessive use of fertilizers.

3 Ways to Make Organic Fertilizer for Lucky Bamboo at Home

Organic fertilizers are always excellent when it comes to giving that extra boost of minerals and vitamins to your lucky bamboos.

The following are some simple ways to make a healthy organic fertilizer for your bamboo plants.


Kitchen wastes make up for excellent organic fertilizer. Collect all the vegetable and fruit peels and food waste and store them in a large container outside the house.

Within 30 to 45 days, your compost fertilizer will be ready to use.

However, this is only ideal for a soil-based lucky bamboo.

Fish Tank Water

These minerals and organic matter-rich fertilizer are the best for both your water and soil-based lucky bamboos.

The water you get after cleaning your fish tank is very rich in nitrogen. So dilute this water with regular tap water and feed your lucky bamboos once in a while.

Banana Peel

Just like you and me, lucky bamboos love bananas. To be more precise, banana peels! So save all your banana peels, cut them into small pieces, and soak them in tap water overnight.

This water is now rich in potassium which will help your bamboos grow efficiently.

Use it for your soil-potted lucky bamboos for a healthy appearance.


Lastly, I would like to stress the fact that fertilizing your lucky bamboos is not mandatory. However, if they show signs of nutrient deficiency, fertilize sparingly.

Growing lucky bamboos is very convenient; no wonder they are growing in popularity.

Follow the tips and tricks mentioned above while fertilizing your lucky bamboos and bring prosperity and beauty to your doorstep.

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