Everybody needs a good luck charm and I can't think of a better way to go than with a lucky Bamboo. These interesting plants are extremely tough and surprisingly easy to care for. These plants do not require a lot of light and can grow in many places where other plants will not easily thrive such as in a bathroom. The plant has only one basic need and that is water.
The Lucky Bamboo is actually not a bamboo at all. Its botanical name is known as Dracaena Sanderana. It is also known as the ribbon plant.
Many Feng Shui master recommend this plant because the plant can create a space where you feel energized and less stressed. I personally have one in every room and it is one of my most favorite plants. I have them in several locations, one on the porch, another in the kitchen and yet another in my office. They do well in almost any lighting condition. When I feel stressed out from a hard day, I often just look at the plant and think and it almost always gives me a feeling of comfort.
You can purchase Lucky Bamboo in a couple of different ways. Sometimes, you can find them already potted in all flavors of decorative pots. You can also purchase them loose and buy your own vase or pot. If you use a vase to display your plant, simply keep the roots covered with water. If you choose to plant them in a small pot, buy some small stones or even marbles to place around the plant to give it stability. The rocks also give the plant a nice decorator look.
Taking care of Lucky Bamboo is very simple and worry free. All you need is to keep the plant in clean water. It is a good idea to change the water once a week or so. If you have city water, let the water stand for 24 hours before putting the plant in it so the chlorine has a chance to dissipate. Better yet, use distilled water. If you have a well, the water is perfectly safe as is. You can add a diluted water-soluble houseplant fertilizer but it is not necessary.
Not only can these plants bring you joy, but they also bring good cheer to others in the form of gifts. You can create your own themes for any occasion simply by using the appropriate container. You can then add ribbons, picks or any other type of small object to create something truly special that will be cherished for time to come.
This week's garden tip:
With the warm weather, plant pests are sure to be eyeing your prized plants. One way to help ensure your insecticide stays where you spray it is to add a spreader sticker to your insecticide solution. A spreader sticker helps keep the spray on the plant and makes it harder for rain and your sprinklers to wash it off. This makes the solution more effective. A very inexpensive way to achieve this is to add a small amount of mild dish detergent or vegetable oil to your bug juice before spraying. You should never spray your plants in the heat of the day as the solution can act like a small magnifying glass and cause the leaves to burn.
Many of us are always looking for organic ways to kill pests and one of these is by using nicotine. When diluted with water and used as a spray, it can be effective in controlling sucking insects such as aphids, whiteflies and leafhoppers. You can make your own solution by using chewing tobacco. Simply make some "nicotine tea" by putting a wad of tobacco in a piece of old stocking material and placing it in water.
Let the brew steep a day or two and dilute it with about 40 percent water. You may also be able to purchase the spray at garden centers that sell natural insecticides.
Joe Zelenak has more than 30 years experience in gardening and landscape. Send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his Web site www.hometowngarden.com