Dracaena sanderiana, better known as Lucky Bamboo is not a bamboo but belongs to the lily family. It grows under low light conditions in the rain forest canopy in Southeast Asia. This makes it an ideal plant for the office, or room with little sun. It is used in the Feng Shui system, as green is a lucky color attracting positive chi. Lucky bamboo is given on special occasions such as the New Year.
Lucky bamboo needs little care and should be grown in the shade/no direct sun at temperatures between 60-80F. It grows well under fluorescent lights. Keep the plant in at least 2 inches of water and change the water weekly. Use bottled spring (not distilled) or rain water. Tap water may have too many chemicals (salts, chlorine, and fluoride) which can lead to yellowing stem and an eventual slow death.
Feed only when leaves turn a light color. Use fish emulsion or a diluted organic fertilizer.
Keep the plant away from heating vents and air conditioners.
Brown tips 1. too much fertilizer or other chemicals such as fluoride in the water 2. low humidity
Yellowing leaves: 1. too much direct sun exposure 2. watering with tap water that is softened or fluoridated.
Webbing on the leaves– indicates spider mites. Wash the leaves can help control the problem.
The jel-like substance on the roots is a polyacrylamide, white crystal granules that swell up like a sponge and holds up to 200 times its weight in water. It is not harmful to the roots. In fact, it reduces the need for watering as it slowly releases the absorbed water over an extended period of time. Once all the moisture is gone, the gel shrinks back to its original size and will need to be rehydrated. This polymer will not harm the plant, perhaps save you some watering time. You can leave it or rinse off the slippery gel. Lucky bamboo stalks are often shipped in this polymer to maintain moisture on the roots.