Pruning Lucky Bamboo Plants: Tips On Cutting Back A Lucky Bamboo Plant

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By Sheryl Normandeau

Lucky bamboo plants (Dracaena sanderiana) are common houseplants, and are fun and easy to grow. Indoors, they can quickly reach a height of 3 feet (91 cm.) or more, prompting gardeners to ask, “Can you prune lucky bamboo?” Fortunately, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!”—and it is a cinch to do.

Can You Prune Lucky Bamboo Plants?

Lucky bamboo isn’t really a type of bamboo at all, but rather a plant in a genus of trees and shrubs called Dracaena. Because lucky bamboo grows so fast, it has a tendency to become top-heavy, and the extra weight puts stress on the roots and the rest of the plant.

Cutting back a lucky bamboo plant invigorates and refreshes it and encourages new growth. If desired, selective lucky bamboo plant pruning can even change the shape of the plant entirely.

When to Prune a Lucky Bamboo Plant

When to prune a lucky bamboo plant depends on the height of the plant. You don’t have to wait until a certain time of year to do the job. You can prune lucky bamboo whenever it gets too large to manage.

Lucky Bamboo Plant Pruning

Using very sharp, sterile pruning shears, cut back any shoots that are thin, overly long, or growing crookedly. The shoots are the stems that have leaves on them. Trim back shoots to a length of 1 or 2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) from the stalk. This will encourage more shoots to grow from the cut area and will create a denser, bushier look.

If you wish to cut back your lucky bamboo more drastically, with the intention to reshape it, you can cut as many shoots as you want flush to the stalk. Usually, new shoots will not regrow from the pruned areas due to the close cuts.

Alternatively, you can cut the stalk to the desired height. Because of the possibility of infection, this is riskier than simply trimming shoots away. Plan carefully before you prune and be aware that the stalk will not grow any taller than where you make the cut. Only the new shoots will increase in height.

If you take a close look at the stalk of your lucky bamboo plant, you will see clearly defined rings, called nodes, on it. Make your pruning cut just above one of the nodes. Your cuts must be clean and smooth to minimize the chance of infection. There is no need to cut either the shoots or the stalk at an angle.

With a little planning and a few choice cuts, pruning lucky bamboo plants is an easy task!

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