Flora & Fauna
Plants, animals and nature-related activities.
Start the new year off right by planting some Lucky Bamboo with your gardeners this month. Besides the planting activity, share some interesting bamboo information and trivia.
; Lucky Bamboo shoots – approximately 6-8 inches high. You
can find them at many gardening shops and in the gardening
department at many grocery stores or discount stores.
; Glass or ceramic containers
; Stones, marbles, or pebbles
; Bottled or distilled water
Planting How-To & Growing Tips
Place several shoots in a container and add marbles, pebbles, or
stones. Add about 2 inches of bottled or distilled water and you are
done. Lucky Bamboo grows in water like cut flowers, but it will last for
years. For best results, change the water every other week. It is not
necessary to feed the Lucky Bamboo.
Lucky Bamboo is just about indestructible and adapts to new environments easily. Low light to bright indirect sunlight suits it well. It
prefers temperatures ranging from 65–90 degrees F. If the stems
become too tall, trim them back to the lowest leaf. This will encourage new shoots to grow off the side.
If the leaves begin to turn yellow, it is probably because of one of two things: 1) too much direct sunlight; or 2) heavily-fluoridated tap water
that is too salty. So, remember to keep your plant away from direct sunlight and to water it only with bottled or distilled water.
Activity Alert: It is important to remember that Lucky Bamboo leaves
are considered to be mildly toxic, so keep them away from pets or people who might eat them.
There are a variety of ways to dress up your Lucky Bamboo sticks. Add a red ribbon for luck in the Chinese New Year. Put them in an indoor fountain, or arrange them in a nice vase with fresh cut flowers.
About Lucky Bamboo
Lucky Bamboo has become very popular. You can find it in homes
and offices just about everywhere in the world. Well known
throughout Asia, this plant is probably the most popular indoor plant in
China. Chinese New Year is celebrated with the gift of this plant,
which brings good luck, prosperity, health, harmony, peace, and
Lucky Bamboo is not a real bamboo. Its botanical name is Dracaena
sanderiana. It is a member of the lily family and grows in the wild in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa. Because Lucky
Bamboo is resilient and requires minimal care, it makes a great
Lucky Bamboo is called "Fu Gui Zhu" in Chinese. "Fu" means rich,
"Gui" means noble, and "Zhu" means bamboo. If you translate, it
becomes "rich, noble bamboo."
What Is Feng Shui?
Lucky Bamboo is one of the plants recommended by Feng Shui
masters. Feng Shui literally means "wind" and "water.” Like wind and
water, its principles involve movement, flow, circulation, and the harmonious rhythm of natural energies. According to Chinese belief, a vital energy called "chi" animates all life. Chi flows through the earth, through the heavens, and through our bodies. Chi that flows through
our environments, our homes, workplaces, and communities can also
become blocked – just as a flower garden can't thrive if it is too
crowded. Feng Shui's intent is to balance and focus the "chi" in a particular environment and to correctly align it with the forces of nature. When our environments are in harmony with the universe, the "three great blessings" – health, happiness, and prosperity – can be
Meaning of Lucky Bamboo Numbers
Ancient Chinese tradition has it that the number of lucky bamboo
stalks you have determines what beneficial factors are brought into your life.
; Three stalks of Lucky Bamboo will bring happy life.
; Four stalks are to always be avoided. The word “four” is similar
to the Chinese word for death.
; Five stalks of Lucky Bamboo will bring wealth.
; Six stalks of Lucky Bamboo will bring prosperity and favorable
; Seven stalks of Lucky Bamboo will bring good health.
; Eight stalks of Lucky Bamboo will allow you to grow and thrive.
About Real Bamboo
; Bamboo (not the lucky kind) is a giant member of the grass
family. There are over 1,000 species of bamboo in the world.
; Bamboo is the world's fastest growing plant. Some species of
bamboo can grow up to a foot a day in the right conditions.
; Being one of the fastest growing plants on earth is a very lucky
thing because more and more uses have been identified for it.
Bamboo is considered the world's most useful plant. It can be
eaten, woven into fabric that can be worn, or used for building
; Mature bamboo columns are used for timber, plywood, flooring,
paper-pulp, reinforcement for concrete and basket making, just
to name a few.
; The young shoots of bamboo plants comprise 99% of the giant
panda’s diet. People, cattle, goats, and an assortment of wild
animals also use them for food.
; Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the
crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
; In China, new businesses are presented with towers of bamboo
canes as gifts of luck for the new venture. They are kept near
the entrance of the business to attract good fortune.