QUESTION: I have a “lucky bamboo” plant in a pot of water with pebbles that looked great for awhile, but now it has grown big shoots out of each of the stalks. Can I cut off these shoots and re-pot them?
The first thing you need to know about lucky bamboo that it’s not bamboo at all, but a plant in the genus Dracaena (specifically, D. Sanderiana). Its close kin includes two other popular houseplants: corn plant andMadagascar dragon tree.
Growers of this easy-care plant suggest not cutting it from the top, but you can remove the extra shoots from the stalk with a sharp knife. Cut it flush with the stalk if you don’t want another shoot to grow in the same place. If you do want a shoot to re-emerge, cut it about 1/8-inch out from the stalk. You can try to root the cut-off shoots in water: Dip the ends in rooting hormone powder and let them dry overnight, then place the shoots in water. Eventually, new roots may grow. You can grow lucky bamboo in water or in soil.
These are relatively low-maintenance plants, but you do need to pay attention to the water they’re in, and add water as it evaporates so the roots don’t dry out. Every week or so, pour out the old water and add fresh, preferably filtered water, or tap water that you have allowed to sit out overnight.
Keep lucky bamboo out of direct light and away from extreme heat or cold, and feed it every couple of months with a very dilute solution of plant food (about 1/10 the recommended strength, plant care specialists suggest).
-Nashville’s native plant expert Margie Hunter is the guest at the February 21 meeting of the Perennial Plant Society. Her topic is “Going Natural in the Garden: Let Nature Be Your Guide.” The meeting is in Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall. Refreshments at6:30, meeting begins at 7, and is open to the public.
-Spring is on its way! The Nashville Lawn & Garden Show is March 1 – 4 the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Gardens, exhibit booths, lectures and more. Details here.
-In Putnam County, the Upper Cumberland Home & Garden Show is March 2 – 4 at Hyder Burks Agricultural Pavilion at Tennessee Tech inCookeville. Vendors, speakers and more, 4 – 8 p.m. March 2; 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. March 3; noon–4 p.m. March 4.
-The Nashville Rose Society is holding its annual Vendor Night at the March 6 meeting. This is the chance for rose growers – and all gardeners — to shop for supplies from mid-state vendors. 7 p.m.in Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall. The event is open to the public, More on the Nashville Rose Society here.
-The Middle Tennessee Daffodil Society Spring Show is March 31 and April 1 in the Potter Room, Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall. More about MTDS here.
-And it’s not too early to get these on your calendar, because these are events you won’t want to miss:
The Perennial Plant Society’s annual sale is coming back to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds April 14,9 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will be thousands of perennials for sale for sun and shade, all fromTennessee growers, so they’re adapted to our growing conditions. Admission is free, but PPSMT notes that the Fairgrounds has a $5 parking fee. To learn more, visit the PPSMT’s website here.
The Herb Society of Nashville’s annual plant sale is April 21 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. It’s 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., but get there early to browse through 15,000 herbs (including some of those hard-to-find varieties) and talk to the Answer Ladies and all the other herb fanciers who turn out for this annual event. Look for more info at the Society’s website here, and on Facebook here.