Sunday, October 12, 2014

Feng Shui and the Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo makes the perfect house or office plant. It needs little care - only about an inch of water and little direct sunlight to keep it happy and thriving.

Known for centuries as Lucky Bamboo, the plant is not a bamboo at all. The botanical name is "Dracaena sanderiana." It is a resilient member of the lily family that grows in the dark, tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia and Africa. Lucky Bamboo has long been associated with the Eastern practice of Feng Shui - or the bringing of natural elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal into balance within the environment.

The Chinese Legend says a gift of Lucky Bamboo can bring good luck, prosperity, wealth, and happiness. This little indoor bamboo plant is considered lucky in Feng Shui when it combines and represents all five elements of Feng Shui.

Wood  (the bamboo itself)
Earth  (the rocks the bamboo grows in)
Water  (the water the bamboo grows with or a glass pot)
Fire  (most pots usually have a red ribbon tied to them)
Metal  If the bamboo is planted in a pot other than glass, such as clay or ceramics, it will usually be round in shape - as this represents the metal element.

To enhance the intentional use of Lucky Bamboo, use a specific number of bamboo stalks:

Two (2)  for Love & Marriage
Three (3)  for Happiness
Five (5)  for Health
Seven (7)  for Wealth
Eight (8)  for Abundance
Nine (9)  considered a lucky number and is an overall good number for Good Fortune and Happiness.

Bamboo, since Confucian times, has been identified with strength and fortitude. Though bamboo may be blown down in the storms of life, after they pass, the resilient plant rights itself and goes on, just as we must do when faced with adversity. Lucky bamboo fits right into the Feng Shui system because of the old association with bamboo and the fact that green is a lucky color. It's a kind of lightning rod attracting positive chi your way.  "It teaches the ultimate wisdom: how to be flexible and hollow (open) on the inside, so that the spirit can freely flow and heal your being."

Lucky bamboo enjoys indoor environment, and dislikes direct sunlight. Air exposure comforts its green leaves. All you need to do is to put it in clean water and change the water once a week. Tap water is fine but put the water in a glass or a bowl and let it sit for 24 hours before adding it to your lucky bamboo. The chlorine and fluoride in tap water will evaporate or neutralize during that time. Only use enough water to cover the bamboo roots. High water level may induce excessive roots.

Two problems occur on this dracaena. Spider mites can become a serious problem; sometimes building up to such high populations they cause webbing. Washing the leaves off can control them. The second problem is a leaf tip burn caused by either high salts or high fluoride concentrations in the water. Using rainwater to fill the container is a good way of avoiding these problems.

If your plant is yellow, change the water immediately, and do not give it plant food for a month. Once the stalk turns yellow, it is very difficult to reverse the damage; if it is clear that you cannot save that stalk, remove it immediately to prevent any plant diseased from spreading to the other stalks.

With proper care lucky bamboo plants can grow two or three feet tall, and last for years.

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