Why Does Lucky Bamboo Grow Slow?

Have you noticed that your lucky bamboo is growing slowly? If yes, then you might be wondering about the reason behind this. Read this article thoroughly to discover the possible reasons behind this issue.

Lucky bamboo can grow slowly for a variety of reasons. The most common cause of this issue is insufficient light. When this plant does not receive enough light, it will not be able to produce enough food and energy through photosynthesis. As a result, the plant will experience slow growth.

Additionally, lack of nutrients, inadequate watering, and stress can cause lucky bamboo to grow slowly.

In the following paragraphs, we will tell you why lucky bamboo grows slowly and how to make this plant grow faster than usual.

Let’s get started!

A Lucky Bamboo that Grow Slowly

Table of Contents

What Causes My Lucky Bamboo to Grow Slowly?

The Plant Does Not Receive Enough Light

Lucky bamboo is a plant that does not like direct exposure to intense and direct light. But if you grow this plant in a dark or complete shade, you cannot expect it to grow fast.

The best lighting conditions for growing lucky bamboo fast is bright indirect sunlight, or medium intensity grow light placed above the plant.

Light is the main element of photosynthesis. Without it, the plant cannot provide the necessary nutrients. In this case, the plant will not produce chlorophyll, resulting in leaf discoloration and slow growth.

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You Use Tap Water

Most people use tap water to irrigate their houseplants, but this can often cause many issues to your plants, including slow growth.

Tap water contains some metals harmful to lucky bamboo and many other plants. Metals such as chlorine and fluoride are present in abundance in tap water which can cause damage to the foliage and the roots.

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Tips to Grow Lucky Bamboo Fast

You Grow the Plant in Water Without Fertilizing

Most people prefer planting lucky bamboo in water instead of soil for aesthetic reasons. However, when you only grow a plant in water, you will deprive it of plenty of nutrients that exist exclusively in soil.

For example, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the three primary nutrients that a plant needs. Unfortunately, when you only grow your plant in water, you will deprive it of these nutrients. That’s why it’s mandatory to fertilize your lucky bamboo regularly using liquid fertilizer when you grow it in water.

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Too Many Stalks in the Same Pot

Crowded plants often feel “strangled” and have trouble getting the air and nutrients they need. They may even grow slowly and appear stunted and poorly developed.

Plants need room to breathe so they can make the energy needed to develop correctly. Also, when you grow too many lucky bamboo stalks in one pot, they will compete for water and nutrients, slowing down their growth.

It is essential to have plenty of space for your plants. Crowded plants don’t have room to expand, which slows their growth rate.


Many factors can cause your lucky bamboo to stress. Overwatering, underwatering, and extreme temperatures are all factors that stress this plant and cause it to grow slower than usual.

For example, when a plant is exposed to extreme heat during summer, it will use most of its energy for cooling instead of growing. Likewise, if you underwater your lucky bamboo, it will not have enough water to transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues at the top. As a result, it will decrease its growth rate before wilting.

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How Can I Make My Lucky Bamboo Grow Faster?

A Fast Growing Lucky Bamboo

Grow It in the Soil Instead of Water

If you are growing your lucky bamboo in water and want it to grow fast, you should transfer it to the soil. This will help the plant to get established quicker and benefit from the extra nutrients that the soil can provide.

Before transferring your plant from water to soil, check the roots for possible damage and let them dry in the shade. Then, prepare a pot with drainage holes that are large enough to hold your plant and fill it with half of the potting mix. Finally, add your plant and the other half of the soil mix to the pot and water thoroughly until all the excess water drains out.

Fertilize it During the Growing Season

Fertilizing your lucky bamboo at the right time will also help it grow faster. Fertilization prevents nutrient deficiency and disease, which promotes strong roots and increased growth.

But, lucky, bamboo can’t be fertilized all year long. This plant needs fertilizer when it is actively growing. That said, in dormancy, you should avoid fertilizing this plant.

During the winter months, plants are usually going through dormancy. This process allows your plant to conserve energy and prepare for the next growing season.

During the growing season, plants have a higher metabolism and a greater need for light and nutrients. This is when fertilization is needed most often.

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Place it in a Sunny Spot

A sunny window is generally the best growing condition for houseplants, as it provides the plants with the maximum energy.

There are several benefits of growing in the sun. Generally, plants that grow in full sun will grow faster, taller and bigger.

Plants that get plenty of sun produce more food and energy through photosynthesis. As a result, they grow much more quickly.

Prune Unhealthy Shoots

Trimming the unhealthy shoots will help the plant focus its energy on the healthy ones. This will help the plant grow faster than before.

It is essential to prune your lucky bamboo regularly, especially when the stalks and leaves are showing signs of weakness. They will become discolored and vulnerable to pests and diseases if left uncut.

By pruning your plants, you’ll encourage new growth, improve their shape and make it easier for you to care for them.

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Change Water When Regularly

If you love to grow your lucky bamboo in water, you should consider that water must be changed every 8 to 10 days.

If you keep using the same water for more than two weeks, bacteria and algae will build up. Bacteria can destroy nutrients in the water, making your plant grow slower than usual.

Eliminate Any Stress Factor

The most common stress factor for lucky bamboo is overwatering. You can avoid this problem by carefully monitoring the amount of water your plants receive.

If you are unsure whether or not your plants need water, you can always use a moisture meter to test the soil. If you check the soil at least once every week, you can be sure that your plants receive enough water.

Another factor that may stress your lucky bamboo is high temperature. You can keep your plant cool by keeping it in a shady location during the hot days or bringing it inside your house if the temperature is extreme.

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Diana Cox

I'm Diana from thegardeningtalk.com. I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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