Planting Lucky Bamboo in Dirt or Soil

Now that the warm months of the year have arrived, I often get asked the question of whether or not you can plant lucky bamboo in dirt or soil.  Further inquiry usually reveals that these folks would like to plant their lucky bamboo plants outdoors in their garden or on their balcony, etc.  So the question is really two fold:  1) Can I plant lucky bamboo in soil?, and 2) Can I plant lucky bamboo outside?

The simple answer is "yes", you can plant lucky bamboo in soil, and occasionally, you will even find it for sale that way.  However, I usually don't recommend it because it is very easy to let the plant dry out too much in soil.  If you do plant in dirt or potting mix, make sure to always keep the soil very, very moist, almost swampy, to keep your lucky bamboo looking its best for a long time.  And be sure to use dirt or potting soil that is NOT pre fertilized as lucky bamboo stems are quite sensitive to over fertilization.

Regarding keeping your lucky bamboo out of doors, you must first understand lucky bamboo in its natural environment.  Lucky bamboo is naturally found as an "underbrush" plant, per se.  It grows under a thick canopy of dense trees in a warm, moist environment; it rarely receives direct light.  If you can recreate this environment for your lucky bamboo AND keep the soil sufficiently moist, your lucky bamboo might just make it.  Otherwise, it is safer to keep your lucky bamboo plant indoors where it can be regulated much more easily.