Lucky Bamboo Meaning and Symbolism of Stalk Numbers

Updated December 28, 2021
Woman Cares For Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo has deep meaning and symbolism in feng shui. If you want to bring positive energy to the spaces where you work, live, and play (or gift them to someone else), then caring for or giving at least one lucky bamboo plant will bring on the good vibes. So, whether you give lucky bamboo as a gift, receive a plant from someone else, or add one to your home or office, you'll invite even more beneficial juju by understanding the meaning behind the number of lucky bamboo stalks and choosing just the right arrangement to realize all of lucky bamboo's many benefits.

Lucky Bamboo Symbolism

Lucky Bamboo Symbolism

Bamboo has long been the Chinese symbol for strength. Many admire the bamboo's qualities of fast growth and resilience. In Chinese, lucky bamboo is known as Fu Gwey Zhu.

  • Fu: Luck and fortune
  • Gwey: Power and honor
  • Zhu: Bamboo

Known as lucky bamboo for centuries, this tough and resilient plant is actually dracaena sanderiana, a member of the lily family. A tropical plant, it is native to the rain forests of Cameroon, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

A strong symbol of good luck, lucky bamboo signifies good fortune, health, and prosperity. One of the most popular feng shui cures, lucky bamboo activates stagnant energy and enhances the flow of good vibes (beneficial chi) throughout your home or workplace. It is important to take care of lucky bamboo to ensure its health and vitality.

Meaning of Lucky Bamboo Stalk Numbers

Lucky Bamboo Numbers Meaning

Much of the luck associated with dracaena sanderiana comes from the number of bamboo stalks grouped or woven together into an arrangement. This number determines the types of energy the Chinese good luck plant attracts into your home and life. How many bamboo stalks are lucky? The more stalks in the planter, the greater the blessing of good fortune and luck.

Single Bamboo Stalk

Single lucky bamboo stalk

A single stock of lucky bamboo is symbolic of a strong, prosperity-filled life. This plant is a favorite for businesses to give as gifts, especially to other companies, since it promises to keep the business growing.

Two Bamboo Stalks

The number two represents relationships of all types. People often send two stalks of bamboo as an expression of love, whether to a life partner, a friend, or a family member. This means that giving two stalks of lucky bamboo as a gift represents the love you share in your relationship with the giftee. Likewise, placed in your own space, it can bring love energy to your relationships. You can also use two lucky bamboo stalks to double your luck.

Three Bamboo Stalks

3 lucky bamboo stalks

Three is a lucky number in feng shui, so a lucky bamboo plant with three stalks is an especially potent arrangement. The Cantonese word for "three" (sāam) sounds like another Cantonese word (sāang), which means to be born or to live. Birth is a joyful event, and thus the number three has powerfully positive energy, which is why it has such good vibes in a lucky bamboo arrangement.

A three-stalk lucky bamboo brings three kinds of luck to you:

  • Happiness: Fu
  • Long life: Soh
  • Wealth: Lu (career promotions)

Four Bamboo Stalks

In the Chinese language, the spoken word for four sounds very similar to the word used for death. The number four has the same kind of connotation and draws sha chi (negative energy). You'll never find a four-stalked bamboo plant in the Chinese culture, nor would you ever give one as a gift. To do so is extremely rude and would be interpreted as wishing death on the recipient. Avoid four-stalk arrangements.

Five Bamboo Stalks

The overall energy attracted to a five bamboo stalk plant is one of health. The five-stalk bamboo reinforces health in each of the five areas of your life:

  • Emotional
  • Intuitive
  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual

Six Bamboo Stalks

6 lucky bamboo stalks

A six-stalk arrangement is lucky for a few reasons. First, six in the Chinese language also sounds like the word for luck. Six bamboo stalks attract prosperity and advantages to achieve greater wealth. Likewise, six is a multiple of three, so it carries the same lucky energy, only doubled.

Seven Bamboo Stalks

Seven stalks of bamboo bestow good health. This number represents the combination of the five chi elements of feng shui plus yin and yang, making it a powerfully lucky number in feng shui and in Chinese culture. Because they represent the balance of all aspects of chi energy, seven bamboo stalks can also bring harmony to any space.

Eight Bamboo Stalks

Once more, the Chinese language plays a big part in this number's law of attraction. Eight sounds like the word used for prosper, grow, or thrive. Likewise, because an eight looks like the infinity symbol, it can also represent continuous business success and prosperity. An eight-stalk arrangement also improves fertility.

Nine Bamboo Stalks

Nine is a multiple of three, and thus triples the good luck associated with a three-stalk arrangement. It is also the symbol for good luck and bestows great fortune to whoever receives a nine-stalk plant. In feng shui, nine also represents the high point in a cycle or experience. In that way, a nine-stalk arrangement, given as a gift or placed in your spaces, represents the pinnacle of success, luck, and well-being, and it can attract those energies into spaces where it is placed.

10 Bamboo Stalks

The number 10 represents the end of a cycle where you can look back upon your journey and success with satisfaction. If you have a 10-stalk bamboo arrangement, then the wish for you is to feel complete and complacent. The hope is that you find your life to be perfect. If a 10 bamboo stalk plant is given or received as a gift, it indicates the sender wishes the recipient to have everything in life just as they envision and desire.

21 Bamboo Stalks

If you have a 21-stalk lucky bamboo plant, then it is a very powerful overall blessing for great wealth and enduring health. The number 21 is the combination of seven and three--the luck of three is multiplied seven-fold, bringing the positive energy of both of these numbers.

Lucky Bamboo and the Five Feng Shui Elements

Lucky Bamboo and the Five Elements

Used in feng shui, a lucky bamboo plant usually has a combination of all the five elements, which are represented by:

  • Wood: Bamboo plant
  • Earth: Stones or pebbles
  • Metal: Glass or metal container, or you can attach small a metal figure or coin to the container
  • Water: Grow medium
  • Fire: Red ribbon tied around bamboo stalks or container

How to Curl Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo , Dracaena Sanderiana. A tropical ornamental plant at floral market

You may have seen photos or an actual plant that is curled, wavy, or has several stalks woven together. Lucky bamboo is a naturally stick-straight plant. However, with skill and care, you can grow it to make it curl, although it's probably easiest to purchase lucky bamboo that has already been curled since curling takes time and attention. Growers place the stalks on a flat table in a greenhouse. Three sides of the stalk receive no light while one side is exposed to bright light so it grows in that direction. To achieve the curl or wave, the stalk is manipulated and rotated. Curling the stalk can take a year or longer to achieve. Cutting lucky bamboo also helps you maintain or propagate your plant.

Lucky Bamboo and Feng Shui

You can use lucky to help you achieve harmony in your home. Use the lucky bamboo stalk meanings to ensure you select the best arrangement for your needs. Never place plants in a bedroom, even if it's lucky bamboo. This creates too much yang energy and will have a negative effect on sleep. Instead, place lucky bamboo in the wealth sector of your home, a room, or your office, or share it as a gift to confer blessings upon someone else.

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Lucky Bamboo Meaning and Symbolism of Stalk Numbers