Grow Lucky Bamboo in a DIY Water Garden

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A bamboo water garden makes a lovely green gift during a dreary winter.
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"Lucky" bamboo is actually a member of the dracaena plant family.
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Red is a symbolically significant color in feng shui, however, you can choose to use any color of embroidery thread you prefer.
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Plain mason jars can be re-used in a variety of ways, including this low-maintenance water garden.
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Fill the base of your water garden with small aquarium rocks.
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Use a tiny drill bit to make holes in the rim of a mason jar lid.
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Use pearl or cotton embroidery thread to cross from hole to hole in the band of the jar.
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The finished red starburst on the top of the mason jar rim symbolizes fire, one of the five natural elements included in this project.
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The number of bamboo stalks included in a feng shui bamboo garden have different meanings. Two stalks symbolize love and harmony.

Feng shui is based on the idea that our homes are a mirror of our inner lives. According to the practice, by carefully considering what we bring into our homes, we can get in sync with our environment and enable our homes to reflect who we are. 

Consider making this simple, positivity-promoting DIY gift for the plant lover in your life — or anyone who needs a refreshing bit of life during the dark, dormant days of winter. “Lucky” bamboo is actually not a bamboo, but a dracaena, part of the family that includes spider plants and Easter lilies. Placed in a minimalist Mason jar with gravel, it makes a low-maintenance houseplant, which only requires indirect sunlight and weekly watering with fluoride-free water (to prevent the tips of the leaves yellowing).

This gift is easy and affordable to make, and you can personalize it using some of the symbolic feng shui tips that follow.

Making Your Water Garden

Before we jump into this project, let’s talk stalks. The number of stalks we add to our lucky bamboo water gardens is important according to feng shui. One symbolizes simplicity; two, love and harmony; three, happiness; five, achievement and creativity; seven, health; eight, wealth; nine, luck and good fortune in every aspect of life; and 10, fulfillment and excellence. Any more than that would most likely require a bigger vessel.

Numbers aren’t the only things we might want to keep in mind when making our lucky bamboo water gardens. To increase their potency, feng shui says we should add representatives of each of the five elements: wood (the plant itself); fire (something red); earth (rocks); metal (a Mason jar ring); and water. With all the symbols in mind, we can now get down to business.


• 1 wide-mouth jar band
• Marking pen
• Scrap wood
• Drill and tiny bit
• Sewing needle
• 40 inches of red pearl cotton or embroidery thread
• One 1-pint, wide-mouth Mason jar
• Aquarium gravel or rocks
• Lucky bamboo stalk(s)
• Distilled water


1. Mark 12 evenly spaced holes around the inside top of the jar band. Place the band on a piece of scrap wood, and drill a tiny hole at each of the markings.

2. Thread the needle with the pearl cotton or embroidery thread. Bring the thread up through a hole in the band. (We’re going to consider this hole No. 1.) Count over to hole No. 5 and bring the thread through it. Then count over to hole No. 9 and bring the thread through it. Take the thread back over to hole No. 1 to complete a triangle.

3. Carry the thread from hole No. 1 to hole No. 2 and repeat the process that you used creating the first triangle, this time moving from hole No. 2 to hole No. 6 to hole No. 10 and so on until you’ve used all 12 holes made in the lid.

4. Secure the ends of your thread by making a knot close to the holes on the underside of the band, and trim the excess thread.

5. Fill your jar with about 2 inches of rocks, nestle the bamboo stalks into them, and slip the stalks and leaves through the center of the red starburst.

6. Add water, which should be changed weekly. Place your bamboo garden in bright, indirect light.

Reprinted with permission from Mason Jar Nation, by JoAnn Moser, published by Cool Springs Press, 2016.