The Power of Lucky Bamboo

I may be crazy, but I’ve long believed in the power of lucky bamboo.  I’ve had a bamboo plant for 8 years now, typically in my office. Now according to Chinese tradition, the number of stalks has meaning.  Typically the rule is you want to avoid having odd numbers of bamboo shoots, as it is bad luck except for the number 8.  Here is a list of meanings I grabbed from

  • Two stalks represent love.
  • Three stalks represent Fu (happiness), Lu (wealth), and Soh (long life).
  • Five stalks represent the areas of life that represent wealth (e.g., spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and intuitive).
  • Six stalks represent good luck and wealth.
  • Seven stalks represent good health.
  • Eight stalks represent growth.
  • Nine stalks represent great luck.
  • Ten stalks represent perfection.
  • Twenty-one stalks represent a powerful blessing.

Now I bring this all up because I’ve long found my fortunes are often tied to this plant.  In the past when one stalk would be dying I would typically have a string of bad luck, at which point I would remove the dying stalk and replace it with another one and I would find my fortunes would change. You can typically buy them at a grocery store, so they aren’t that hard to come by.  I have found myself heading out to buy a replacement bamboo shoot in an effort to change my luck.  I would say this cycle has played out in my life at least 5 times now.  I’ve left work in the middle of a day to buy a bamboo shoot to try and right my luck.

It’s pretty easy to get busy and forget about a plant sitting in my office, but seriously this is freaky.  Up until tonight I was unaware of the negative connotations tied with having 4 stalks until I researched it.

4 Stalks are always avoided because the Chinese Four sounds similar to the Chinese word for Death.

I had a pot of 5 bamboo stalks and one had recently started dying.  So I was down to 4 stalks. As I’m sure many people are aware, my mother in law recently passed away from Cancer, so my wife Corina and I have been dealing with difficult things for awhile now and I can’t say rushing out to buy a bamboo shoot was a top priority. I then discovered today that while I was away for the weekend my dog, The Dude, passed away of a heart aneurysm while at my parents house(I’ll address that in a future blog, I just needed to spit this one out first).  Both of these passings occurred while I only had 4 healthy bamboo stalks!  That is just straight up fucked up.

As soon as it dawned on me after we got home I rushed over to Zehrs and purchased 3 more bamboo stalks and planted them.  I may be totally crazy, but that shit just totally happened to me.

  • Corina Harris

    James, my heart is with you. No matter what, you cannot take the blame or fault even through your bamboo. This was his time and he had to go. We will love him and we will remember him forever.

  • Cpowell247

    Damn! I just bought some bamboo from (obviously, some sadistic a-holes) last Saturday and there were 4 stems. Well, long story short, on the way home my wife and I had a bad arguement, I stayed the night in a hotel, and the next afternoon I got a DUI and was in jail for 5 days. I got back home yesterday and today I thought I’d check because I remembered that Bamboo is supposed to be lucky. Forget that!…I just got rid of one of the stalks and now have 3.  Let’s see what this week brings!

  • Orange Lee

    oh so sad. fengshui experts always says that 4 must be avoided cause it means death or bad luck. i was shock that really happend to you guys