Bamboo is cool, and I’ve always wanted to grow some in my home.

As our family got more into hydroponics, I started to wonder if it was possible to marry the two.

After some research and experimentation, I discovered hydroponic bamboo is a real possibility and easy to grow as long as you take the right steps.

Hydroponic bamboo grows just as well as any plant in a soilless system. Take a cutting off a healthy bamboo plant and put it in your hydroponic system. Offer extra support to keep it standing and provide plenty of nutrient water and light. Watch for yellow leaves and prune as needed.

Read on for a complete guide for growing your lucky bamboo in a hydroponic system.

bamboo hydroponics 1

Can You Grow Bamboo Hydroponically?

It is possible to grow bamboo hydroponically, though it requires a bit more setup than most other plants you’d typically grow there. 

Bamboo doesn’t easily rot in water, making it great for the water-based, soilless, hydroponic system. 

The strong vertical growth of bamboo lends itself well to hydroponics, which typically features a grow light directly above the seeds. 

The problem comes in the weight of the vertical growth and the space most bamboo takes. 

Many species don’t work well indoors, and unless you have a huge space (essentially an indoor greenhouse), they’ll be impossible. 

But with the proper setup, the right species, and the correct information, you’ll have a fun growing system for hydroponic bamboo. 

Best Bamboo Species To Grow Hydroponically

Not every species will do well inside. 

The Lucky Bamboo species is perfect for growing indoors and hydroponically.

This being said, there are three variations you’ll want to check out.  

  • White Stripe Victory – This bamboo gets its name from the white stripes around its light green leaves. 
  • White Stripe Gold – This variation has a white stripe around the light green leaves but also features a gold border around the entire sheet. 
  • Green Lucky Bamboo – This is the most common and simple version of the lucky bamboo. It’s simple and green and perfect for keeping inside. 

How To Grow Hydroponic Bamboo

Growing bamboo is tougher than most other plants, but with the rest information and setup, anyone can do it. 

In this section, we’ll go step by step over what you need to know. 

Note: Since lucky bamboo is the best species option, all steps and specifics will center around this one. 

Take A Cutting From The Donor Plant

Like all bamboo, the lucky species grows best when taken as a cutting off of another healthy bamboo. 

Choose a plant that’s strong and healthy with a lot of growth. 

Look at the stems on your donor plant and find some growing ones.

Using gardening shears or a sharp knife (to get a clean cut), trim 10” inches off one stem aiming to have 2-3 nodes on the bamboo. 

This gives the cutting a place already to grow and a better chance of taking.

As you cut, make sure you do so at a 45° degree angle from the ground.

Place Pieces Into The Water

Immediately or as soon as possible, put your bamboo cuttings into water. 

Whatever your container (or growth deck as they’re officially called in hydroponic systems), the bamboo should stand upright and be supported. 

Sometimes, a thicker pipe cleaner or wooden dowel rod would provide enough help to stand up until it settles on its own. 

A lot of bamboo gardeners will use stones in the bottom half of a jar or something to keep it balanced. 

Remember, bamboo will also grow straight up. This is great for an above-grow light, but you may want to construct a frame to let the bamboo grow and get the support it needs. 

Choose The Right Hydroponic System For Bamboo

With four variations of hydroponic delivery systems (and many subsets), it’s overwhelming to find the right one for your bamboo.

You need to pick the right one, but we’re here to help by going over each one and sharing why it may (or may not) be right for you. 


This system doesn’t use an aerator, water pumps, or any energy/electricity. 

For this system, you’ll need: 

  • Bamboo
  • Hydroponic reservoir
  • Perlite growing medium
  • Nurtient solution / Plant food
  • Nylon rope or another wick

In this system, your bamboo sits in perlite. Water and nutrient solution from your hydroponic reservoir is soaked up through the wick into the perlite and then to the perlite. 

It’s easy to set up and uses no extra tool, but it isn’t as effective in delivering nutrients. 

Fortunately, lucky bamboo is tough and doesn’t require as much as other plants, so this method works pretty well. 


  • Easy to build for low cost
  • Little to no maintenance is required
  • Works well with low maintenance plants such as bamboo


  • Not as effective in delivering nutrients
  • Requires a growing medium such as perlite

Deep Water Culture

In deep water culture, the roots are dangled into a deep amount of nutrient-rich water. 

They receive larger amounts of water directly to the roots. 

This system requires a larger hydroponic reservoir where you keep your water. 

Check out these DIY hydroponic reservoir ideas.

With this one, you’ll need an air pump/aerator to oxygenate the water and keep it moving to prevent mold and algae growth. 

With a DWC, bamboo grows faster than wicks, but the roots stay in the water, and if the water gets dirty or filled with bacteria, then root rot can set in quickly. 

Consistent upkeep will prevent this, but it requires a watchful eye on your part. 


  • Fairly easy to set up with only one mechanical part
  • Constant access to oxygen and nutrients
  • Bamboo grows fastest in this system


  • If the pump breaks down or mold sets in, bamboo may get sick
  • You need to check the water and set up regularly

Ebb And Flow

Ebb and Flow is also called Flood and Drain. 

Instead of constantly soaking the roots with water as with the deep water culture, we use a timer and water pump to fill up the growth container periodically and then let it drain down. 

This gives roots the time to dry out, prevents overwatering and the danger of illness, and keeps the water moving a lot to keep it healthy and clean. 

As such, we added a couple of items to our required list: 

  • Growth deck
  • Bamboo
  • Grow lights
  • Hydroponic reservoir
  • Air pump
  • Water pump
  • Tubes for carrying water
  • Timer

On the downside, there are a lot of moving parts that can fail, and breakdowns are common on most homemade systems. 

If you want details, you may want to check our article on how AeroGardens work. This brand is a great and affordable example of this type of hydroponic system.


  • Plenty of premade options are available
  • Great steady nutrient and water supply
  • Freshwater all the time
  • Bamboo grows well in this system  


  • A lot of moving parts which may break down
  • The moving water makes the pH level a little unbalanced

You may also enjoy checking out our review of the best AeroGardens for lettuce and small herbs.

Nutrient Film Technique

This technique is overkill for those who simply want to grow bamboo on their table or counter or in their house. 

Nutrient Film Technique is for commercial growing or growing a lot of a crop hydroponically at one time. 

Plants are arranged in a row with a thin layer of water underneath with a net cup holding them. 

Capillary pads soak up the water and nutrients and pass them to the plants as the water travels down the gutter-like trays. 

The setup here takes a lot of work, but you’ll be able to grow many plants hydroponically. 

We don’t advise this for most people. 


  • Grows many bamboo plants at one time
  • Set up easily and let go
  • Efficient use of water and nutrients


  • Pump failure endangers many plants
  • It takes quite a bit of money, work, and time to set it all up

Hydroponics is interesting and often confused with its cousin systems. 

Check out our detailed comparison of aeroponics v. hydroponics vs. aquaponics with a variety of helpful graphics. 

Mixing Your Nutrient Solution

bamboo hydroponics 2

For a good water solution, you’ll need two things: water and fertilizer or plant food. 

Clean Water

Water comes from the tap, sure, but do you know what’s in it?

If you have water from the city, it’s often treated with chlorine or chloramine. 

We live in the country and have a well-pump, so we didn’t have to worry about this.

But you may need to figure it out. Find a simple test to see how much is there. 

To be safe, either use rainwater or leave your water out in the sun for 24 hours before adding it to the hydroponic reservoir. 

Chlorine breaks down in sunlight, so this is a cheap fix. 

If your water has chloramine, this is more of an issue, but not much. 

A simple solution (that also works for chlorine) is to leave a cut lemon in the water for 24 hours. 

Lemon juice will break chloramine down. 

Plant Food

Bamboo isn’t a picky plant; it’ll grow well with any general plant food or nutrient solution.

Once the water is cleaned of chemicals, add a few drops (use the directions on the package for the exact amount) and mix it up. 

After this, simply start your water delivery method (as discussed above) and let the bamboo grow. 

Remember, too much plant food is a bad thing. At a certain point, it becomes toxic for your bamboo. Always check the directions and add the right amount. 

We’ve tried out quite a few liquid nutrients, but we always come back to the AeroGarden liquid fertilizer

The link above heads to Amazon if you want to check out this effective and affordable product.

Setting Up Lights And Temperature

Bamboo is a fairly tough plant, but it also grows in warmer areas than where I live. 

Make sure you use grow lights and check the temperature to make sure it stays stable. 

Aim for a constant temperature of 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C) and 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C).

Think about things that may mess up this temperature. Here are a few common things to watch for: 

  • Doors opening in and out nearby
  • Fridges opening
  • Heating vent
  • Air conditioning vent
  • Ovens nearby
  • Large windows that get a lot of wind

As for the light itself, 6-8 hours of sunlight is a good goal, leaning toward the 8 hours. 

Early on in the bamboo’s life, provide a lot of close sunlight, between 4-6” inches away from the plant depending on the strength of the LED light itself. 

As the plant grows, don’t keep the lights too close. 

If the lucky bamboo has too much light, it’ll start to drink more and more water, which may be a problem. 

If you’re providing enough water and the leaves are still yellow, the lights may be too close. Move them farther away. 

Fun fact: To make your bamboo curve and make cool shapes, move the light in the direction your want the bamboo to grow. 

It’s kind of a fun experiment, and kids love it! It’s perfect for getting your young ones involved in gardening. 

Grow Your Bamboo Plant

Repeat the process over and over until the bamboo is the height you want. 

Then, trim and grow more if you want! 

As the lucky bamboo grows, you’ll notice some leaves and other shoots appear and turn yellow. 

As soon as you see these turn color, prune them with a pair of sterile scissors or a sharp, clean knife. 

Bamboo, as with many plants, will spread its energy through their whole bodies, even to weak or dying parts. 

By pruning, we help the bamboo conserve and then send its energy where it’s best used. 

Check for signs of health as your bamboo grows and adapt as needed. 

One of the oddest signs of health is odor. 

Bamboo doesn’t give off a strong or pleasant smell like some flowers, but it does have a fresh smell when you sniff it. 

Look for this as a sign a new bamboo is growing well. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hydroponic Growth

All this is great, but why would you want to attempt bamboo hydroponics?

As with all things, there are pros and cons. Let’s talk about how this happens with bamboo in a soilless system. 

Pros Of Hydroponic Bamboo

  • Takes less room
  • No soil needed (so less mess too!)
  • Accelerates growth
  • It saves money in the long run
  • Easy to guide bamboo into cool shapes

Cons Of Hydroponic Bamboo

  • It takes more time to set up
  • Bamboo needs help remaining secure as it grows, especially when new
  • Bamboo roots are as stable as other plants

If you want to learn more about growing plants, check out our guide to hydroponic lavender