Lucky bamboo – also known by its plant name as Dracaena sanderiana – is a gift commonly bestowed upon those who you want to wish feng shui, as well as different types of blessings.
Depending on the number of bamboo stalks you include in this gift, you impart a different meaning or blessing.
So, how many bamboo stalks are considered lucky? Well, it all comes down to how much and what type of luck you want to wish upon the receiver. In the Chinese tradition, nine stalks of bamboo represent great luck, whereas six stalks of bamboo represent luck and wealth.
There are meanings associated with different numbers of stalks you include in a lucky bamboo arrangement, and in this article, we’ll explore the following:
- What is the significance of lucky bamboo?
- What is the meaning behind nine stalks of lucky bamboo?
- What is the meaning behind six stalks of lucky bamboo?
- What are the other meanings behind different lucky bamboo arrangements?
- Are there any lucky bamboo arrangements that are unlucky?
What Is the Significance of Lucky Bamboo?
Lucky bamboo is a long-standing Chinese tradition (although it’s used throughout Asia) wherein people give arrangements of a bamboo-like plant called dracaena to loved ones or friends.
The significance behind this gift is mainly tied to the idea that you are bestowing good fortune, good luck, good health, wealth, and other blessings onto the receiver.
In some cases, people believe that this plant gift brings feng shui (another Chinese practice meant to harmonize people with their environment via energy) to the receiver.
The number of stalks included in a lucky bamboo arrangement signifies a particular blessing.
Furthermore, the way that the stalks get arranged sometimes signifies another meaning, such as:
- Braided stalks for good news, luck, or growth in business ventures
- Woven trellis of stalks for getting rid of negative energies
- Towers of stalks for a brighter future
What Is the Meaning Behind Nine Stalks of Lucky Bamboo?
If you give someone a gift of nine stalks of lucky bamboo, this is the luckiest arrangement you can bestow, in terms of the meaning.
Nine stalks represent a gift of “great luck” to the receiver.
Whereas other arrangements of lucky bamboo represent good luck or blessings related to wealth and health, nine stalks is specifically for presenting great luck.
What Is the Meaning Behind Six Stalks of Lucky Bamboo?
A lucky bamboo arrangement containing six stalks is also specifically for bestowing luck. This arrangement has the meaning of “good luck and wealth”, as per Chinese tradition.
This number of lucky bamboo stalks also has associations with the practice of feng shui, meaning it’s meant to promote harmony between the receiver and their environment or surroundings.
What Are the Other Meanings Behind Different Lucky Bamboo Arrangements?
There are seven other numerical arrangements of lucky bamboo that are commonly gifted, each with its own significance.
These involve different amounts of bamboo stalks and different blessings.
If you give someone a lucky bamboo arrangement of just two stalks, then you are bestowing a gift with a love meaning.
Often, this particular lucky bamboo arrangement gets gifted to newlywed couples or to couples in general.
It’s thought to bestow luck onto the relationship.
A lucky bamboo arrangement of three stalks represents three different blessings – wealth, happiness, and longevity.
It makes a good gift when the New Year comes around since it has associations with beginnings.
A five-stalk lucky bamboo arrangement has meanings of success and wealth, mainly.
However, the five different stalks each represent the five natural elements – wood, earth, fire, water, and air.
You would give someone seven stalks if you wanted to bless them with good health.
Seven is commonly seen as a lucky number around the world, and this is just as true when it comes to lucky bamboo.
A gift of eight stalks would represent a few things – namely, growth and success.
This lucky number extends beyond lucky bamboo when it comes to Chinese culture.
A ten-stalk arrangement of lucky bamboo bestows the gift of perfection.
Finally, twenty-one stalks is another common arrangement of lucky bamboo.
This arrangement signifies a most powerful blessing of joy, wealth, health, success, fortune, and good relationships.
Furthermore, some people will use large arrangements of lucky bamboo as gifts.
These aren’t given as commonly since they are so big and cost much more, but you might see:
- 888 stalks – people see the number 8 as very lucky, so this arrangement should, in theory, triple the wealth of the 8-stalk arrangement
- 88 stalks – this arrangement is about doubling the joy blessing
- 289 stalks – this arrangement should bring joy and good luck to the receiver
Are There Any Lucky Bamboo Arrangements That Are Unlucky?
Yes, in Chinese tradition, people avoid using four stalks for the lucky bamboo arrangement because it’s thought to be unlucky.
In fact, people view the number four as unlucky (an omen of death) throughout much of Chinese culture.
To give a gift of four would not really be a gift, but rather, the opposite.
In Chinese tradition, people give lucky bamboo arrangements as gifts of different luck and blessings.
Each arrangement has a specific meaning based on the number of stalks included, and the most typical arrangements are 9, 6, 21, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 10.