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Need A Fix For Yellow Lucky Bamboo

Yellowing Lucky Bamboo

Yellowing Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: Why my lucky bamboo turned yellow and how to fix
I have my lucky bamboo for a year or so, and i noticed a few months ago that some of its leaves were starting to wither. But now I am really worried, because the stem turned yellow from the bottom up (see picture attached). I would really like to save it, but I don’t know what to do, or where I did wrong so far. Please help.
Thank you Natasha


You are not alone. Yellowing lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is the problem of the week.  A few things can caused lucky bamboo to turn yellow — Too much light or too much fertilizer.  Exposure to fluoride can cause leaf discoloration that may start out looking yellow but eventually turns brown.  When lucky bamboo turns yellow from the bottom up, it is a strong indication of exposure to too much fertilizer.  In a case like this, your best course of action is to change the water and rinse the container. Refill with distilled water and do not add fertilizer.  **If you don’t have distilled water, you will need to use water that has been exposed to the air for 24hrs.  This will allow both the fluoride and chlorine in tapped water to disapate. Then you can use it to fill your lucky bamboo container**   By doing this your lucky bamboo will have a chance (although slim) to recover.  Another option is to cut off the yellow and start over.  Lucky bamboo roots fairly easy.  If you go to my previous blog post We Are Not Always Lucky With Lucky Bamboo, you will see a detailed outline on how to do this with pictures.

Good Luck and please keep me posted.


  1. have had my bamboo plant for about 8 months and it has been doing very well. Unfortunately, I neglected to water it for a few days and now it is turning yellow at the ends and several of the leaves are turning yellow as well. If I just keep watering it and replant it, will it turn back and start growing again, or do I have to trim all the yellow off in order to save it? Every stalk with leaves are yellow where it meets the main stalk, but the tops are all still green. Do you have any suggestions?

  2. Nicole,

    Is your lucky bamboo planted in soil? If your lucky bamboo is potted in soil, you need to get the soil moisture back to a moist state and then leave it alone. Do not continue to water it unless the soil has started to dry out. Over-watering in response to under-watering will cause even more damage. If the stems are not mushy, give the plants a few weeks to recover. However, if the yellowing becomes more severe or the stalks begin to feel mushy, you will need to cut the green tops off and start new plants. Good luck and keep me posted.

  3. My bamboo is in little pebbles, not soil. Once the surfce of the pebbles dries up, I rewater it just to dampen the stones. Should I just water it once a week?

  4. Your lucky bamboo will need a little more water than it is getting. Keep the container filled with water up to the pebbles. You may be able to get by once a week or you might need to water every day. The key is to keep a constant level of water.

  5. I need help… my boyfriend bought me a lucky bamboo plant when we first started dating two years ago. Its very dear and important to me. Usually i only have to water it once every two weeks and its fine. I went out of town for a week and three days and asked my roommate to water it… well…she didnt. i came back and the leaves on the top of the plant are dying. so i carefully removed the dying leaves cleaned the pot it sits in and put it in my window hoping it will recover. Now the leaves are turning yellow at the ends. Im hoping this is because of too much sun exposure and bringing it out of the sun will save it… I would really appreciate some addvice!!!
    BTW its in a pot w/ water with several stalks.
    Thanks so much
    Katie Jo

  6. The intense light and stressed state of the lucky bamboo are probably the problem. Move it away from the light and remove the yellow leaves. You can leave the leaves with slight yellowing, they may recover.

  7. Help – I recently moved the plant from the bedroom to the kitchen (near a window) and have noticed that its starting to turn yellow (see pic). I’ve only ever kept this in water with gravel – Its coming up to 4 years old so would really like to save it.

    Thanks :)

    Attached Image: 1535602_10151937112247408_1747396715_n.jpg

  8. The stalk is yellow but the leaves are green there are three stalks and they are planted in pebbles just one stalk is yellow I got it for my birthday and I want to save it. Can I take the dying stalk out cut the leaves off and plant it, will a new one grow and take its place. Please help I’m not sure what to do.

    Attached Image: image.jpg

  9. Kaylee,

    You can take the leaf shoot off the yellow stalk and root it.

  10. I just noticed that the bottoms of my bamboo stalks (the parts that are always covered in rocks) look really light green or almost yellow… Can you tell me how to post a picture so I can get your opinion on them?

    I’ve never had any problems with this plant, it grows like a weed. The stalks are all hard as well, not mushy.

    Thank you!

  11. Leah,

    You can send me pictures at jadams@flowershopnetwork.com.

  12. Hi – I have had the lucky bamboo plant for 4 years now. We moved from CT to NC recently and the only change is probably the water. Other than that, the plant has always been in moderate light. But for the past couple of months, the bottom leaves have started to turn yellow and it seems to be spreading upwards. Upper part of the plant is still healthy green and more and more new leaves seem to be born. Stalk looks green and tough and roots are perfect root brown. It stands in pebbles and water. Can you please help me save the plant?

  13. Chaitanya,

    Are the upper leaves shading the lower leaves? If this is the case, the lower leaves are not receiving enough light. Simply trim off the lower leaves and the plant should be fine.

  14. Fatimah Al-Hajjat says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I’ve had my lucky bamboo for around a year now. I decided to pot it because I saw a video on caring for lucky bamboos and they said to pot it. However, after potting the leaves started to turn yellow. Should I have not potted it? Also, are growth lights harmful? My growth light seemed to help grow my lucky bamboo but should I give it a break from the light?

    thank you for your help.! :)

  15. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Fatimah,
    Normally we don’t suggest moving your lucky bamboo from water to soil and vice versa. It is generally best to leave it in the growing conditions it is accustomed to. Since you have already potted it, it has probably gone into shock. This is normal for plants when you repot them, and they normally begin to perk back up in a week or so after they adjust to the new environment. Lucky bamboo does best under bright, indirect light, so you should be okay with your growth light, as long as you aren’t allowing your bamboo to receive too much light. This article has more information that I think you will find useful! http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/lucky-bamboo-care-answered/
    Hope this helps!

  16. I just purchased a 3 tier lucky bamboo from Home Depot 2weeks ago. I watered it when I got home as I don’t know if they had watered it in the few days prior. Within a couple days, I noticed one stalk going yellow. Now there are 4 yellow stalks. I haven’t repotted it or anything. It’s with the same fertilizer and pebbles it came with. How can I stop this from happening?! It gets indirect sunlife. I’ve checked the dirt and it’s still damp. Please help me save my plant. :)

  17. Jamie Woods says:

    Are your stalks turning yellow from the bottom or the top? Also, when you watered your lucky bamboo, did you used distilled water? Chlorine and other chemicals in regular tap water can easily damage your lucky bamboo. You should water with distilled water, or tap water that has been left out in the open for 24 hours. However, if your soil is still damp, then you should wait to water. Make sure your lucky bamboo has good drainage as well. You will also need to remove the yellow parts of the plants. This article will walk you through cutting off the damaged parts of your lucky bamboo http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/we-are-not-always-lucky-with-lucky-bamboo/
    Feel free to send some pictures! Hope this helps.

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