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Why Is Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow?

Gary asks:

We have a 3 stalk Lucy Banboo plant and it was doing well but in the last two weeks we have ovserved that the biggest and tallest one has start to trun yellow. The leaves are all green and healthly looking. We live outside of Bethlehem PA. The temperature is about 60 degrees. The plant gets indirect day light but it is not in a window.We use only spring water and we water it twice a month.

Is this condition something that I should be worry about.

Jamie’s Reply: Although you use spring water, it may still be heavy in salts. Too much floride, chlorine, or salts can cause the leaves to yellow. Try using distilled water. I would not worry if only one or two leaves at the bottom are turning yellow. Flower Shop Network has an informative newsletter called Caring for Lucky Bamboo. Hope this helps.

Gary responds:

Thank you for getting back to me but the leaves are not the part that is turning yellow but 1 out of tree stalks are turning yellow.

I printed out the newsletter and will read through it. Should I be worried about the stalk turning yellow?

Jamie’s Reply: I am a little concerned. You may have some type of pathogen — insect or fungal. Check for scale or spider mites both are insects. Scale will be a cottony substance or a shell like attachment on the stem or at the base of the leaves. You will need a magnifying glass to see the spider mites — they will be actively crawling around. As for fungal, check for soft tissue any where on the stem especially at the water line. One other thing have you fertilized your lucky bamboo? I will research a little further to see if I can come up with any other possibilities.

Gary Responds:

Thank you for getting back to me.

I will get a magnifying glass and check for spider mites and fungal. No we have not fertilized the luck bamboo but we will. Can you please let us know what and how we should do this.

Jamie’s Reply : Use any standard house plant food at about one-tenth the recommended dilution rate each time you change the water. Make sure you are using a water soluble fertilizer.

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  1. Jamie Davis says:

    I have a lucky bamboo that I purchased from Lowe’s it has been tied together to form a certain shape. I water it about once every 2 weeks and place it in indirect sunlight. A couple days ago, I noticed some yellow leaves and now this morning the whole stalk is yellow. I have read the other posts and realize I proabably water it too much using tap water, and will use bottled from now on. My question is, should i untie and remove the yellow stalk? thanks in advance

  2. Hi Jamie,

    When lucky bamboo is in an advanced state of yellowing it will not come back. So it is best to cut the yellow parts off. Also, if at any time the stalks become soft or mushy it is too late.
    If there is any green part to the stalk then there is the possibility of starting a new plant. Here is a link to an article titled, “We Are Not Always Lucky With Lucky Bamboo” that talks about how to start a new plant. http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/we-are-not-always-lucky-with-lucky-bamboo/ Hope this helps!

  3. Hi,
    I bought a lucky bamboo couple months ago at the store and before it was just fine. It has both soil and rocks in it. I put in close to the window with the cover. When its leaves started to turn yellow, I decided to cut a bit off from the leaves and changed the water, soil, and even washed the rocks. I even tried to change to water from the bottle instead of the sink water and redone the steps of cleansing. Yet, Some how it didn’t help its leaves to turn back into green. I decided to wait for a bit and even put it away from the window and light. I noticed that the stalk is turning yellow as well. I just cut off the yellow part of the stalk and still let it away from light and sun. Was I doing this right? If cutting off the stalk doesn’t help my Lucky Bamboo grows or turn back to green, what else can I do besides getting a new one?

  4. Tiffany,

    You can always start a new plant. This post might help . The basic principle is to cut off a green healthy section of the bamboo, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and then place the cut end in the medium of your choice (water or soil). If you want to grow yours in water the new piece will need to be rooted in water. If you want to grow it in soil it needs to be rooted in soil. Hope this helps!

  5. Hello,
    I have a bamboo plant that in April i will have had it for 2 years it sits on my desk at work under florescent lights all day, it has just now started to turn yellow the leaves are the only things that are turning but they are turning rather quickly. I water the plant once a week since i received it what should i do to keep the plant alive?


  6. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Hilary,
    Yellowing leaves are usually caused by too much light or too much fertilizer. Chemicals in tap water can also cause the lucky bamboo to turn yellow. Is you are not already using distilled water for you bamboo, you may want to give it a try. In the mean time, I would remove the yellow leaves at the stalk, and moniter the stems for yellowing and softness.
    Hope this helps!

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