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Brownish Circular Spots On Lucky Bamboo – What Gives?

Ask The Expert: Hello I have a quick lucky bamboo question for you if you have a second. I’ve had my lucky bamboo (two stalks) for about 4 years now and its grown very well up until this point (its currently about 4.5 feet tall). Last week I noticed that one lower leaf on each of the stalks was turning yellow. I ran it under some tap water for a bit and then hoped it would get better but those leave just became more yellow. Today i noticed that the more yellow of the two appeared to have some type of infection. there were brownish circular mold spots inside the leaf so to try and prevent it from spreading, I took an blade and carefully cut just those leaves from the stem. Unfotunitly, it looks as though I might have acted too late and now the other leaves are starting to get a little yellow as well. Any thoughts on how I might save it?

Thank you,

Plant Expert Reply:

Your lucky bamboo seems to have some type of  leaf spot.  It could be Phyllosticta maculicola which is characterized by irregular small browish spot with yellish margins. It is spread by water. So, wetting the leaves will cause the damage to spread. Normally prevention is the best course of action. Remove infected leaves and don’t wet the foliage.  As long as the stem stay healthy you should be ok.

If the damaged areas are circular raised and reddish brown lesions with yellow halos, the lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) has been infected with Fusarium Leaf Spot (Fusarium moniliforme).  This is a fungus that may need to be treated with Daconil (a fungicide that you can get at your local garden center).  I still recommend removing the damaged leaves.

If you use scissors or a knife to remove the damaged leaves dip them in a solution of bleach and water between cuts.  Mix the solution at a 3 to 1 ratio — 3 parts water to 1 part bleach. This will keep the fungus from spreading as you remove the damaged leaves.

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