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Why Is My Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow? How Can I Save My Other Plants?

Ask The Expert: I am at a loss.  I’ve done a lot of research and I can’t figure out why the leaves on my plant are turning yellow.  She’s a lucky bamboo. I have 10 plants – all except this one are doing very well.  I only give them distilled water and change their water every 10 days.  They get a good amount of light, but never direct sunlight.  Can you help?? There are three stalks, the main stalk still looks good, hasn’t turned yellow.  There are a few brown spots on the one stalk where the leaves are turning yellow. Is there anything I can do to prevent my other seven plants from getting fungus?

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Watch the area for the next couple of days and see if they spread. It looks like it may be the start of a fungus. The only way to get rid of it is to remove the diseased stalk. If the top looks good you can propagate a new stalk. Fungus is usually air borne. Keep the water clean and the plant out of stress and the fungus should be a problem. Also remove all plants with fungus away from healthy plants.

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Need Help With Lucky Bamboo

Ask The Expert: We have had 6 bamboo in a vase for about 2 years in an office. The air isnt so great, since some of our white paper signs on cabinets have gotten brown twice during that period. The bamboo have been great, but during the past month two stalks, one thick and the other a thin one, just developed yellowed and wilted leaves. Unfortunately we have not been good about changing water, but the roots seem fine, although rusty. There are small brown papules, like measles on the small one, and on one other. At the prior water line, there seems to be a brown blemish, but not soft or rotten on each of the stalks with several yellow leaves.

All the stalks appear dehydrated, with vertical palpable striations we think are due to shrinkage of the stalks. Others in other areas are smooth and plump. What is this due to, if their leaves are green and OK otherwise?

We changed the water, put the two with yellow leaves aside. Going to distilled water only.
Do you think it is a good idea to cut the stalks with yellow leaves at the bottom above the two blemish areas, assuming they are infected?
Do you have any suggestions re anti fungal ideas as a precaution?

In general, what fertilizer is best for bamboo? How often? Michelle

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

It does appear that you plant is developing a fungus. I don’t know of a good fungicide for lucky bamboo. I would do the following thing:

1. Cut the damaged part off. To do this you will basically have a section the has no roots and a section that has no leaves. Not a problem. On the section with no leaves – you will need to make the cut well below the compromised section. On the section above the [Read more…]

What To Do With Heart-Shaped Bamboo

Ask The Expert: What do i do with a heart shaped bamboo that has no roots?  Do i just put it in water?  Do i need to cut it first? One stalk is turning yellow … Why?

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

The stalk is turning yellow because it is stressed. When you cut lucky bamboo from it roots you need to dip it in rooting hormone, let the hormone dry and then place in water. This will help the stalk produce roots. You need to re-cut the stalk and dip in rooting hormone which you can get at your local nursery garden center. Then place back in water. In a few weeks it should have formed new roots.

Watch the stalk if it becomes yellow and mushy, you have lost that particular part of the plant and it will need to be removed and discarded.

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Help My Lucky Bamboo Is Turning Brown And Droopy

Ask the Expert: Bamboo Leaves Drooping
Hello I took this bamboo plant I purchased 5 days ago to work. Today I noticed the leaves are drooping and it isn’t crisp anymore. Slightly turning brown. I live in Canada and is -17 degree Celsius outside when I bought it to work. I wasn’t outside too long just during the waiting for my bus to arrive. The temperature at work fluctuates but I will say it is cold most of the time. Today is Friday I will probably bring my plant back home on Monday if it does get worst. What can I do to save my poor plant? Janice

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert: First – It needs to be kept some where between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. As long as your office stays above 15 degrees Celsius (that would be 59 degrees Fahrenheit), then leave it at your office – if not take it home.

Once it is in its permanent home leave it alone. It needs time to adjust. Give it a couple of weeks and the browning as well as the drooping should stop.

In the meantime make sure it is getting adequate light – bright filtered light no direct light. Make sure you keep the water level the same. When you add water use distilled water or tap water that has been exposed to air in an open container for 24 hours. It might help to read Caring For Lucky Bamboo.

I really think your lucky bamboo will be ok. It looks very healthy.

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Is It Possible to Rejuvenate Lucky Bamboo?

Ask the Expert: Lucky Bamboo – Stalk turning yellow
My daughter’s “lucky bamboo” plant (about 2-3 years old) has started yellowing from the base upward. Leaves and upper stalk are stilll firm and green, but lower stalk is yellow and beginning to give under gentle pressure. Is there any way to save the plant? Can the top (apparently healthy) portion be removed and re-rooted; or can the lower portion be rejuvenated in some manner? I’m assuming the problem is our water source (water quality fluctuates and contains both salts and chlorine to varying degrees)–so will be changing the water supply and also increasing the plant’s light source. Joy

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:Yes and No. You will only be able to save the healthy green top – the bottom will need to be discarded.

Please read the article written about how to propagate lucky bamboo. In the article Jamie discusses where to cut your lucky bamboo and how to get it to produce roots thus giving you a new healthy lucky bamboo stalk.

However, don’t put it in too much light. Lucky bamboo prefers a indirect bright light. Too much direct light can also cause the lucky bamboo to yellow. As for water try using distilled water or bottled water. If you must use tap water, place the water in an open container for 24hours before you use it in the lucky bamboo container.

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Stopping The Spread of Cotton-Like Substance On Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert:> lucky bamboo has white cotton like substance

Lucky Bamboo I have had my lucky bamboo for about 2 years now and it was doing great until we suspected it might be the cause of a gnat infestation at my workplace. I took it home changed the water and removed the styrofoam and rocks that were anchoring the plan down. I made the mistake of doing it with sink water and since then it seemed to just be on a slow decline. Recently there seems to be a white cottony substance growing on the stalks similar to those dandelion plants that you blow when you are a kid. Also, some of the lucky bamboos have been turning brown. I also see small white maybe eggs on the stalk, it seems like an empty shell of something but I don\’t see active bugs or anything on it. I have the plant here at the office and I have never fertilized the plant at all. Please help I am removing stalks weekly and soon it won\’t be a lucky bamboo tree. I have attached a photo showing the white substance in question. Lindy

Flower Shop Network
Plant Expert Reply:

The cottony substance on lucky bamboo usually indicates a spider mite or cottony scale problem. To get rid of the insects you need to wash the stalks and the container with warm soapy water. If the cotton like substance persists an insecticide will be needed.

After looking at the picture, you may also have a case of bacterial leaf spot. The only way to keep bacterial leaf spot from spreading is to remove the infected stalks.   Then wash the remaining stalks and container with warm soapy water. Refill the container with distilled water. Watch the stalks for the next couple of weeks to make sure the bacteria has stop spreading

Lucky Bamboo Yellowing From Bottom Up

Ask the Expert: Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo Yellowing From Bottom Up

Lucky Bamboo Yellowing From Bottom Up

I’ve only had my Lucky Bamboo for 2 weeks, and they already seem to be taking a bad turn on me. A pet knocked it over, spilling the original water, and I mistakenly used tap water to refill it. I’m assuming that’s what’s causing the yellowing, so I’m going to try refilling it with distilled water.

My question is, how would you suggest I handle each of the stalks? I’ve attached a photo here. The curled stalk seems to be the healthiest with green ends, so I wasn’t sure if I should wait and see if it survives. The tall stalk seems to be mostly yellow with almost no green on either end, besides the bigger leaves at the top. The short stalk still has some green at the top, but is mostly yellow and wrinkly throughout the middle, and the leaves look a bit faded.

Thanks for your help! Pat

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Unfortunately when stalks turn yellow from the bottom up there is little you can do. You did the right thing by changing the water and there is a slim chance that the stalks will be ok. I suspect that since you have only had the stalks for 2 weeks, the damage was done before you got them. They were probably over fertilized.

I recommend starting new stalks from the green healthy parts of the lucky bamboo.

To propagate your lucky bamboo cut the stalk off about an inch above one of the nodes. The nodes are the raised rings that grow on the stalk. Let the cut part of the stalk (on the stalk with the roots) dry for a couple of days; then mist the top to encourage new growth. Take the top of the stalk (the part you cut-off) and dip it in rooting hormone (garden centers carry this product) and let it dry over night. Then set the stalk in one or two inches of water and in a week or two you will have roots.

The blog has several posts that explain in further detail how to do this:
Turn Your Lucky Bamboo Top Into New Plant
We Are not always Lucky With Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo Success Story

Healthy Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: bamboo plants
I had them in water for a long time about 2 years until I saw a lot of roots coming form them, then I put my bamboo plants in miracle grow potting mix with bought dirt.

Ever since then they started to bloom like crazy to where I have to change the pot maybe once every two years. this is my second time transferring the pots. is this normal for them to grow like that? and is what I am doing okay? Fran

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Despite the fact that lucky bamboo (draceana sanderiana) can be grown in water, it really prefers to live in soil. So, you lucky bamboo is healthy and happy and you should be proud of your success. You are seeing normal growth. Keep doing what you are doing. If the plants become to tall, you can always top the lucky bamboo stalks and start new plants.

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Can You Revive A Yellow Lucky Bamboo Stalk?

Ask the Expert: Yellowing Bamboo Stalk
Hello. About a week ago, I bought 3 stalks of Bamboo. At the time they were all green and healthy. I put them by the window and I think I gave them too much sun. A few days ago, 2 of the stalks were turning yellow. I moved the stalks out of the direct light. I did some research and it said to pull the yellow stalks out and place in a glass of fresh clean water. I put each yellow stalk in separate glasses. The one stalk left (still in the vase) is completley green and looking healthy. The other 2 have gotten considerably yellower as the days have gone on. I read that you can cut the bamboo at the \”knuckle\” to let it regrow….but what if there is no green left on the stalk to cut? Is there anything I can do? I am attaching a picture of all 3 of them. Thank you. Jill

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:
Once a stalk has gone completely yellow, it usually dies. However, I can’t see the very bottom of the yellow stalks. Since you have nothing to lose, I would try to start new growth from the roots. Make the cut above one of the nodes closest to the roots. Of course this will give you a very short stalk, but at least it might survive.

To help you understand how to do this, read We are not always lucky with lucky bamboo. This post includes pictures and descriptions.

Caring For Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: Lucky Bamboo
I have a small lucky bamboo plant. I have only had this a few weeks, but a few of the leaves are turing yellow. Have I watered it too much or does it need to be out of the indirect light for a while? How often are you to water it, I use filtered water, and are you suppose to be able to see the water over the stones? Thank you! Jo Reyerson

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

When caring for lucky bamboo remember this – lucky bamboo isn’t really a bamboo. It is actually a Dracaena sanderiana. As a result the plant needs to be placed somewhere it will not be in direct light, it will not get too dry or too cold.

I have found lucky bamboo will tolerate a wide range of living conditions if you follow a few suggestions:

  • Keep away from air vents. Don’t let the air blow directly on to the plant.
  • Don’t use tap water. It contains fluoride and chlorine which are harmful to lucky bamboo. Instead use distilled or filtered water or let you tap water rest in an open container for 24hrs before use – this will enable the fluoride and chlorine to evaporate.
  • Don’t over fertilize. This plant can go years without fertilizer. However, if the plant becomes spindly or pale, you can fertilize the lucky bamboo with a light solution of water-soluble fertilizer every 3mos.
  • Don’t place on a window sill that receives strong light.  Indirect light is better for lucky bamboo. It grows naturally in dense shade under a thick rainforest canopy.
  • Mist the air around your plant occasionally.
  • Try to keep your water level constant. Depending on the container, you will need to keep the rocks holding the lucky bamboo covered.

Now as for the leaves turning yellow there are usually two causes: too much light or too much fertilizer. I suspect yours has gotten too much light. If this is possible, move it a little farther from your light source and the new leaves should be ok.