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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


  1. thanks for the reply. I went ahead and attached another photo just to clarify what might be going on and when you say wash with warm soapy water can I just wash with dish soap or hand soap? Would i wash the roots too? Thanks for the help

    Attached Image: Lucky Bamboo With stem rot.jpg

  2. It appears you have a case of stem rot (Colletotrichum dracaenophilum) which is a type of fungi. The only treatment I know of is to remove the infect stalks, clean the stalks and hope for the best. You can use dishwashing liquid as the sap.

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