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Could Lucky Bamboo Yellowing Be Caused By Spider Mites Or A Fungus.

Ask the Expert: Lucky bamboo leaves turning yellow

lucky-bamboo-yellow-tipyellowing-lucky-bambooI’ve had my bamboo for four years and it was doing great. I suddenly noticed a lot of yellowing on the leaves on one of them. The 2nd stalk has some yellow dots on the leaves. The 3rd one is doing fine. It is starting to spread rapidly. I have 3 stalks. The roots of all 3 are entangled. I have always had them in a glass container with water. I have never used a fertilizer and they were fine without it and were extremely healthy. I always use purified drinking water. I change the water every two weeks, clean the stalk and roots by just running water on them. Please help..I need to save them.  Aparna

Plant Expert Reply:

Since you haven’t fertilized the plant or I assume changed the location of the lucky bamboo, the top two reasons for yellowing have been eliminated — too much fertilize and too much light.

Now we have to check for attackers. The pale yellowing could be a sign of a spider mite infestation. Spider mites are very small insects that will attack the lucky bamboo. You will need a magnifying glass to see them. If your plant has spider mites, you will need to spray it with an insecticide. You local garden center nursery will be able to tell you which insecticide to use.

The spot on the leaf could be a fungus or a bacterial problem. You will first need to determine which it is. If you send me an up close picture of the spot I should be able to determine what it is and then your local garden center will be able to determine which fungicide you need.


  1. Aparna Raghunathan says:

    Hey Jamie,

    I took it to a garden center this afternoon. The lady there looked at my bamboo plant and told me there are no insects. However, she recommended that I use Miracle Glo so the bamboo can get some nutrients. She doesn’t grow any bamboo and personally has not had experience growing lucky bamboo. I am taking the bamboo to another nursery to see if they can help.

    If the plant needs nutrients, what type of nutrients should I look for? I prefer organic menthods.

    Please guide me.

  2. I hesitate to fertilize the plant since too much fertilizer can cause yellowing. If you use miracle gro dilute the solution to 1/10th of its strength. and give it a very small amount. You can use a couple of drops of aquarium plant food added to the water when you change it. As for an organic fertilizer you might try a diluted solution of fish emulsion.

  3. Aparna Raghunathan says:

    Yes Jamie. I would certainly agree with you on the fertilizer. I do not like using them as well. What do you suggest I do to increase the bamboo’s nutrient content?

  4. I would try a very diluted solution of fish emulsion about every two months. You want a 1 to 10 ratio – 1 part fish emulsion to 10 parts water. Add a very small amount of the prepared solution, about a teaspoon, to the water in your container. This should be a small enough amount not to cause problems, but enough to help.

  5. Hi, I need some help with my dracaena. I have had it for about a month now and it is potted in a small ceramic pot with gravel and water. Recently, one of the stalks have turned yellow (there are two) and I have found that ANTS are attacking the plant and they are increasing by the numbers daily. I did some research and found out that Neem Oil can be used as a natural pesticide and I have been using a small amount every time I do a water change (which is every ten days) but it is not working. I also use a few drops of a liquid plant vitamin called “GREEN GREEN” to the water every time I do the water change. Could the “GREEN GREEN” be responsible for the ANTS attacking it? If not, how can I get rid of them?

  6. I doubt if the fertilizer is the cause of your ants. Ants usually attack plants for one of two reasons – sap has been made available or they are rounding up aphids. When borers or others burrowing insects infect a plant, they cause the sap of the plant to be released and the ants will harvest this sap for food. Aphids are a sucking insect that attacks plants and secrete a waste product called honey dew. Ants harvest the honey dew for food. They also farm aphids the way we do cattle. I would remove the yellow stalk. if it has any green to it you can propagate a new stalk. I would also clean the container and the healthy stalk. Try to find where the ants are coming from and get rid of them at their entrance point.

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