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What To Do With New Shoot From Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: Lucky Bamboo Plant
I have a new shoot coming out at the root base of one of my Lucky Bamboo plants, how do I take it off and start a new plant.

At the same time, do I trim any of the roots from the three Lucky Bamboo plants that I have in my container?

Wanda Graham

Plant Expert Reply:

If the shoot has it’s own set of roots, you can gently detach it from the main stalk. You now had a new lucky bamboo stalk that can reside in the container with your original stalks or you can place it in its own container.  If it doesn’t have it’s own roots you would treat it the same way as propagating lucky bamboo.

As for the roots, you can trim them. I only trim mine if they are excessive and growing out of the container. Don’t cut to much of the roots off.

Lucky Bamboo With Rotting Roots

Ask the Expert: Yellowing Stem- Plant

I got a lucky bamboo three months ago, and about a week ago the stem started yellowing. As you can see from the picture, the roots kind of turned brown/black-ish. The leaves are still very green, and the stem is yellowing but still strong. In picture 1 you can see its about half green/half yellow. I had a few questions, though. 1. I saw that you usually recommend to cut off the yellow parts and start with green, but is that ALWAYS the case? Is it possible for the bamboo stem to recover and turn green again, or is it “once yellow, always yellow?” 2. Although the bottom of the rooms look black/brown, I see some new white (healthy?) roots budding from it. What does this mean? Could I just cut off the brown part entirely, and have new roots grow from the yellow stem? Is there any disadvantage to a wait and see approach?

Thank You,

Plant Expert Reply:
The wait and see approach can work for yellowing stems, but only if the roots are still healthy. The yellow stalks usually don’t turn back to green but can survive if the stalk doesn’t become soft and mushy. However, your roots do not look healthy. This is what I recommend: Cut the healthy top off the lucky bamboo stalk and start a new plant in a new container. Then cut the black roots off and see if the stalk will produce new roots and come out of the yellowing. The disadvantage to the wait and see approach is:
1) If multiple stalks in one container the issue can spread.
2) If you wait to long, you might not have a healthy piece to start a new one.

If you try my recommendation, you can essentially have your cake and eat it too. Good luck and keep me posted.

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.

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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Cool Temps Can Cause Yellow Leaves On Lucky Bamboo

Ask the Expert: Lucky Bamboo leaves turning yellow

Greenings !!!

I was gifted [Housewarming] a Lucky Bamboo Plant about 3 weeks ago [December 22, 2009]. The arrangement of the stalks, are four concentric graduated circles “Crown/Mountain Like” in appearance.

It was sitting in my driveway when I got to my “New” house [West Oakland CA]. It had been “outside for about 3 days [slight amount of rain]. The Lucky Bamboo plant is growing in water [with those type of iridescent glass “Heart shaped” stones surrounding the plant].

It did not come with a “Plant Care Card”, So I looked up on the internet to see what I should do. Following the directions I found on several sites. I put it on a table with a slight amount of  “Early Morning Sunlight” mostly “Indirect Bright Light”

When I noticed a few days ago that it leaves were turning yellow.  So I “Moved It”. To a place with “No Early Morning Sunlight” [Indirect Bright Light Only]. But the leaves are “Yellowing” at a faster rate and the tips are drying out !!!

It still has plenty of water covering the roots [so far it has not needed any watering] . My house is not heated so it is cold at night [ as low as 35-40 degrees lately ] Could Cold Temperature be the cause of it’s problems?

I am usually pretty good with plants [at least 5 green thumbs] and being that it is a gift from my family  > I do so much want my so far :Unlucky Bamboo” to recover. Your advice will be much appreciated

Thank You Lichen I

Plant Expert Reply:

I would say the root of your problem is temperature related.  Dracaena as a whole prefer temperatures above 40 degrees.  The exposure to the cool temperature during a period of transplant shock could cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Place the lucky bamboo in the warmest room of your house.  Add water (distilled if possible) to the container as needed to keep level constant.  Do not fertilize.  As long as the leaves are yellow and the stalks are healthy and green, the lucky bamboo should recover. In a week or two, you should start to see new growth.  However if the stalks start to turn yellow or become mushy, you will need to act quickly.  You might need to remove the unhealthy part of the lucky bamboo or start new ones.  Keep me posted and I will try to help you maintain a healthy plant.

What Cause Yellow Tips On Lucky Bamboo?

Ask the Expert: Why are the tips of my lucky bamboo turning yellow. I use bottled water (purified drinking water). I also use 10 drops of Green Green once a month. It is a four stalk lucky bamboo approximately 24″ tall from root to top. It sits on a file cabinet near west windows. However, because we are in a high rise office building with other mid-rise buildings around it, the sunlight is indirect. Carolyn

Plant Expert Reply:
Let’s look at the reasons lucky bamboo leaves turn yellow. Leaves turn yellow because of too much light or tow much fertilizer. It doesn’t sound like a light issue. Since it receives fertilizer once a month, fertilizer could be the issue. Although the plant is acclimated to this amount of fertilizer. Just to be on the safe side, empty the container and fill with fresh water.

There are a few factors that could also be the culprit. Low humidity can cause the leaf tips to turn brown. However, they might yellow first. Try misting the plant every couple of days. Other factor could be a change in temperature. If the office windows are creating a colder climate around the plant, the leaves may turn yellow. In this case you may need to move the lucky bamboo to a warmer location.

Traveling Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow

Ask the Expert: lucky bamboo plants
I’ve recently brought 2 bamboo plants from Scotland to Barcelona in Spain and one of these plants has recently started to turn yellow from not quite the top of the stalk and this colour is travelling down the stalk.  At the bottom of the stalk where it”s still green are new leaves coming out of a new little stalk.  There’s still a leaf coming out of the top of the stalk (where it’s still green).  The other plant seems to be fine.  I’ve put both these plants together with a 3rd plant which has always been in our house in Barcelona – also healthy.  I’m particularly keen to know what to do with the plant turning yellow as they were my dad’s plants and he just passed away a couple of months ago and I obviously want to keep them.  Could it be the change of location or different type of water?  I was using tap water here in Barcelona but have now changed to bottled water, having read some other postings.  Also, what should I do about the new shoot at the bottom of the stalk!
?  I’s still healthy but because it’s quite low down is inside the large glass container I keep them in, about an inch above the water. I’m scared the yellow colour is going to spread down and infect that part too!   I keep them inside where they get some light but not bright direct sunlight.
Thanks very much in advance. Catherine

Plant Expert Reply:

All plants will go through transplant shock when moved. Wilting, pale coloring and lack of growth  can all be a result of transplant shock. Normally we recommend leaving the plant alone during this period. However with yellowing in lucky bamboo, we look for other causes as well. In lucky bamboo, yellowing is usually caused by one of two factors: too much light or too much fertilizer.  Too much light usually occurs from top down— while too much fertilizer occurs from bottom up.  In your case, the yellowing seems to be from the middle traveling downward. This makes me think it is a damage issue and not the normal transplant shock or yellowing issues.

Check the stalk. Do you see a slight wound or rust spot? If you do, the stalk has been compromised and now has a pathogen causing the yellowing. To treat this problem remove the infected stalks from the other stalks. Now you will need to take the infected stalk and remove the damaged part.  You will do this the same way you would propagate a new lucky bamboo stalk.  Place the healthy green part attached to the roots in its own container filled with distilled water.  If the top still has a healthy green part propagate a new stalk (be sure to use the rooting hormone) and place in the conatiner with the stalk with roots. Throw the yellow part of the stalk away.

Good Luck and keep me posted on the prgress of your lucky bamboo.

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Lucky Bamboo From Water To Soil

Ask The Expert: I have a lucky bamboo plant that I have had for 2 years. It is doing very well in water.  I would love to put it in soil, though, thinking that it would do a lot better.  I was thinking of buyin a good peet moss.  Would that be alright, or should I get just a flower pot mulch? Greg

Plant Expert Reply:

Although lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is normally potted in soil, I would not recommend it after it has been grown in water.  If you decide that it must be in soil, pot it in a basic houseplant medium.  You will need to keep the soil very moist to begin with and then reduce to a medium moisture level.

You will need to watch for root rot.  When you transfer it to a very moist soil, you have a chance of root rot occurring.

Help, Lucky Bamboo In Soil Is Yellowing!

Ask the Expert: lucky bamboo plant
My son gave me a lucky bamboo about 1 1/2 years ago. When I received it, it was in soil. One of the stalks is turning really yellow now. Should I put it only in water. I don”t want my son to think I don’t just love it and I don’t want to lose it either. Can you help me to bring it back to life. Shirley

Plant Expert Reply:
Lucky bamboo that has been grown in soil should not be place in a water only environment. If the yellow stalk is completely yellow it will continue to die. You need to remove it from the soil and discard it, unless the stalk contains a healthy green section. If it has a healthy green section, you can propagate a new stalk. Read one of our previous posts that explains how to propagate lucky bamboo which also includes pictures. You can place the newly cut piece in water or soil.

To keep the other stalk from turning yellow, you need to watch out for a few issues. One make sure the soil is moist but not soggy.  Soil that holds to much water and can’t drain will cause lucky bamboo to turn yellow.  Watch your fertilizer – too much can cause lucky bamboo to turn yellow. Last but not least, make sure your lucky bamboo does not receive too much light or a severe change in temperature.

Good luck and keep me posted.

Is Distilled Nutrient Water Good For Lucky Bamboo?

Hi Jamie,

I found your email on a post of yours on a gardener website.  My lucky bamboo has a yellow stalk (stem) but the bottom is green and plant part is green.  What can I do to save this plant…  If anything.  I bought some distilled nutrient water from health food store.  I had to move plant as I was moving and at some point it may have gotten a bit more of sun then it liked.  I emptied water refilled container with distilled, although didn’t take it out of the gravel rocks in container when changed the water.  Kids used tap water and I may have at some point forgetting about the water issue.  Now I have a gallon of distilled w/minerals and hoping to fix it.  Can I, also is another option to do a cutting from above the stalk part or must it have that.. maybe that’s a foolish question.  But, I’m not very good with plants with the exception of a spider plant I’ve had for 10 yrs. Darien

Jamie’s Reply
I am not familiar with distilled nutrient water.  I assume that if it came from a health food store it has been supplemented with nutrients for human consumption. You can check the label for the nutrients that have been added to the water. Although humans and plants need the same basic nutrients, this water may not be the best thing to use for your plants. Lucky bamboo is very sensitive to certain chemicals and minerals which is why I recommend distilled water. The distilling process removes minerals and chemicals from the water.

I would go back to using a plain distilled water. I would also remove the yellowing part of the lucky bamboo.  You can cut the top of the lucky bamboo off and the remaining stalk and roots will allow the plant to form new leaves.  If the top of the lucky bamboo is green you can cut it and new roots will form.  I wrote a post a while back that demonstrates how to propagate new lucky bamboo from this type of situation.  The photos and detailed explanation in the above post will help you determine how and where to cut your lucky bamboo.
Good luck and keep me posted.