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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…]

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: Fungus & Mushy Stalks

Ask The Expert: I have been reading about the bamboo plants, I had a coworker tell me to wash mine and rinse out the rocks, so I did. But after reading your info.. I am afraid mine is fungus!! That can’t be good to breathe in!! Most of the stalks around the outside are black and mushy.. the coworker thought if I cleaned them they would be OK.. now I am afraid I set mold up into the air!!! Deana

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert: I wouldn’t worry too much about the fungus going into the air. However, any lucky bamboo stalk that is mushy has a problem. I recommend topping the lucky bamboo and starting new plants. Then discard the black mushy part of the stalk. Wash the rock and container with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Then fill the container with distilled water and place the tops in the water. They should start to form new roots in a couple of weeks.

To learn how to root new lucky bamboo stalks read the following:
Turn Your Lucky Bamboo Top Into A New Plant
Topping Lucky Bamboo
What Is A Lucky Bamboo Node

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.

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 And Mildew

Ask the Expert: How do I get rid of the mildew on my lucky bamboo?
Help! I have found white powder on my lucky bamboo. I have had this plant for over 4 years now and this is it’s first problem. From my web searches, I found out that it is mildew. None of the sites really have told me how to get rid of it on lucky bamboo.
Thanks! Vienna

Plant Expert Reply:
It depends on what you are calling mildew.

If you have an algae build up in the water or around the roots of the lucky bamboo, you need to clean the container and any pebbles with soapy water and wipe off the roots and the stalks with a moist cloth and refill the container.

If you have lesions on the stalk, you will need to remove the lesions. In this case you may need to create new stalks from the top of the stalk. You might want to read this lucky bamboo post, it details how to remove diseased parts of lucky bamboo.

If you have white cottony substance on the stalks, it could actually be an insect called scale.  You can wipe this insect off and clean the container as a method of control.  If the scale persists, use an insecticide that is safe for houseplants.

If you have a type of fungus that is rust or sooty in color, we have a whole other ballgame.   These would need to be treated with a fungicide.  The hardest part is finding a fungicide safe for Dracaena.  You could try daconil. It is a general purpose fungicide.

If you are not sure what type of  “mildew” your lucky bamboo has, send me a picture.  I’ll be happy to help any way I can.

Please keep me posted.