Is your lucky bamboo plant turning yellow?
This is a common sign of lucky bamboo trouble. If you’re concerned about “real” bamboo plants check out the how to plant bamboo page.
Back to the world of lucky bamboo- lucky bamboo can turn yellow for a variety of reasons.
The number one reason though, is too much sunlight. As many lucky bamboo care sites will tell you lucky bamboo prefers to be partly shaded. It hails from rainforest regions and, as you can imagine being a small to medium plant, it only gets partial sunlight that streams in from the trees. This is the same sunlight that should be re-created in your house or office. My lucky bamboo plants sit on a western facing window where it gets several hours of indirect evening sun. It thrives in this location and I have yet to experience the dreaded yellow leaves.
A second reason that bamboo leaves might turn yellow is that the fluoride level in your water is too high. If you suspect this to be the problem simply buy bottled water and use this on your plants instead of tap. After switching you won’t notice an immediate change in the yellowing, but it shouldn’t get worse. If yellowing continues then the problem is somewhere else.
Tip: If fluoride seems to be the issue start with bottled water to test your theory. Once you know for sure that fluoride is the problem you can switch back to tap water. Simply fill a glass with water and let it sit for 24 hours. The water is now mostly fluoride-free and ready to be used!
If you notice the stalks turning yellow, this is a sign of something that can be a bit trickier to fix-root rot. Root rot is caused from contamination which is common among plants where the water has not been changed regularly. To clean a container simply wash it well with a mild soap. After replacing your bamboo and fresh water make sure you continue to do a water change at least once every two weeks.
Many people prefer to use rocks to help their plants stand up straight. Rocks can be difficult, if not impossible, to thoroughly clean due to their rough and sometimes porous surface. The best thing to do is to permanently remove or replace your rocks as they can be a source of chemical and bacterial contamination. If you really don’t want to replace your rocks, at least try leaving them out for a week or two after cleaning the container. During this time note your plants health and then continue to monitor your plant after the rocks have been re-introduced.
Tip: The chances of root rot can minimized by planting your lucky bamboo in soil instead of in water. Make sure you wash your container as outlined above, and then simply use a potting mix. I use this. Lucky bamboo will grow better and for long periods of time in soil so it’s preferable to switch it anyways!
For more on lucky bamboo plant care check out our lucky bamboo plant page!