Why Is My Bamboo Plant Turning Yellow?

If you’re asking yourself “Why is my bamboo plant turning yellow?” Then this post is for you!

Bamboo turning yellowFirst, be aware that in this post we’re talking about real bamboo plants, but we have written about lucky bamboo as well and you can read about that here!

Watching you real bamboo plant leaves turn yellow can be alarming, but most of the time, it’s actually a normal occurrence!

Bamboo is an evergreen plant, but it is also one of the many plants that sheds its leaves and grows new ones. What happens is that the bamboo will cut off the nutrients in the leaves to use it in other places. Due to this lack of nutrients some of the leaves turn yellow and will fall off. Because bamboo is evergreen, most species lose their leaves very gradually and replace those leaves with new ones. In this respect, bamboo plants have a mixture of green and yellow leaves most of the time. With that being said there are a few species that drop large amounts of leaves at one time, and this can be concerning… typically a little research into the specific variety you have will give you peace of mind! If however all of the leaves turn yellow and fall out without any green leaves, you very well may have a problem. Another indicator of a problem is brown on the leaf tips. Brown color on the leaves can be caused by a lack of water or wind damage.

Still Concerned?

If you believe that the yellowing is a problem and not just a natural part of your plants lifecycle it’s time to start troubleshooting the plant.
First, take a good look at the newest leaves (if you can distinguish them). If these leaves are turning yellow it may mean that the plant is lacking in iron- a common problem in soil that is too acidic. If you’re concerned about having an alkaline soil, you can actually purchase a pH testing kit and test the soil around the base of your plant. I would recommend getting one like this.  If your soil is alkaline and the plants’ new leaves are yellowing then you should purchase a fertilizer with Chelate Iron and add this to the soil around your plant. If older leaves are primarily the ones yellowing (and you don’t believe it to be natural leaf drop) then you will want to apply a fertilizer with nitrogen. As we talked about in bamboo plant care, there are times when fertilizers should be applied, and although it can be confusing as to when exactly they need feed, watching for the first signs of yellowing can be a good indicator-especially for the nitrogen.



Other reasons your plant may have yellow leaves include:

1. Under watering.
2. Over watering in a soil that doesn’t drain well.
3. Too much sun.
4. Not enough sun.


Because there are so many little factors that could influence your bamboos health, I’ll let you determine if one of these could be an issue. Obviously, soggy soil can be amended, but some things like too much sun or not enough can be difficult to remedy and remedies are really only best attempted when nothing else works.
Hopefully this guide will help you remedy your plant quickly! bamboo-308353_640

photo credit: DSC_0303 via photopin (license)