Why Is My Bamboo Turning Yellow
Mon, Nov 08, 2021

Why Is My Bamboo Turning Yellow? The Most Common Mistakes in Caring for Bamboo

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Why Is My Bamboo Turning Yellow

Indoor bamboo (known as Lucky bamboo) is a beautiful plant that can decorate any interior with its exotic look. But for several reasons, it can lose its decorative effect. Why is my bamboo turning yellow? This question worries many gardeners who are faced with such an unpleasant phenomenon. But don’t worry, this does not mean that the plant will inevitably die. Let’s find out how to save a bamboo plant and what could have caused it to turn yellow.

Bamboo Plant Turning Yellow

Bamboo is an evergreen plant. All evergreens lose their leaves sooner or later, but they don’t do it right away like their leafy friends. Yellowing of bamboo leaves and their dropping are entirely natural processes throughout the year but provided that this does not happen often. As a rule, a few more leaves may fall off in spring. So if only some of your bamboo stems and leaves turn yellow, then it may not be time to worry, but we recommend that you make sure that all plant conditions are met. Does bamboo lose its leaves in winter? This question frequently concerns the owners of these beautiful plants. Under the right conditions, bamboo can endure the winter stress-free. So if many leaves have turned yellow and fallen, most likely the problem lies in improper care.

How to Bring a Bamboo Plant Back to Life

Check the Water Quality

One of the first culprits of bamboo leaves or stems turning yellow is water. The water must be soft without any chemical impurities. It is best to use boiled or distilled water, and the use of melt or rainwater is also allowed. The water temperature for irrigation should be room temperature, not too cold or too hot.

How Often Do You Change the Water?

Bamboo Plant Turning Yellow

If bamboo in water turns yellow, you may be using poor quality water. For the health and quality growth of bamboo, it is recommended to change the old water to fresh water at least once every two weeks. Freshwater is essential for the plant’s life, as it is rich in nitrogen and oxygen and contains the necessary trace elements. For best results, avoid stagnant water, as old water is a good breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and fungi. Also, change the water if you notice that it becomes cloudy, green, or has an unpleasant odor.

If Growing in Soil

If you are growing lucky bamboo in soil, try to water as needed, as overwatering is also a relatively common cause of yellow bamboo leaves. How to understand that it is time to water

the plant? You can efficiently perform a soil test. To do this, feel the surface of the soil with your finger. If the soil seems dry, you can safely water the bamboo. But if it is still wet, refrain from watering until the soil is dry.

Lack of water can also adversely affect the appearance of the plant. If you rarely water the lucky bamboo, then from a lack of moisture, its leaves begin to turn yellow, and with a prolonged lack of water, the bamboo can dry out and die. In addition, the plant’s roots grow much faster in soil than in water, and after a while, there may come a moment when the roots fill the entire pot, and there is no room for them to develop further. In this case, the plant would not be able to receive enough moisture and minerals for further development, and it may begin to wither, turn yellow, and shed its leaves. What to do in this case? It is straightforward to correct the situation – you need to transplant the plant into a more spacious spot.

The poor drainage system, or lack of it, can also cause lucky bamboo to turn yellow. It would be best to make drainage holes at the bottom of the container, preventing the roots from rotting and removing excess moisture. The water should flow out onto a special additional tray. It is recommended to use pebbles, expanded clay, or crushed brick as drainage.

Observe the Temperature Regime

Bamboo thrives in temperatures between 65 and 95 °F. If the temperature drops below 65 °F, the bamboo plant begins to die, and yellowing may be the first sign. Drafts, icy ones, can also cause bamboo plant leaves to turn yellow.


Excessive fertilization of the plant leads to the formation of excess minerals and salt, which leads to the yellowing of the bamboo leaves. Such conditions can significantly harm beneficial microorganisms in the soil and make nutrients in the ground less available to plants. In addition, a large amount of fertilizers, especially those containing nitrogen, promotes the sudden growth of plants with undeveloped roots. It is recommended to fertilize the plant no more than once a month. For this, fertilizers for Dracaena are suitable.

If you grow lucky bamboo in water, you should fertilize it no more than once every six months. If you have fertilized the plant and noticed the yellowing of the leaves, you need to change the water in the container and rinse the container well since mineral substances could remain on its walls.


How to Trim the Yellow Bamboo Stalk

Another reason for bamboo leaves turning yellow is direct sunlight hitting the plant. This plant reacts very negatively to the bright sun: from direct sunlight, yellow spots begin to appear on the leaves, or the whole leaves turn yellow. If the bamboo is not removed from the bright sun, it can quickly die. The culture prefers diffused lighting: you can place bamboo on the work or kitchen table or hanging shelf. Even artificial light is enough for the plant for vegetation. They can decorate bathrooms or corridors – everywhere the flower would look appropriate. It would help if you remembered that no culture could grow in complete darkness.

Low Humidity

Low humidity can also cause the yellowing of bamboo leaves and stems. When the environment becomes drier, water quickly evaporates through the pores of the leaves. If you don’t make up for this loss, your plant may turn yellow. Bamboo needs at least 40-50% moisture. There are many ways to increase humidity levels. For example, you can purchase a humidifier or spray the plant regularly. If you choose the second method, keep in mind that it can lead to the emergence of fungus. For this reason, always carefully examine the plant so that, if a problem occurs, you can notice it in the early stages.

Insect Infestation

The yellow stalk of lucky bamboo can also be caused by insect attacks, although this happens quite rarely. The most common pests are mites and mealybugs. They are capable of sucking out the juices of your plant and causing severe damage. Moreover, they provide a breeding ground for fungi. When the fungus grows on the leaves, you may notice black or brown spots. So how to revive a bamboo plant in this case? It is necessary to get rid of pests. For mild damage, you can remove the pests by wiping the plant with a mix of soap and water or an alcohol solution. In a more severe case, you can treat it with an insecticide. Also, remember to clean the vase and pebbles if your bamboo grows in water.

Should I Cut Yellow Leaves Off Bamboo?

Should I Cut Yellow Leaves Off Bamboo

You must remove yellowed bamboo leaves! You can use a sharp knife or scissors, but do not forget to disinfect them first. If the leaf has turned half yellow, then only the yellowish part should be removed, following the natural shape of the leaf. Healthy green areas must be left intact to allow the leaves to grow further. If the leaf turns yellow completely, it is necessary to remove it entirely. To do this, carefully cut the area

between the base of the leaf and the stem. It is best not to delay yellowed pruning leaves, as they can attract insects to spread disease.

How to Trim the Yellow Bamboo Stalk

It would be best if you did not leave the stems even with tiny yellow specks, as they may increase in volume. If not pruned in time, yellowness can absorb the trunk of the bamboo, which can lead to the death of the plant.

Before pruning, wash the stem with mild dish soap. Then soak it for 5-10 minutes. After these procedures, feel the soft areas of the branch (they can still be green). Weak, but green areas may recover soon, but you need to remove the yellow ones. Take a sharp knife or scissors (remember to sanitize the tool first) and carefully cut the stem off where it is still hard. Check the cross-section; if the center is still soft, make another cut until the center is challenging. You can dip the remainder of the stem into the water to take root. Keep it warm and out of direct sunlight.

As you can see, there can be many reasons for the yellowing of the stem and leaves of bamboo: both mistakes in care and parasites. First, it is necessary to establish the exact cause and only begin to fight: this is the most competent and practical approach. The main thing is to start treatment as early as possible while you can still save the bamboo. We wish you beautiful and healthy plants!

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