Lucky bamboo turning yellow

Leaves are turning yellow.

The two most common reasons for leaves turning yellow are:
1. High fluoride in the water. A common problem for Lucky Bamboo plants are fluoride. Tap water contains fluoride that are not good for your plant. It can cause brown tip or cause the leaves to turn yellow. If you continue to use the water, the yellowing will continue to spread.
Solution: Try using bottled water of filtered water. If you can not afford it, you can fill a container with tap water and let it sit 24 hours. This will eliminated most of the fluoride from the water.
2. Plant exposed to direct sunlight. If you have the window blinds open or have a ceiling sky light, the bamboo may be expose to sunlight when the sun shift while you are at work or away from the plant.
Solution: Move it to a different location you know for sure does not have any direct sunlight. Your plant does not required any light from the sun. It will be fine with light source from your the light bulb and lamps.

Stalks are turning yellow.

Once the stalk is turning yellow, it will not recover. You will have to cut the yellow section off in order to save the remaining part of the healthy stalk. A stalk can be turning yellow from the top down or from the bottom up.
If it starts from bottom up, the roots of the bamboo or the container is contaminated. Root rotting is common if you do not replace your plant arrangements with fresh water.
Root rotting and stalk turning yellow
Click here to enlarge.

Solution: If you are using rocks to support the bamboo, remove the rocks.
Rinse the container with mild soap and air dry.
Insert the plants in the container and add water. Do not add the rocks yet.
The rocks may contain chemicals that are affecting the plants. Once you know for certain it is not the rocks, you may add rocks back in to support the plant.
Ensure that you rinse the rocks with mild soap before insert it in the container
Change the water every 10-14 days.
If the stalk is turning yellow from the top and spreading downwards, the top of the stalk is not completely sealed, the leaf broke off, or you have pest hiding inside the leaves.
Solution: Make sure that the top off the stalk is above water. If it is submerge under water, it will not breathe properly. If you recently cut the top of the bamboo off, it must be completely sealed. You can use wax to seal the top (car wax or candle wax are the most popular wax to use). If the leaves broke off, they top of the stalk may be exposed and needs to be sealed. Spider mites are common in lucky bamboo plants. They love to hide in the inner part of the leaves and underneath the leaves. Use mild dish washing detergent mix with 10 part water to prevent spider mites. Spray the leaves every two to three days until it disappears.

9 thoughts on “Lucky bamboo turning yellow”

  1. Ok I cut the yellowish stalk off the bottom
    I. Put in clear water I have new leaves growing but the. Stalk is not growing how come

      1. My plant stock turned yellow from bottom up to where it twists. Its pretty tall…12inches. Root rot from sitting water and geat caused it. Once i cut the yellow off where it starts bending.. Ill just have a small twisted plant that the stock eont grow but the leaves and root will? And no new nodes? Is this m6 best ootion to save it?

        1. We had the same thing happen to us a few times. We cut off the spiral portion and put it into a round pot with only water and it turned out great. It may look odd at first. The trick is to look for a shallow round container. Our container was about 5 inch wide and 1.5 inches tall.
          Usually no new nodes will develop when you cut it from the bottom. New new nodes usually occur near the top of the stem.

    1. Hi Sandra.
      The most common household wax are candle wax and car wax. I prefer candle wax because it is easy to see how much wax was applied after it dries.

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