How to Save Lucky Bamboo That is Turning Yellow

How to Save Lucky Bamboo That is Turning Yellow

Too much direct sunshine is typically the cause of fortunate bamboo turning yellow. Lucky bamboo is evolved to growing in its natural environment, where it receives brilliant, indirect light rather than direct sunshine, under a canopy. The lucky bamboo’s leaves and stalks turn yellow from overexposure to the sun.

Most frequent causes of yellowing of lucky bamboo:

  1. Direct sunshine turns yellow leaves and stalks (Lucky bamboo prefers bright, indirect light).
  2. The container has too much water in it (lucky bamboo require just the roots submerged but the stalks turn mushy and yellow in too much water).
  3. Sharp temperature changes make the leaves and stems yellow (Lucky bamboo is very sensitive to sudden temperature change from indoor heating or cold window sills).
  4. not frequently enough changing the water around the roots (lucky bamboo can grow in just water but the water should be changed every 2 weeks to prevent yellowing).
  5. Too much fertilizer is given too frequently, turning the leaves and stems yellow. Lucky bamboo needs far less fertilizer than the majority of houseplants because it is so sensitive to it.
  6. The tips of the lucky bamboo leaf might become yellow and brown when exposed to fluorine and chlorine in tap water (lucky bamboo is sensitive to chemical and should be watered with bottled water).

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) typically becomes yellow due to sunburn or because the habitat in which it is growing is in some way unfavorable to the conditions to which it is acclimated. Continue reading to learn why and how to save your lucky bamboo plant whose leaves and stems are turning yellow.

Bamboo Leaves Turning Yellow

Too much sunlight is the most frequent cause of yellowing lucky bamboo leaves. Lucky bamboo prefers to grow in bright, indirect light or partial sun and grows naturally under a forest canopy, protected from harsh direct sunlight. The fortunate bamboo leaves become yellow and appear burned if they are exposed to too much direct sunshine.

In Central Africa’s tropical rainforests, where it develops a canopy and is normally shielded from the sun, lucky bamboo can be seen growing. Lucky bamboo’s leaves and stalks are extremely sensitive to sunlight, which is what gives them their scorched-yellow appearance.

Lucky bamboo needs direct, strong light for healthy growth and to keep its leaves from turning yellow.

While excessive sun exposure is typically the cause of the yellowing of the leaves, there are other elements that can be the reason or contribute to the yellowing of the leaves, including:

  • Unexpected changes in temperature; fortunate bamboo enjoys a range of 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C);
  • excessive fertilizer (which causes a build of salts that prevent the roots from drawing up moisture effectively).
  • inadequate in nutrients (this is particularly the case when lucky bamboo is grown in standing water without any additional fertilizer).
  • Too much water (Lucky bamboo needs its roots to be submerged in water, usually at or near the plant’s base, which is about an inch deep). The stalks and leaves start to yellow and perish if they are several inches under water.
  • insufficient water. Yellow leaves come from the bamboo’s inability to suck up enough water if the roots are not submerged).
  • not enough frequent water changes (the same stagnant water for weeks can promote the conditions for fungal infection and turn the leaves yellow).
  • utilizing tap water to hydrate the fortunate bamboo (lucky bamboo is particularly sensitive to chlorine and fluoride in the water which can contribute to yellow leaves).

However, they frequently live longer when planted in potting soil as opposed to growing in water. It is also important to keep in mind that lucky bamboo is not necessarily a particularly long lived plant and may only maintain a good condition for about 2 years before the leaves and stalks turn yellow or brown.

How to Save Bamboo with Yellow Leaves

  • Place the bamboo away from direct sunlight in an area with bright indirect light. Bright, indirect light strikes the ideal balance between providing enough light to enable healthy growth and preventing the risk of scorching the delicate leaves.
  • Eliminate any leaves that have been severely yellow-scorched. Any scorched-yellow leaves do not regain their green appearance. However, you can use a pair of pruners to trim these leaves close to the stalk or gently peel them back. This promotes the growth of fresh, healthy, green leaves.
  • In the winter, keep the temperature between 60°F and 75°F (16°C and 24°C), ideally no lower than 50°F (10°C). This is the temperature range that the fortunate bamboo prefers. Although it can survive in temperatures outside of this range, the stress that causes the leaves to become yellow usually results from an abrupt change in temperature. In the winter, keep your lucky bamboo away from sources of indoor heat because they are the things that tend to produce abrupt temperature changes.
  • During the spring and summer, only use one drop of balanced houseplant fertilizer every two weeks. Lucky bamboo does not require a lot of nutrients, but if the bamboo is grown in water as opposed to soil, the need for additional fertilizer grows. Usually, if they are planted in soil, they don’t need additional fertilizer. This small amount of fertilizer supplies the necessary nutrients for growth without building up salts that hinder the roots from absorbing water, which in turn causes the leaves to turn yellow.
  • Bamboo leaves that are progressively becoming yellow are frequently an indication of inadequate nutrition levels. Although lucky bamboo can endure a long time submerged in water, a drop of standard houseplant fertilizer can supply the proper ratio of nutrients to sustain development and vibrant green leaves.
  • Avoid putting lucky bamboo in a vase filled with water and instead submerge the stalks in about an inch of water (as long as the roots are covered). The stalk, which is often above ground, cannot survive being submerged in water like the roots can, causing the leaves and stalks to turn yellow and frequently look to be decaying. To avoid the spread of fungus to healthy stalks, remove any stalks that look to be rotting from the water.
  • If the leaves are going yellow, change the water. The best practice is to replace the water in the lucky bamboos once a week to avoid the growth of bacteria, algae, and fungal diseases, which can contribute to or directly cause the yellowing of the leaves.
  • Always use distilled water, mineral water from a bottle, or tap water that has been resting for 24 hours to let the chlorine and fluoride vaporize to water lucky bamboo. Lucky bamboo is especially susceptible to contaminants in tap water, which can cause its leaves to become yellow. If tap water has been left out in a dish overnight, chlorine and fluoride will consistently evaporate, allowing you to water fortunate bamboo safely.

Can Yellow Bamboo Leaves Turn Green Again?

Can Yellow Bamboo Leaves Turn Green Again?

To stop bacteria or fungus from spreading to healthy bamboo stalks, remove any stems that have become yellow and mushy from the container.

Bamboo Leaf Tips Turning Yellow

Too much fertilizer is the cause of the yellowing of bamboo leaf tips. Unlike other houseplants, lucky bamboo only needs around half the amount of fertilizer. Bamboo leaf tips turn yellow if fertilizer is applied too frequently or with an excessive amount of concentration.

Lucky bamboo is a tough plant that has evolved to flourish in its native environment’s relatively low fertility levels.

If you’re growing lucky bamboo in water, general houseplant fertilizer is advised; however, only one or two drops of fertilizer should be added to the water once a month throughout the growing season.

Change the water right away if you have applied fertilizer too frequently and the leaf tips are yellow. Reduce fertilizer use to once a month and just during the Spring and Summer, and your lucky bamboo should start to recover within a few weeks.

The yellowing of lucky bamboo leaf tips can also be caused by temperature changes, underwatering, and utilizing tap water.

Wintertime temperature swings are common owing to indoor heating and chilly evenings, especially if the lucky bamboo leaves come into contact with a window sill’s chilly glass.

The leaf tips may begin to turn yellow if the temperature varies much from the optimum range of 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C).

Lucky bamboo’s sensitivity to fluoride and chlorine in tap water causes the leaf tips to often become brown (which is present in tap water in most countries). However, before turning brown, the leaf tips may initially appear somewhat yellow.

Replace the tap water with bottled or distilled water, reduce fertilizer use to one drop per month while the bamboo heals, and you can save the lucky bamboo with the yellow leaf tips.

If necessary, change the water every month to prevent fertilizer buildup and other issues.

To maintain a constant temperature, keep the bamboo away from any heat sources, out of the path of any forced air systems, and ideally, keep the bamboo away from any chilly window sills.

Lucky Bamboo Stalks Yellow

The most frequent cause of bamboo stems turning yellow is because they are submerged in excessive amounts of water. Around 1 inch of water is needed for lucky bamboo to ensure that the roots are submerged. If the bamboo stem is submerged for many inches, the bamboo begins to decay and turn yellow.

This frequently occurs when bamboo stems are placed in a vase that contains too much water. The bamboo stalk, which is normally above ground in its natural habitat, can survive standing water, but the roots must be completely immersed.

The stalk and frequently the leaves turn yellow and mushy as a result of too much water encouraging the development of rot and fungal disease.

However, lucky bamboo shoots can also become yellow when submerged. If you are growing lucky bamboo in merely water, it is essential that the roots are barely submerged, and if it is planted in soil, it is crucial to water fortunate bamboo once a week.

The stalks frequently turn yellow for this reason if the roots are above the water line.

Just like the leaves, the stalks of lucky bamboo are susceptible to overexposure to sunlight, which can cause a yellowing of the stalks.

Other elements that may cause the stalks to become yellow include:

  • temperatures that abruptly change.
  • A surplus of fertilizer.
  • not changing the water in the bamboo frequently enough.
  • Chemicals in the water supply (bamboo is sensitive to chlorine and fluoride).

How to Save Lucky Bamboo with Yellow Stalks

How to Save Lucky Bamboo with Yellow Stalks

  • Make sure the bamboo is not under direct sunlight, but rather strong indirect light. Finding a bright spot that is not directly in the sun is crucial since the leaves and the stalk are sensitive to direct sunlight. The bamboo should survive after it is transferred to a more favorable lighting environment if the leaves and stalk are only slightly burned yellow. While it is possible to gently peel or clip back burnt leaves to encourage new growth, the stalk typically does not return to its original green color. In that situation, growing a new, green bamboo stem from any healthy cuttings would be your best bet.
  • Reduce the amount of fertilizer you use. In order to maintain the proper balance of nutrients during the growing season, only use a few drops of all-purpose houseplant liquid fertilizer once a month on lucky bamboo because it is particularly sensitive to fertilizer. Change the water or potting soil and stop using fertilizer altogether until the following spring if you have been applying fertilizer too frequently or in too high a concentration. The best course of action is to propagate the lucky bamboo from any healthy growth if at all feasible if the stalks do not show any signs of recovery. Lucky bamboo can recover if you cut back the usage of fertilizer soon once the stalks begin to turn yellow.
  • Maintain a constant temperature of between 16°C and 24°C (60°F to 75°F). Lucky bamboo should not be placed on a window sill or in a draft because the glass can become very chilly in the winter even in rooms with generally warm temperatures. Keep fortunate bamboo away from forced air or air conditioning systems, as well as sources of indoor warmth.
  • Use water that has been left out for 24 hours before watering—bottled water, distilled water, or tap water. These procedures guarantee that the water does not include a lot of fluoride or chlorine, which might cause yellowing stalks. Every two weeks, replace the water.

(Read my article on how to bring a dead luck bamboo back to life.)

Key Takeaways:

  • Too much direct sunshine is typically the source of the lucky bamboo plant’s yellow leaves and stalks. Rather than full sunshine, lucky bamboo are evolved to thriving in brilliant, indirect light. The leaves and stalks of the lucky bamboo might burn and become yellow if it receives excessive sunlight.
  • Lucky bamboo stalks frequently become yellow because they are submerged in too much water. Only the roots should be submerged, therefore lucky bamboo should only be cultivated in 1-3 inches of water. A bamboo stalk will turn yellow and mushy from rot if it is submerged in a lot of water.
  • Lucky bamboo’s leaves and stems generally lose their green color after turning yellow. Yellow stems should be removed from the pot if they are yellow and mushy, but yellow leaves can be pulled off to promote the growth of fresh green leaves.
  • The yellowing of lucky bamboo leaf tips is typically caused by fertilizer that is applied too frequently or in excess amounts. As a result of its high sensitivity to excess fertilizer and low nutrient requirement, lucky bamboo develops golden leaf tips. The yellowing of leaf tips can also be attributed to fluctuating temperatures and underwatering.
  • Lucky bamboo with yellow leaves can be saved if it is located in an area with bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60°F and 75°F. After changing the water, the bamboo should recover if the yellow leaves are carefully peeled off to encourage the establishment of healthy green leaves.


Will my yellow bamboo recover?

The lucky bamboo stalk and yellow squishy sections cannot be restored because they are already dead. However, the portions that are still green can be preserved and multiplied!

Should I cut the yellow off my lucky bamboo?

The lucky bamboo stalk’s green portions are still healthy, and the yellow portions can easily be removed.

Can a bamboo plant come back after turning yellow?

A lucky bamboo stem won’t revert back to green once it turns yellow. You can leave it alone if the stalk is holding strong. However, I often take the green, healthy stalks out of the container and discard the yellowing stalks. The yellow stalk can produce new ones if it still contains green sections.

Is my bamboo dead if its yellow?

Bamboo Leaves that are fading Bamboo grows quickly and spreads widely. Similar to other decorative plants, bamboo has specific needs to remain healthy. The leaves and stems of true bamboo are bright green and hollow. If the leaves on your bamboo plant are turning yellow, your plant may be in trouble.

Can you save bamboo once it turns yellow?

The stalk won’t recover once it starts to turn yellow. To preserve the remaining portion of the healthy stem, you must remove the yellow area. From the bottom up or the top down, a stalk may be turning yellow. If it starts from the bottom up, either the container or the bamboo’s roots are polluted.