Why Does My Bamboo Plant Smell?


Lucky bamboo thrives by being grown in a container with rocks or marbles instead of soil. If you notice a foul odor when watering your lucky bamboo, something's amiss. Most of the time, the odor can be fixed by changing your watering techniques and cleaning the pot.


Most of the time, the odor occurs because of the water sitting in the pot with your lucky bamboo. If your water supply contains a high level of minerals, or if the water sits for a long period of time, you will notice an odor.


To prevent your bamboo plant from smelling, try using bottled or distilled water instead of tap water. Once a week, dump all of the water out of your pot and run fresh water through the pot.


To remove the odor, take your lucky bamboo out of its container and set it aside while you clean. Scrub any salt or mineral deposits off of the gravel and the container by rubbing them with rock salt.


Rinse away all traces of the rock salt, then place the gravel back in the container and repot your bamboo. Add fresh water and begin to use bottled or distilled water when watering.


Keep your bamboo out of the sun. Lucky bamboo prefers low-light situations, and too much sun may be a factor in the odor in the plant's water.


  • Esprit de Isle: Care of Lucky Bamboo
Keywords: lucky bamboo tips, why does bamboo smell, bamboo fumes

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.