Why Is My Bamboo Plant Stalk Turning Yellow?


When bamboo stalks turn yellow there is very little you can do for the plant. The bamboo either has been inundated by chemicals in water or fertilizer, has been overfed, or has been overexposed to light. If your bamboo is in this condition, it is important to cut the yellow from the green remainder of the stalk and plant the healthy, green plant in soil.

Fluoride in Water

According to Plant-Care.com, tap water with high amounts of fluoride will turn the stalk yellow. If tap water is hurting your bamboo, water the plant with bottled water. Do not over water, as this can cause rotting. Instead, water moderately each week, and mist the leaves with a spray bottle.


Too much fertilizer will overwhelm your bamboo, Plant-Care.com advises. If you have fertilized the plant and the leaves and stalk are yellowing, remove the bamboo from the fertilized container and plant with fresh soil and water. Do not re-fertilize for two or three months after the incident.


Like over-fertilizing, a bamboo plant can suffer from overfeeding. If the plant's leaves and stalk are turning yellow, remove the plant and replant with new soil in a different container. The yellowing may lead to a brown, rotting stalk.

Overexposure to Light

Bamboo prefers indirect light. Although a bamboo plant may survive in direct light, yellowing of the stalk may indicate the plant is overexposed. If this is the case, move the plant to another area of your house or office that is not directly lit.


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, the plant most people call bamboo or lucky bamboo is actually not related to bamboo, instead it is Dracaena sanderiana. Lucky Bamboo is also called a Ribbon Plant or Belgian Plant. This plant is found naturally in Cameroon rainforests. The plant prefers shady, wet locations and will not survive temperatures below freezing. Although the plant is native to Africa, the plant has been subsumed into the Chinese art of feng shui. Finally, do not allow children or pets to eat this plant; it is toxic.

Keywords: Plant Care, Bamboo Problems, Bamboo Care

About this Author

Ryan Crooks is an architect, instructor, and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. His work has been published in many periodicals, including Harvard Design Review, Places, the Journal for Architectural Education, and Reverberations, as well as various websites, including Examiner.com. Ryan received his Bachelor of Arts from Emory University and his Master of Architecture from Georgia Tech.

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