How to Revive a Bamboo Plant

Overview

Bamboo plants are generally pretty hardy, and with the right conditions, they will thrive with very little maintenance. If conditions aren't perfect, some plants may begin to wilt, brown burn and start to die back. The best approach is to try to reconcile the problem before the plant experiences significant damage. Unlike other plants, bamboo are often already past the point of saving when they start to look bad. If you have a sickly plant, it may not be too late to try some interventions.

Step 1

Give your plant better water. One of the most common reasons bamboo plants need to be revived is because they're watered with tap water. Treatment chemicals like chlorine and fluorine damage the plant over time. Take your plant out of its container, rinse the roots gently with purified or distilled water, and then rinse the anchoring materials. Carefully replace the plant and fill the container with the better water. Change your water weekly until your plant starts to improve, then move to bi-weekly water changes. Make sure your water level remains consistent and your plant never dries out.

Step 2

Give your plant a fertilizer boost. Bamboo plants generally don't need fertilizing. Fertilizer can, in fact, damage and kill a bamboo plant. In some cases, a very diluted feeding will help revive a sick-looking plant. Use houseplant food diluted one part food to 10 parts water, and then add a couple of drops to your plant's container right after a water change. You can also use a few drops of aquarium plant food. Attempt this only once, or you will kill your plant.

Step 3

Adjust your plant's lighting conditions. If your plant is in a sunny window or a place where it gets hot, direct sunlight, this could be your problem. Bamboo plants need filtered light or indirect sunlight. Their leaves will burn and turn brown and their stalks will start to yellow. On the other hand, if your plant isn't getting enough light, it will begin to look pale green, thin and spindly, with droopy leaves.

Step 4

Prune away problem areas. If just a small section of your plant looks sick, you may be able to cut it away. Pinch off problem leaves. Cut off the bad section of your stalk at a node, or ring.

Step 5

Dust your plant with an antifungal powder. If your plant is under siege from fungus, this will kill the existing fungus and prevent future fungus problems.

Step 6

Change from a glass container to a ceramic container. Glass containers let in more light, which leads to algae and bacteria growth. If your roots get coated in algae, it can be difficult for them to absorb water. Ceramic containers block light from the water.

Things You'll Need

  • Filtered or purified water
  • Aquarium plant food
  • Window shade (optional)

References

  • Care of Lucky Bamboo
  • Lucky Bamboo Care Sheet
Keywords: revive bamboo, sick bamboo plant, care of lucky bamboo

About this Author

Lillian Downey has an extensive and diverse background, including studies in English, social work, women's studies, non-profit management, political science and nursing. In addition to writing, she has worked as a sex-ed teacher, clinic manager, pregnancy options counselor and mental health professional. She served as Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Journal of Literature and Art and an Assistant Fiction Editor at the Antioch Review.