Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Save a Dying Indoor Lucky Bamboo Plant

bamboo image by Alice Becet from

If your lucky bamboo plant has suddenly lost its luck, don't worry because you may still be able to save this resilient plant. Lucky bamboo plants are not actually bamboo plants, but a member of the lily family, Dracaena sanderiana. If your plant leaves have begun to turn yellow or brown, it has begun to die. You may not always be able to save it, but there are some things you can try before you give up hope.

Replace the water in the container with distilled water. If your lucky bamboo is potted, rinse out the soil by watering it thoroughly until water runs all the way through the soil or repot the plant in fresh soil. One of the most common causes for yellow leaves is watering with heavily chlorinated or fluoridated water. Continue to water with distilled water. If you must use tap water, leave it out overnight, which reduces the chlorine (but not the fluoride) content in the water.

Move the plant to a different location, away from drafts. Lucky bamboo prefers areas with a temperature between 45 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid areas with sudden temperature changes caused by open windows or doors, furnace ducts, stoves and similar items.

Reduce the plant's exposure to sunlight. While lucky bamboo prefers bright filtered light, it will suffer sunburn when exposed to direct sunlight.

Spray your plant with an insecticide designed to kill mealy bugs or spider mites if you find signs of these two common pests of lucky bamboo. If you see small cotton balls on your plant, you probably have a mealy bug problem. If you see small webs, it is probably spider mites.

Clean the leaves and stalk with a damp cloth. This removes dust that may be "choking" your plant. It will also clean of any fungus or rot that may be developing on the top of your plant.

Trim off any yellow or brown areas of the leaves with a sharp scissors. If the stem is dying, you can try trimming off that portion of the stem. Your other option is to remove the sprouts from the stem and place them in water. The sprouts may develop roots and begin to grow a new stem.

Garden Guides