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Why Does My Bamboo Plant Smell?

By Elton Dunn
Healthy bamboo does not smell.
bamboo image by Bube from Fotolia.com

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.


About the Author


A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.