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Why Does My Bamboo Plant Smell?

bamboo image by Bube from

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.

Treat The Smell Of An Infected Bamboo Plant That Is Drying Up

Lucky bamboo stalks become dry for two main reasons. When the roots rot, they cannot properly transport water to the stalks and leaves, causing the stems or stalks to die and dry. If the lucky bamboo's smelly problem is just stale, stagnant water, then the best way to get rid of the odor is to drain the water and put fresh water in the plant's container. In order to assess the plant for fungal disease in its roots, pull the plant out of its water and look at the roots. Adding liquid sulfur or potassium bicarbonate to the new water may help to combat the disease. Stem rot can be identified by dark spots on the stems. Do not place your lucky bamboo in direct sunlight, just bright indirect sunlight.

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