Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Keep a Bamboo Plant Green

A green bamboo plant is a healthy bamboo plant. In fact, if your plant's stalk is anything but green, it's probably dead. Usually your plant will give you warning signs, like yellow leaves or spindly growth, before the stalks start to discolor and die. With a few tips, you can keep your plant lush and verdant for years.

Switch from tap water to purified or filtered water. Tap water is almost always treated with salts, minerals and chemicals that damage bamboo plants. Changing your water can bring your plant's deep, green color back.

Move the plant out of direct light. Direct sunlight burns your bamboo, turning the leaves yellow with crunchy brown tips. It could also lighten your stalks. Place the plant in a spot where there's plenty of natural light, but where the sun will never beat down on it.

Stop feeding your bamboo plant. Bamboo plants only need to be fed once or twice per year with either a few drops of highly diluted plant food or aquarium plant food. Overfeeding burns your plant and can lead to discoloration.

Change your plant's water and clean its container every week. Dirty or stagnant water harbors bacteria and rots the bamboo roots, leading to a brown, mushy stem.

Trim away any dead leaves or soft spots. If these areas contain disease or fungus, it may be possible to remove them before they affect the rest of the plant. Rather than gouge out sections of the stem, make a clean, crosswise cut to remove the entire damaged stem piece.

Create More Bamboo From One Plant?

As a bamboo plant matures, the root zone grows laterally increasing the spread of the plant. Use 5 gallons a week for the first growing season after planting. Pour the water slowly so that it seeps into the soil. The roots grow under the soil sending up new shoots at intervals. Many running bamboo types are invasive, especially in mild climates. For most landscape use, clumping bamboo is the way to go. When planting running bamboo, line the hole with a barrier to prevent the roots from spreading. The Bambuseae family has about 90 genus and 1400 individual species. Giant cane bamboo (Arundinaria gigantea) is a 5- to 12-foot-tall bamboo that grows in USDA zones 5 through 9. This species forms clumps up to 20 feet wide. It grows in USDA zones 5 through 9.

Garden Guides