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Why Is My Bamboo Plant Dying?

By Ezmeralda Lee ; Updated September 21, 2017
Bamboo plant.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of hobvias sudoneighm

Bamboo plants are common choices for plant lovers who want to adorn their homes with an ethnic appeal. These plants often come sold in stalks of three or four and come planted in small ceramic pots with a bit of water. Bamboo pants grow out in the wild in dense rain forests, but with enough water and sunlight, they make excellent house plants.


Look for yellowing of the stalk.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of ???

If a bamboo plant is starting to wrinkle, this is an indication that the bamboo plant is not absorbing enough water through its roots. It is easy to fix this problem, as an extra amount of water each day will soon set the plant thriving again. To do this, extract the plant from its smaller pot and put it a pitcher of water, making certain that the roots are fully underwater but the leaves are left out. Keep the plant in the pitcher for three or four days.


Yellowing of the the leaves or stalk is a sign that the bamboo plant is actually getting too much sun. Put the plant in a more shady spot and away from direct sunlight. Conversely, bamboo plants can actually begin to turn yellow in times of very cold weather, or if it is being watered with water that is too cold. If you suspect this is the case, place the plant in a warmer environment and make sure the temperature of the water is closer to room temperature.


Bamboo plants also will begin to sag or turn brown if they are receiving too little sunlight. It is best to never place the bamboo plant in direct sunlight because this will cause it to die from sunburns, but placing the plant nearer a window but out of the direct path of the sun's rays can ensure the plant gets enough sun and will begin to perk up and turn green again.


A bamboo plant can become overrun by mold, algae and other bacteria that cause diseases if the pot or bowl the plant is kept in is left sitting in dirty water. Without proper cleaning of the bowl, usually once a week, the bamboo plant can get sick and wilt. If this is the case, take out the dirty water and scrub out the inside of the bowl. Make sure no soapy residue is left and then put the plant back in. Until the plant returns to its healthy state, clean the bowl two times a week before returning to the once weekly regimen.


Finally, when you buy a bamboo plant, you should also have bought a fertilizing liquid to add to the plant. By dropping in a few drops of this green bamboo plant food, you can make sure the plant has all the correct nutrients to grow. If your plant is looking yellowish and sick, and you do not fertilize it, then begin doing so immediately. Be careful not to put in more than recommended on the bottle, however, because too much can also harm the plant.