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Brown Spots on Bamboo

bamboo image by cyndi Claessens from Fotolia.com

Bamboo is a hearty grass that can be maintained in a garden or kept as a houseplant. But although the plant is strong and has natural anti-microbial properties, it can still develop problems. Brown spots are usually a sign that a bamboo plant is having issues.

Characteristics

Brown spots that appear on bamboo plants commonly surface around the leaves. They can also be found on the stalk.

Causes

Brown spots that appear on bamboo leaves are usually an indication of the plant’s nutrition. They can either be the result of too much direct sunlight, or they can signal that the plant’s water supply is too fluoridated or salty. When spots appear elsewhere, they can represent a more extreme case of pest infestation or infection from funghi or bacteria.

Treatment

The earlier the brown spots are addressed, the more likely the bamboo plant can recover. Minimizing the plant’s exposure to direct sunlight and improving its water supply are usually enough to reverse the development of brown spots on leaves. But when it comes to more serious cases of pest infestation or microbial infection, the plant needs to have a more specialized, aggressive treatment.

Prevention

Apart from providing a bamboo plant with adequate sunlight and water, other things can be done to prevent the development of brown spots. As with any plant, bamboo should be grown in nutrient-rich soil. A healthy soil composition will not only protect roots and facilitate the plant’s growth, but it will also make the bamboo more resistant to pests and other organisms.

Brown Tips On Bamboo Plants

True bamboo plants vary in their moisture tolerance. In general, browning and curling of the leaves can be an indication that the plant is not getting enough water. On the other hand, if you give a bamboo plant too much water -- such as watering for longer than just a few minutes each time you irrigate -- that can cause the leaves to drop prematurely from the plant, according to the American Bamboo Society. This usually happens in the spring. Insects, especially sap-sucking bugs, can cause browning of true bamboo and lucky bamboo as they leech the juices from the plants. If your plant is small enough, you can simply wash them away with a hose. Lucky bamboo is usually cultivated as a houseplant. The chemicals in the tap water can cause the plant to turn brown. For this reason, it's better to water with rainwater or filtered water.

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