GREEN GREEN Bamboo & Gifts

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Frequently Asked Questions About Lucky Bamboo

 

          This page contains emails from our visitors, and our responses addressing specific problems they have had with lucky bamboo. We have grouped them for easier navigation. Please see our care instructions for specific information on how to keep your lucky bamboo plants healthy and growing for a long time.

 

  • Yellow Leaves/Stems
  • Spider Mites
  • Can Lucky Bamboo Be Cut?
  • Roots
  • Fungus
  • Our Care Instructions

     

    Yellow Leaves/Stems

    Question: "Hi, I was just reading about the lucky bamboo plant on your web page. Actually I have a lucky bamboo plant with three stalks and it was healthy for the last 6 months. But suddenly I found that one of the stalk is yellow while some leaves on it are still green. I am very upset about this. If you could please tell me some solution so that I don't lose this. Thanks, Manju"

    Answer: Manju, it's too late for this stem. As soon as it turns yellow it is dead. Sorry =(

    Question: "I recently received a gift of a few stalks of lucky bamboo. It traveled (in a plastic bag with water) from Florida home with me to South Carolina. It seems homesick and I am lost as to how to help it re-adjust! I've got it in a glass container with just water and a few pebbles in the bottom. Unfortunately, I got the stalks with no real care instructions. The tips are turning yellow - I noticed on your website that this could be the water - I will switch to bottled water when I'm done this e-mail. Aside from that, what else can I do to help it acclimate? Should it be kept in soil or just in water w/pebbles? Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated! Spiritually yours, Lori B."

    Answer: Lori, keep lucky bamboo warm, at about 70 - 80 degrees F, and change the water once a month. As long as the stem does not turn yellow and mushy your lucky bamboo is fine. The yellow tips could have developed due to the water or due to too much sun exposure. Lucky bamboo gets sunburned sometimes. Just wait to see what they are doing within the next few weeks. If you want to, you can use lucky bamboo fertilizer, ours is called "Green-Green". It helps the lucky bamboo develop a darker color and enhances growth.

     

    Spider Mites

    Question: "My plant shows some sticky stuff, sort of webs, on stems and leaves. Now I noticed that leaves are turning yellow. Can you help pls? Ronald"

    Answer: Go to your local Walmart of Home Depot. They will have a spray that are used to kill insects and protect your plants any kind should be fine, but make sure safe for your plant. Also recommended to wash off each individual leafs and stalk to clear out spider mites and webbing. This is usually easier cheaper and so far it works fine for me without having to buy any insecticide.

    Can Lucky Bamboo Be Cut?

    Question: "I just found your site upon searching for some help with my lucky bamboo. I recently bought it from a festival where I live. I bought one of the long ones so I could cut it into shorter stalks. The woman said this is what you do. All of a sudden one of my now 4 stalks in completely yellow. I'm telling you it happened over night. What to do with it? How do I care for the lucky bamboo? And was I not supposed to cut the long stalk that has leaves at the top? HHHEELLLPP! Thanks, Jenny."

    Answer: Jenny, it's best not to cut lucky bamboo unless you know what you are doing and have the proper tools. Otherwise, the stalks you cut will mostly likely die.

    Question: "Someone told me that I should cut the bottoms off my lucky bamboo stalks to help them absorb water better; the bottoms do look brown, and my lucky bamboo doesn't look tremendously healthy - one stalk is turning yellow. I use filtered water . . . do you have any advice? Thank you! - Marguerite"

    Answer: Again, don't be cutting your lucky bamboo unless you know what you're doing. If is it  brown on the bottom of the stock and soft. It is dying. It is possible to cut of the end if the rest of the plant is still green (alive). You would want to cut the plant with a sharp blade.

    Question: "Hi, I have been looking on the web to see if these lucky bamboo stalks can be cut if they are too long. Can you please advice me on this topic? And what type of fertilizer would you recommend to put in the water when you change it? Thanks, Joe."

    Answer: Dear Joe, do not cut lucky bamboo, it will most likely spoil. As a fertilizer you should use only a special lucky bamboo fertilizer, ours is called "Green-Green" and is available online.

    Question: "Can I cut the sprouts/leaves off?"

    Answer: You can. You can do this with a sharp knife if the shoot isn't too thick. If it is too thick, you'll need some sharp, sterile pruning shears. Try to cut about 1/16" to 1/8" out from the edge of the stalk. Often the shoot will re-emerge from the same location if you don't cut the shoot flush with the stalk. However, the tan scar from cutting the shoot will remain. It's not as noticeable when the shoot leafs out over time. If you choose to cut the shoot off flush with the stalk, a new shoot will not grow there again. However, one will emerge from the node or joint below.

    Question: "I bought bamboo at a grocery store florist (i know - probably not the best ideal) they told me to cut the stems before putting them in water. I did - after reading your website I shouldn't have - anything I can do to keep them well. Also - does it matter how deep the pebbles are? Is an inch of water the proper amount? My vase is top heavy if I don't have several inches of pebbles. Thanks Kim"

    Answer: Hi Kim, well, that was definitely not good advice. What a crazy idea to cut the roots off! You can try to save them by exchanging water daily (lukewarm, not cold water) and keep an eye on them. If the stems show any yellowing on top or bottom and turn soft/mushy, your lucky bamboo is not to be saved. If cutting the stem didn't kill it, it may grow roots again and survive. In addition, grocery stores/supermarkets sell mainly Chinese lucky bamboo which is of lesser quality than Taiwanese lucky bamboo and spoils easier. You can use as much marbles/pebbles/etc as you want, just make sure that the lucky bamboo has enough water. For the time being I would suggest you skip the pebbles and keep them in water only, maybe a different, larger container. You need to check the bottom of your stems now daily and it is not advisable to pull them out from the pebbles all the time. Tiny roots which might develop will be broken or damaged again.

    Roots

    Question: "I bought some lucky bamboo and I know someone else who also has it. Theirs is growing roots much bigger and faster than mine. Is their anything to make the plant grow faster.Thank you- Laura"

    Answer: Dear Laura, some lucky bamboo grows lots of roots, some don't. This is not going to effect the growth of the leaves. As long as your leaves are dark green, your stem firm and green and not yellowing, your lucky bamboo is fine. You can add some lucky bamboo fertilizer, we carry one that's called "Green'Green" to enhance the color and growth if you want to.

    Question: "I have some lucky bamboo and I put it in water. However, the roots are ORANGE!! Please help me, is this a disease? whats wrong with my lucky bamboo? plz help! DX"

    Answer: Actually healthy, established lucky bamboo roots are orange or rust colored. New ones are white or cream colored. There is only a problem if the roots are black. Black roots are dead and decaying and should be removed.

    Fungus

    Question: "I have several stalks of lucky bamboo that I purchased from a local grocery store. I keep them in clear glass vases in a shaded part of my apartment and add only distilled water. I do not have any rocks or sand in the vases. The problem I am having is that a white fungus has started to grow on the portion of the stalks submerged in water. I have to change the water in the containers everyday otherwise the water becomes extremely cloudy from this fungus. I cannot add any fertilizer because it accelerates the growth of the fungus. I attempted to treat the problem with a fungicide recommended by a different website. As this particular fungicide is oil-based it simply floated on top of the water and was ineffective. Have you ever encountered this problem and can you suggest any solutions? Sincerely worried, Zachary."

    Answer: We never experienced any kind of fungus on our lucky bamboo, but I have had a few emails from non-customers who have the same problem. It seems that all of them, including you, have bought the lucky bamboo from a grocery store, supermarket or at a farmers market. I can only assume that it has something to do with Chinese lucky bamboo which is very seldomly imported by air cargo. This lucky bamboo comes via ocean import and is spending quite some time in containers. You might want to take your lucky bamboo to a nursery, if available in your area. They are very knowledgeable in determining what kind of fungi your plant has. Keep me updated, please! If you find a pesticide which works I would really appreciate you letting me know so I can be of more help to my visitors and post a recommendation on my website.

     

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