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Why does only one bamboo stalk always die?

Sherri W.
December 3, 2018
last modified: December 3, 2018

Hi everyone,I've generally had good luck with bamboo plants in my house - I keep them only in water in a glass vase and top up the water as needed. Recently though, just one stalk out of 5 slowly started turning yellow and then died (photos in comment below). Why would this happen to only one stalk, and why all of a sudden when I hadn't changed anything about its care? Thanks!

Comments (8)
  • dbarron

    This is not bamboo and not applicable to the bamboo (which is a form of grass) forums.

    Sherri W. thanked dbarron
  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    Sherri, your plant is Dracaena sanderiana, a common houseplant often marketed as "Lucky Bamboo". Try the Houseplant Forum for help.

    Sherri W. thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • kudzu9

    Try the Lucky Bamboo Forum....

    Sherri W. thanked kudzu9
  • Embothrium

    Probably there is a relationship between the yellowing of the leaves of most of the tops and the one cane yellowing and collapsing.

    How long have you had them? I'd expect you'd have to pot the cuttings up in potting soil and start fertilizing them at some point or they would eventually deteriorate, due to a lack of minerals.

    The Lucky Bamboo Forum is here on Garden Web if you didn't understand that.

  • Sherri W.

    Thanks! I'll try the Lucky Bamboo forum too. I've had them 2 - 3 years now, can't remember exactly. I've always kept them only in water (other ones too, in previous apartments I've had other ones in water for years) and never had any problems except the occasional stalk that turns yellow.

  • dbarron

    Water (as a rule) doesn't provide much in the way of nutrients, the only way to grow is to cannabilize from older stalks (thus they die).

  • Sherri W.

    Oh I see. Could I use a liquid fertilizer then (like the one I use for my orchids when I water them )? I prefer to grow the lucky bamboo in water because I always under or overwater soil plants and often have problems with little flies in the soil, too.

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