How to Save a Dying Bamboo Plant with Leaves Turning Yellow?

Indoor bamboo plants, also widely known as lucky bamboo plants, are not actually bamboo. These plants, although very similar in looks to bamboo plants, are part of the Asparagaceae family.

The lucky bamboo plants are called a Dracaena sanderiana plant. These plants are native to Africa and belong to the African Asparagaceae species.

There’s not one single reason a lucky bamboo plant might be dying. Several reasons can emerge that may be causing the drying and dying of the plant. In this article, we answer whether it’s possible to save a dying lucky bamboo plant. Read on to find out about the ways to salvage a dying bamboo plant and the steps to its proper care.

How To Save A Dying Bamboo Plant?

The first step to saving a dying lucky bamboo plant is to understand the reasons. Take an inventory of the list of considerations when trying to keep a bamboo plant healthy and robust.

1) Clean Water Source and Containers

It is important not to use a chlorinated or contaminated water source. Generally, tap water may not be safe enough to use as a water source for lucky bamboo plants. Unless, of course, there is a way to ascertain that the tap water lacks chlorination and is not contaminated.

The better idea would be to stick to filtered and clean water. The chlorine in the water can be a major source of the yellowing of the bamboo plant. Sticking to a filtered water source is beneficial for the plant’s health and may prevent any further yellowing of the stem.

If the plant was in a pebbled pot, changing to a light potting mix might be the answer. An equal proportion of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite can help.

It’s also important to keep the pot clean and free from contamination. Make sure if it’s planted in a pot, then the soil and the pot are both clean.

The water should be replaced every once in a while, preferably every two or three weeks. This keeps the water and the bowl both clean. Dirty bowls will often have sticky algae mass, which should be taken care of as that can cause the plant’s death.

2) Cut Dying Parts

The sad truth is, once the plant parts: stems and leaves turn yellow, there is no saving it. The rotten parts need to be cut and pruned neatly to avoid the healthier plants from rotting away too.

After it’s pruned, the plant needs to be potted in a fresh medium, preferably a light potting mix. This should help the plant stem grow roots and become standalone. However, there is always a chance of it dying anyways due to the transplantation.

3) Remove Bugs

Indoor bamboo plants can attract bugs, especially mealybugs, as they prefer the warm and humid environment the plan thieves in. It’s important to remove them if the plant is infested with them. The bugs otherwise can deplete the plant of its energy and increase the chance of dying.

Also, check for algae around the root of the plant or in the water bowl. If algae is present, then it should be removed and cleaned off thoroughly.

4) Proper Watering

It is important to properly water the indoor bamboo plants. Too much water and too little can both be detrimental to the plant’s health. Overwatering can cause root rot and encourage the development of algae around the plant and the pot.

Underwatering can dry out the soil and hence, inadvertently, dry out the plant. Underwatered plants tend to turn yellow and eventually die.

In essence, watering is the most crucial part of taking care of a bamboo plant kept indoors. It can also be a deciding factor that may work towards saving a dying bamboo plant.

If the plant is planted in a potting mix that includes soil, it’s ideal to keep the soil moist. A pot with drainage holes is ideal as the drainage holes allow a measure of control and prevent soil saturation.

5) Maintain Proper Temperature and Lighting

It is crucial to maintain consistent humidity and temperature for good health of the plant. Usually, a humid environment is preferred. Make it a point to not store the plant under vents or air conditioners to alter the plant’s temperature.

Also, keep the indoor plant away from direct harsh and consistent sunlight. Indirect sunlight that is not too bright will work well. Again, too little or too much is not ideal. The plant should get a medium amount of indirect light so that it can thrive and flourish.

6) Fertilize the Bamboo Plant

Once they have used up the carbohydrate and other nutrients reserves in the stem, Bamboo plants can begin to die. This will be apparent with their stems and leaves turning yellow. To avoid that, it’s important to fertilize the plant at least twice or thrice a year. Using mild and water-soluble fertilizers is suitable.

There are specific lucky bamboo plant fertilizers available too. The plant will need extra food and nutrients that water alone cannot provide. That’s why soil medium works better, and even with a soil medium, fertilizers provide the extra nutrients that the plant would need.

7) The Aloe Vera Trick

Check out the video below to learn how you can use aloe vera to save a dying bamboo plant.

What To Do With A Yellowing Bamboo Plant?

If your plant is turning yellow and brown in places, it’s likely a sign of rot. The plant can be dying as it has exhausted all the stored carbohydrates stored in the stem.

Once the plant has used up all of it to stay alive, if it doesn’t receive further external nutrition, it will turn yellow and die.

Once the indoor bamboo plants start to turn yellow, there’s no saving that particular part. It is often needed to be cut off and disposed of, and the greener parts are then repotted. They are potted again either run a soil medium or water medium, although light potting soil medium is highly preferable.

Is A Dying Bamboo Plant Unlucky?

While it is called a lucky bamboo plant, it’s mostly because of the beliefs associated with it and its hardiness to survive in unlikely conditions. There is no actual bad luck if the bamboo plant dies, although it will be a rather sad affair.


Indoor bamboo plants are also famous as lucky bamboo plants – which is the only indoor variety of bamboo-like plant sold. They are fairly easy to take care of and do not require a lot of maintenance.

They are widely used because they are easy to care for and only require light potting soil or water to stay alive. They can last up to 15 years if maintained in good conditions and are perfect for some indoor greenery.