How to Revive a Dying Lucky Bamboo Plant Properly

Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Stephanie

The reason for bamboo dying is usually due to too much direct sunlight. Lucky bamboo should be grown in indirect, bright light. If bamboo that is lucky grows in full sun, the stalks and leaves become yellow and lose their appearance.

If the bamboo was exposed to direct sunlight for a brief time the stalk and leaves may turn white in an indication of stress, which is why it is important to use direct, bright light.

Lucky bamboo leaves may change color to yellow, with wrinkled looking, drooping appearance when the bamboo roots dont have enough water access.

Lucky bamboo leaves turn brown when the bamboo is fed with tap water. Lucky bamboo is sensitive to chemicals in tap water. It is best hydrated with rainwater.

In order to revive the dying lucky bamboo, it is essential to provide the ideal conditions that provide direct, bright light. make sure the roots have adequate access to water and do not use tap water. keep the temperature in the between 60degF and 75degF (16degC up to 24degC) to allow the bamboo to regenerate.

It could be necessary to cut off a portion of your bamboo of left-over healthy plant (if feasible) to propagate the bamboo in order to save the bamboo.

It is important to note that if you are growing lucky bamboo ( Dracaena sanderiana) in the water is not long-lasting, typically it will last two or three years before becoming brown and dying.

Follow this article to learn how you can help your bamboo to be saved…

Lucky Bamboo Leaves and Stalk Turning Yellow

  • Symptoms. The stalks and leaves turn yellow at times, with drooping leaves and wrinkled appearance. The stalks are often to be mushy and yellow.
  • Causes. A large portion of the stalk is submerged in water and submerged, too much fertilizer, temperature changes.

The most frequent reason why lucky bamboo turns yellow is due to excessive direct sunlight that could turn the stalks and leaves yellow. Bamboo that is lucky can be sensitive to excessive light and must be grown in indirect, bright light instead of full sunlight to prevent becoming yellow.

The reason bamboo stalks that are lucky become mushy and yellow is due to the fact that the stalk is submerged in water that is too high.

Lucky bamboo is recommended to be grown within 3 inches of water to ensure that only root tips are submerged.

The stalk is not tolerant of being submerged and can decay and then turn yellow and soft.

It is usually the case when the bamboo stalk is placed in a large container like a vase or jar. These will help to provide stability, however, it should not be filled with more than three inches water in order to prevent the bamboo from becoming yellow and rotting.

If the bamboos roots are unable to access enough water , then the leaves and stalks also become yellow. This is the reason why the ideal equilibrium of roots being submerged, but the stalk higher than the surface of water is so crucial, especially if youre growing bamboo that is lucky in the water.

While it is a good idea applying a liquid plant fertilizer to bamboo that is lucky however, it can also be often the reason for stalks and leaves becoming yellow because lucky bamboo is extremely sensitive to large amounts of fertilizer.

Typically, lucky bamboos will require only just a few drops of general fertilizer for houseplants, every month in the spring and summer.

lucky bamboo with orchid

If you apply fertilizer more frequently than this or at a greater quantity, then it is likely to be the reason behind the stalks and leaves becoming yellow.

Lucky bamboo does not react well to extreme fluctuations in temperatures (which cause yellowing of stems and leaves). The ideal temperature range for bamboo that is lucky is 60degF-75degF (16degC to 24degC).).

The sudden temperature drop indoors which causes lucky bamboo to change color is more frequent in winter, with heating indoors raising temperatures, and the cold windowsills or other areas of the home in the evening, causing a dramatic change in temperatures.

How to Revive Dying Lucky Bamboo With Leaves and Stalks Turning Yellow

  • The lucky bamboo should be moved to an area with bright, indirect light, far of direct sun. If the leaves are burned yellow, they will not change color, but it is possible to gently peel them off or trim them gently using a pair of pruners or a pair that encourages the development of healthy green leaves.
  • Make sure the bamboo that is lucky is located in an area that has a steady temperature of 60degF and 75degF (16degC up to 24degC). Make sure the bamboo is kept away from indoor heating sources and away from air flow caused through forced air and air cooling. Take into consideration that window sills can be more frigid than the rest of the home particularly at night in winter.
  • Reduce the amount of fertilizer. Lucky bamboo is particularly sensitive to fertilizer and requires 2 drops of the general fertilizer for houseplants at least once a month in the spring and summer, however, it is able to thrive without fertilizer. Replace the water if the bamboo is turning yellow and youve used excessive fertilizer (it is recommended changing the water once per month) and avoid applying fertilizer until the following growing season.
  • If you are growing bamboo in the water, make sure that the roots are submerged in order to keep them from turning yellow. If the roots arent able to draw up, the first indication of stress is the dying leaves, yellowing. Make sure there is sufficient water that covers the root, which is usually 3 to 4 inches. Replace the water each month to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungal pathogens that could make the bamboo yellow and also check the level of water whenever there is an increase in temperature, be it in the summer or due to winter heating inside. If you are growing it in potting soil, make sure to keep the soil damp and make sure the roots do not extend over the soil line.
  • Dont overfill the bamboos lucky vase or pot with water to prevent yellowing stems. While the roots may flourish when they are submerged, the stem of the bamboo that is lucky must be kept clear of the soil or water line to avoid it becoming to be mushy and yellow. This typically means that only the bottom 3 to 4 inches of the bamboo must be submerged in water.

If the bamboos stem is now mushy and yellow, then take it out of the vase and dispose of it because it is rotting. The decay can cause fungal diseases and bacteria that can then be transmitted to bamboo stalks.

To aid the bamboo to recover, gently peel off any yellow leaves since after they turn yellow, they will not change green. However, removing the yellow leaves may encourage the lucky bamboo to develop healthy, green leaves.

Sometimes , the most effective option is to spread the lucky bamboo from remaining healthy areas of growth. The process of propagating lucky bamboo is simple and will yield an energised plant that will fully recover.

Check out this YouTube video for tips on how to grow lucky bamboo:

(Read my article on tips to help save bamboo that is beginning to turn green).

How to Revive Lucky Bamboo Turning White

  • The bamboo should be moved to an area with bright, indirect light. The ideal lighting balance for bamboo that is lucky is a room that is bright and has plenty of light, so long as the bamboos leaves and stalks arent in the shadow of bright sunlight.
  • If the leaves are totally bleached white, the individual leaves will not recover. When the bamboo that was lucky is relocated to a place away from direct sunlight, it begins to grow fresh, new leaves that replace the sun-damaged white leaves. You can also gently remove the leaves or cut them off with the help of pruners that will help stimulate development of the new leaf.
  • If the stalks are turning white because of direct sunlight, then simply leave the plant exposed to indirect light. Bamboo with white leaves can be easily revived than stalks with white leaves. The most effective method to take with white stalks would be to simply leave the bamboo in a bright, indirect light and the plant could begin to grow new growth (which is healthier green).
  • Refill the water, and only make use of distilled, bottled or rainwater if youve been drinking tap water to water. It is common to replace the water every month or so , and make sure that the roots are completely submerged if youre growing bamboo with just water. Make sure the soil is evenly moist in the event that your bamboo grows in the potting soil.
  • If you are watering your lucky bamboo using tap water, leave the bowl for a night to prevent the white leaves. It is important to note the fact that bamboo with luck is extremely sensitive to the chemicals present in tap water, but the chemicals that turns leaf white (or brown near the edges) will evaporate within 24 hours, making it possible to sprinkle water on your lucky bamboo.
  • If you think that low humidity is affecting the bamboo you have cultivated and reside in arid regions then you should mist the leaves every two days. Misting leaves can create an incredibly humid micro-climate that mimics the conditions of the native environment, which can help ease any stress caused by drought on the bamboo.

While a single white leaf might not always recover, the bamboo that is lucky usually recovers when you create favorable conditions, including direct, bright light and refrain from watering using tap water. Healthy new growth that is healthy and green should begin to appear within the next few weeks.

Lucky Bamboo Turning White

  • Symptoms. The stalk and leaves may appear white, bleached or pale.
  • Causes. A lot of sunlight fluoride, chlorine and chlorine within the water.

The reason that bamboo is changing color is due to the fact that it was bleached white because of too much direct sunlight. Lucky bamboo requires direct, bright light. It is not tolerant of excessive sunlight, which causes the stalks and leaves to turn white and appear pale.

When the bamboo grows exposed to intense light the bamboo will turn yellow in appearance while a small amount of sunlight exposure can produce the appearance of white or pale of the stalks and leaves.

Lucky bamboo is a native of the tropical forest of central Africa in central Africa, where it thrives under a canopy, sheltered from direct sun.

Bamboo stalks and leaves are extremely sensitive to sunlight and may change color if placed on a sunny window in the indoor environment, as they are not accustomed to their natural environment of direct, bright light.

Lucky bamboo can also be prone to the chemicals within tap water ( chlorine and fluoride) which may cause leaf leaves becoming white based on the amount of fluoride and chlorine, however, the tips of the leaves typically change color in response to water from the tap.

Distilled water, bottled mineral water , and rain water are recommended as an alternative to tap water for you water lucky bamboo.

But you can also put tap water in the night in a bowl, allowing the fluoride and chlorine to evaporate and then sprinkle water on your bamboo.

It is also believed that low humidity could cause stress to the bamboos lucky bamboo and cause it to become white and pale.

Lucky bamboo is native to tropical humid climate, but its usually tough enough to withstand the low humidity in houses.

If you live living in an extremely dry climate that has very low humidity, this could cause the bamboo to start changing color to white.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Brown

  • Symptoms. Bamboo leaves that are lucky change color and the bamboo stalk starts beginning to turn brown.
  • Causes. Fluoride and chloride in tap water can make the lucky bamboo leaves brown. Similarly, too much fertilizer. Lucky bamboo frequently becomes brown and has an appearance of dying if its the stalk thats submerged in water that is too high or if the bamboo has been planted in soil , then excessive watering may be the reason for the stem and leaves becoming brown.

The reason that the tips of bamboos lucky bamboo becoming brown is typically due to the chemical chlorine and fluoride present in tap water, or due to excessive fertilizer. Lucky bamboo is extremely sensitive to the chemicals present in tap water. It must be hydrated by rainwater to prevent the leaf tips becoming brown.

Lucky bamboo requires only two or three drops of general household plant fertilizer every two months in the growing season. If fertilizer is applied frequently or in a high amount the tips of the leaves become brown.

The reason bamboo stalks turning brown is typically due to them being immersed in too much water.

If you are growing bamboo that is lucky in water, only the roots must be submerged, not the stalk, which cannot like being submerged. When the bamboo stalk lies submerged in water, it will change color and develop a dying appearance.

If the bamboo you have chosen grows in the soil, then excessive watering is often the reason for the stalk and leaves becoming brown.

Despite the fact that lucky bamboo is able to develop roots and thrive in water Lucky bamboo that was planted in soil cant endure a constantly saturated potting medium.

The roots of the lucky bamboo plant that is that is grown in water differ from those of the lucky bamboo plant that is grown in soil, which is the reason plants tend to turn brown with an appearance of dying if they switch from growing in water to in soil, or in reverse.

Lucky Bamboo Not Growing

The reason why a lucky bamboo is not growing is that it has too much shade. Lucky bamboo thrives in direct, bright light that assures that the plant has sufficient energy to grow. Make sure the temperature vary from 60degF to 75degF (16degC to 24degC) to ensure optimal growth.

The bamboo is placed in the room with the most light (keep it away from direct sunlight or leaves that burn) and make sure that the temperature is within the range of 60degF - 75degF (16degC to 24degC).).

Avoid sudden changes in temperature, even though they are within the ideal temperature range, as this could result in stress on the bamboo that cause a slowing of growth.

Dont place your bamboos lucky spot near sources of indoor heat and away from the draughty areas of the home.

If youre cultivating lucky bamboo, you should replace the water each month or do this and apply a small amount of general, all use fertilizer every month in the spring and summer to encourage growth.

Be careful not to use too much or applying fertilizer frequently because lucky bamboo is extremely sensitive to fertilizers that can make the tips of the leaves to yellow or brown.

Take into consideration that bamboo with a lucky streak typically doesnt grow as often in Winter because of less light.

How to Revive a Dying Lucky Bamboo That is Turning Brown

  • Always water your lucky bamboo with rainwater or distilled water, bottle water, or tap water thats been left open over 24 hours. If the tips of the leaves are brown due to sensitization to chemicals in tap water, it will be restored if you change the water. Sometimes, you might need to wait for the bamboo to sprout new green leaves and trim the brown leaves until the bamboo is able to restore its green and healthy appearance.
  • Reduce the amount of fertilizers. Lucky bamboo doesnt require any fertilizer. In general, 1 to 2 drops of general fertilizer for houseplants every month during the spring and summer is enough. If youve used excessive amounts of fertilizer, alter the amount of water (if it is growing within the water) and give your medium for potting a good soak to eliminate the fertilizers salts that could cause the leaves becoming brown.
  • Keep the lucky bamboo in a few inches of water (so that the roots are submerged) or let the potting medium dry out between each round of watering. This is the ideal amount of water to keep the lucky bamboo from turning brown.
  • If the stalk and leaves become mushy and brown, then the plant is not likely to grow back, as this is a sign of the presence of fungal diseases and decay. The only option is to try to propagate the lucky bamboo from green, healthy growth. The process of propagating lucky bamboo is simple and you can cultivate this bamboo in better conditions to avoid browning leaves or stalks.

Key Takeaways:

  • The reason why a plant dies is typically is due to too much direct sunlight. Lucky bamboo is used to thrive in indirect, bright light instead of full-sun. Insufficient sunlight causes lucky bamboos leaves to change white and yellow with an appearance of drooping and dying and the stalks to become wrinkled and yellow.
  • The reason that bamboo is becoming white is due to the chemicals present in tap water, the low humidity and excessive sun, which could cause the stalks and leaves to turn white. Lucky bamboo requires direct, bright light and must be watered by rainwater to avoid the leaves from turning pale and white.
  • The reason that the tips of lucky bamboo becoming brown is due to the high levels of fluoride and chlorine within tap water. Lucky bamboo is extremely sensitive to the chemicals present in tap water, and must be always watered by using rainwater, distillate water, or bottled water to avoid the tips of the leaves becoming brown.
  • The reason that lucky bamboo is becoming brown is usually due to overwatering. If you are growing luck bamboos in the water, only the roots need to be submerged since the stalk is not able to take to being immersed in too much water which causes the bamboos stalk and leaves to brown, with the appearance of dying.
  • The reason that lucky bamboo is not growing is typically due to the fact that it doesnt have enough light. Lucky bamboo requires direct, bright light in order to get enough energy to expand.
  • For reviving a dead lucky bamboo, move it into an area with direct, bright light. only water it with rainwater, keep the temperature between 60degF-75degF (16degC up to 24degC) and trim the dying leaves to encourage the growth of healthy green leaves.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)