Lucky Bamboo going pale/yellow

Discussion in 'Houseplants' started by stripedog, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. stripedog

    stripedog New Seed

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    Hello!

    I have an unhappy Lucky Bamboo that, after 2 or 3 years of apparent health and happiness, has slowly started to pale / yellow over the last 8 months. It was a short 3-stalk arrangement in water. At first I thought it had outgrown its tiny container, and repotted it into a larger one. I also added a few drops of Super Green lucky bamboo fertilizer. It didn't help - in fact, the shortest stalk rapidly grew yellow. I removed it from the arrangement, leaving it to wither and turn to mush in a different container.

    I'm concerned about the remaining 2 stalks - they seem unevenly yellow. Also, the leaves (including new growth) are still pale, and growth has slowed. Any new growth is very pale as well. It was mostly kept out of direct sun, though it may have gotten a little exposure at some point in time. For a long time it seemed fine with tap water, but I switched to distilled a month or two ago after reading about the evils of tap water.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
    pale lucky bamboo ( photo / image / picture from stripedog's Garden )
     



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  2. Joe Caudex

    Joe Caudex Seedling

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    Does it have any soil at all or just water
    ?

    As they get older they really prefer soil to water.

    If it's just water then it needs to be changed completely every two weeks ideally.

    Place away from direct sun, they are sensitive plants and it may be getting too much light, too much fertiliser or I hate to say it but it may already be dead.

    Take it away from any sun and stop fertilising, if it doesn't recover within 3 weeks it may be dead I'm afraid.

    :(
     
  3. Bluewing0

    Bluewing0 Seedling

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    I agree about your (Not a real bamboo plant at all prefer soil to water, especally after a few years in water, they can start to rot. Your plant is acually a 'Dracaena sanderiana' and don't nomally grow in water.
    I had two in water for a couple of years, then cut the roots back halfway and planted them in soil with a Syngonium (arrowhead vine) where the soil is slightly moist all the time with bright indirect light from a west off to the side a little widow where it gets late afternoon, "not hot" sun & dapple light.
    Once in soil, with the correct light and watering, your "Dracaena" should green up again :D
     
  4. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Same thing has been happening with mine. Thanks for the great advice.
     
  5. stripedog

    stripedog New Seed

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    Thanks for all the great advice! I was aware that it was a Dracaena, but I couldn't remember the name. :)

    I've heard various horror stories of people planting it in soil, but enough people have encouraged the soil approach and I seem to have little to lose at this point.

    Answers and clarifications to questions:

    It's completely in water - those are (new) aquarium rocks I picked up for the purpose.

    I tend to change the water (using only distilled now) frequently - every few days.

    The gradual shift to yellow/pale of the leaves occurred long before I did any fertilizing. I've fertilized it twice with a half-dose of liquid Super Green, with several months in between. The first time didn't seem to do much, and other than the yellow stalk I'm not sure the second time did much either - the leaves certainly were pale long before the fertilizing. I've kept it out of direct sunlight.

    I've noticed some white fuzz growing on a couple of portions of the roots that stick up above the water line - any ideas on what this is, and if it will get worse or better if I pot it in soil?

    Also, any suggestions on what type of soil to pot it in?

    Thanks again for the quick responses! This community is awesome!
     
  6. Joe Caudex

    Joe Caudex Seedling

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    Sounds like typical onset of rot.

    Get it out of that water asap, have a look at the roots, trim them slightly and get it into some decent potting mix.

    You can still dress the top of the pot with stones like this:

    [​IMG]

    Good luck!