New Lucky Bamboo Owner Needs Help!

page_dennisMay 11, 2009


I just got a lucky bamboo plant two days ago and have no idea what I am doing. I have been wanting one forever and finally got one, now all the information I am reading- sounds like my plant is gonna die on me.

It's in a 4-5 inch colored glass container with pebbles and some type of jelly stuff in it. The pebbles reach to just about a 1/4 of an inch from the top of the container.. I have 3 stalks, but one of the stalks is yellow down to about the first notch in it. All three stalks have the leaves growing on the top.. Can someone help me with some information that can help me make it grow?

What is this jelly stuff? Should i keep it?

What's with the yellow stalk? Should I cut it off?

Is there any way to make a new stalk grow?

How do these things grow? Up? or do they just stay green and the same length?

How about watering it? Tap water? I found info that said to keep it at just about the level of the pebbles, but other said that only water it where you want roots to grow..?

Any information is good, please and thanks!!!

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Congratulations on your new lucky bamboo plant.

It looks like the yellow stalk has a green shoot on it. Is the stalk getting soft or rotting where it is yellow? It usually means that the stalk is dying when it turns yellow. If it starts to get soft or rot, you will need to cut it off. You may be able to leave the part of that stalk that is green and healthy and see if it is strong enough to form a shoot for you. Otherwise, throw that stalk out. You can attempt to root the healthy green shoot by dipping it in a rooting solution. You can also just put it in water to see if it forms roots. (This is if you have to cut off the yellow portion of the stalk.)

The jelly stuff is a polymere gel that is reconstitued with water. The bamboos grow nicely in this base that holds water for the plant. You will have to add water to this gel as the water evaporates and as the plant takes moisture in from the gel. If the gel becomes discolored from algae growth or minerals from the water, you can remove it and plant your lucky bamboo in soil or just use water and pebbles.

The leaves and shoots of the plants grow and continue to get taller. The stalks will stay the same where they are cut.

Lucky bamboo like water. Be careful about using water that has chemicals in it. You may need to let the water sit overnight to allow the chemicals to escape. Do keep your plant watered to the level of the pebbles since you want to keep the gel moist.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 8:27AM
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Though many stores carry lucky bamboo now (and they were never exactly the best of the best), I'm seeing more and more stores selling dying lucky bamboo.

From my experience, and from the experience of others, when Lucky Bamboo decides to die, it's going to die. Taking cuttings of the green parts are the only way to ensure longevity. This is generally more hassle than it's worth, so I would advise anyone buying lucky bamboo to only buy specimens with a very firm stem and a rich color--no softness, no wrinkles!

(Lucky Bamboo can be 'golden' in color, but if all the other specimens being sold are green, you may want to be wary; chances are it's dying and not truly golden).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Sorry to add on to my post :)

I also thought it relevant to add that yes, new stalks can grow but on my bamboo they've only grown from pre-existing 'bumps' and they take a very long time to grow indeed.

Lucky Bamboo is very easy to take care of. Mine has withstood tap water for quite a while, though I still recommend bottled water (fluoride doesn't escape water over night and Lucky Bamboo hates it). Don't fret! But to avoid contamination to the two healthy stalks, I would greatly recommend pulling the three stalks out, throw away the yellow one, and put the two healthy stalks in a new container with fish gravel or similar. Don't worry about the gel--you don't need it, it's only there so people selling them don't have to water them.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 5:29PM
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That is a good point about the floride. I was under the impression that floride could cause leaf burn. Here is a write up about water for your plant:

Using filtered, bottled or rainwater for your Lucky Bamboo plant keeps the plant healthiest. This is because of the chemicals, such as fluoride and chlorine, found in most tap water. If you must use tap water and you know it has high levels of chlorine, keep it in a container on the counter for 24 hours before using it. This allows time for the chlorine in the water to evaporate. If your water is high in fluoride levels do not use it for your plant. Fluoride is toxic to Lucky Bamboo and it does not evaporate.

Add fresh, clean water to your bamboo plant two or three times each week. It is important to keep several inches of water in the container, making sure to keep the roots of the plant wet. Changing the water every seven to ten days keeps your Lucky Bamboo in top condition.

If you keep your bamboo plant in a vase, keep the water levels low. The roots of a Lucky Bamboo plant grow wherever it contacts water.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 9:31PM
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Even if it turns yellow and you think you have killed it, it could still be alive. Go to and watch the lucky bamboo tips video.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 5:00PM
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To be honest I have 8ft. ones and there in a good soil. These plants will do OK for a while in water and stones but truly all you're doing is rooting the plant because all plants need soil to live thats where I gets its nuturentents from. So pot them up not to deep and keep wet. They will live a long time and grow tall for you. Remember use water than has been left out or rain water.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 4:46AM
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