How to Save a Dying Indoor Lucky Bamboo Plant

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Things You'll Need

  • Bottled or filtered water

  • Liquid fertilizer

  • Sharp scissors or small pruning shears

You may be able to restore your lucky bamboo's health.

While actually a member of the lily family, lucky bamboo is an inexpensive plant that can be cultivated in soil or water. It's easy to grow, which makes it a popular choice for homes or offices. Commonly used in "feng shui," the Eastern method of bringing balance to one's environment, lucky bamboo is believed to bring water and wood together, creating a balanced energy in the space it occupies. If your lucky bamboo has yellow leaves that are beginning to drop, it may be dying. However, it might be saved with a bit of effort.

Step 1

Change the plant's water source if you're using chlorinated tap water. Chlorine damages lucky bamboo. If you cannot purchase filtered water, allow tap water to sit out overnight so the chlorine evaporates before using the water on your plant.

Step 2

Avoid placing lucky bamboo anywhere it might receive a cold or hot draft of air. Sudden temperature changes can affect its health.

Step 3

Inspect the plant for insects, as mealy bugs are a common problem. If insects are discovered, you can assume they are eating the plant and need to be removed.

Step 4

Verify that the plant is receiving the proper amount of water, if it's planted in soil. Keep the dirt moist at all times, but do not overwater or allow the soil to dry out.

Step 5

Determine if the plant is receiving too much or too little light. Lucky bamboo prefers indoor lighting because it is bright but indirect. The leaves can be burned if the plant sits in direct sunlight, such as on a windowsill. Not enough light can cause the plant to discolor or become sickly.

Step 6

Apply a small amount of liquid fertilizer, according to the package directions, whether the plant is growing in soil or directly in water.

Step 7

Remove a dying stalk with sharp scissors or small pruning shears, if other stalks appear to be healthy. If a dying stalk is left on the plant, it will rot and create bacteria that can destroy the entire plant.


Clean out the plant's container if it is growing directly in water. Deposits from the water supply, such as calcium or fluoride, can be problematic to the plant's health.


There is no guarantee that using any of these methods will save the plant.

references & resources

Lori Lapierre

Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."