not so lucky bamboo

truth seeker

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
We have this small bamboo plant which was doing fine until we left for about 10 days. We left it outside so that it would get some water if it rained. We were told that it rained almost everyday we were gone. When we came home, it was half dead.

Looking on the internet, I read that I should prune the dead leaves which I did (not sure if I did it correctly). I've also been giving it filtered water. At this point, I don't think it's doing any better. I know virtually nothing about plants and was wondering if I'm missing anything. Should I try fertilizer and what kind? I read that African Violet fertilizer may work, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. Is there a plant fertilizer that one can make at home? Any and all comments are welcome.
 

broken.english

Jedi
FOTCM Member
The bamboo I had until last year always lost lots of leaves in rainy periods and later recovered. You will know better in two to three weeks, when new leaves are growing. So, if you are lucky everything is ok except that the European climate is not ideal for bamboo.

Then there could be a fungus, of course. But it is not very likely that this causes brown leaves within such a short period. Anyway, a possible protection, which I am now trying for my plants is a fertilizer, which is called here Gartenkalk. It is a lime-magnesium combination, which alkalizes the soil and is supposed to prevent fungus growth. Many people use it here but I have no personal experience yet. I will only see in late spring or summer if my plants are healthy or not.
 

truth seeker

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've also heard that Europe is not the best place for these plants. Some good news though, there are a few new sprouts coming up. Also, I have some epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) in the house and just read this morning that it can be used as plant fertilizer!
 

Johnno

The Living Force
If it's Dracaena Sanderiana "Lucky Bamboo" it must be kept out of direct sunlight. I had one on my window sill which died because of this.

If you put it outside, make sure it's in a really shady spot.

Clean water and well lit (not sunny) area keep it going.
 

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In my experience lucky bamboo shots have expiry date.

I use them as decoration with my gold fish aquarium and they usually thrive for some time and even grow significant roots in the aquarium pebbles, but then after a year or so they start to wither and not just leaves but the stem at the core becomes completely yellow and dry. Not a pretty site at all. The record is 15 months but that's about it.
I also noticed If you move them and disrupt the roots they grew in the meantime they will surely die even before this time.
 

truth seeker

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for the replies Johnno and Stormy Knight. I totally forgot about this thread!

So what happened is that I started giving it the epsom salt and it seems to like them a lot. I also ended up pulling out the stalks that were going yellow because they weren't responding to treatment. The last thing I did was to give it filtered water although it was doing fine with tap water before. Oh, and I washed the roots off just in case there was some residue or mold that was making it sick. It's doing well now.

It was pretty empowering to find out that I could do something to help it. I always thought before that maybe I didn't have a greenthumb, but now I'm really happy to find out that it was really just lack of knowledge on my part and with a little patience, one can see the fruits of their labor. I can see why so many people take to gardening.
 

Johnno

The Living Force
You're welcome.

I had to cut the yellow bits off of one stalk and put it in a shady spot. It is sprouting roots very well.

The other one I bought a few months ago is doing well too.
 
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