Why is My Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow and How to Save It

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Worried about your Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow and Dying? This article has cures for it! Read it carefully to learn why it happens.

Lucky Bamboo Tips Turning Yellow

Lucky Bamboo is a famous indoor plant that brings abundance and good luck to households. The plant is noted for its striking appearance and low-care nature. Still, some growers complain about their Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow, so we’ve brought you the best solutions for what to do in such a situation!

How to Save a Dying Lucky Bamboo

How to Save a Dying Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #1 — Not Changing the Water Frequently

Letting the plant grow in the same water for weeks leads to rot, which eventually turns the leaves yellow, and the plant dies.


Change the water every 4-6 days to keep the roots healthy and growing. Also, clean the bowl or vase thoroughly using a cloth or toothbrush when you see the water spots.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #2 — Keeping the plant in Complete Darkness

People tend to keep their lucky bamboo in the dark setting, most often in windowless rooms, which ends up making the foliage yellow because of the lack of natural light.


Keep the plant where it gets some indirect light for the best growth.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #3 — Using Chlorine or Fluorinated Water

Lucky bamboo is highly susceptible to chlorinated/fluorinated water; excess of it makes the plant sick and yellow. Scorched leaves are also one of the symptoms of chlorine toxicity.


To grow the plant, use filtered, soft, RO, rain, or well water. If you use tap water from a public source, let it sit overnight to settle the salts. You can also use aquarium water occasionally—it will work as a fertilizer.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #4 — Keeping the Plant in Direct Sunlight

Exposing this plant to prolonged direct sunlight can burn the tips. Lucky bamboo prefers bright indirect light.

Direct sunlight will burn the leaves, while complete darkness will stop the plant from photosynthesizing — both leading to its slow death.


The best way to make sure it stays healthy is to expose it to indirect light. The best locations for placing lucky bamboo, according to feng shui, are the east and southeast areas.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #5 — Salt Build-up Due to Overfertilization

Adding too much fertilizer also adds to the salt build-up in the water, resulting in leaf burn or yellowing.


Use just a pinch of balanced fertilizer in the vase while changing the water. And that too once in 3-7 weeks. Also, do not feed the plant for a couple of weeks after bringing it home from the plant store. Let it acclimate to its new surroundings first.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #6 — Buying Plants With No or Small Roots

If a lucky bamboo stick has very small or no roots, it will not be able to uptake the nutrients from the growing medium in the way it should, making the leaves and stems yellow, and eventually, that plant will die.


While buying the plant, make sure it has a good root system. Inspect the lucky bamboo arrangement carefully at its bottom to have a good look at the roots of each stem.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #7 — Keeping in Low Temperature

Avoid keeping the plant near a window where it will be exposed to low temperatures, especially if you live in a cold region. Also, keep it away from the AC vents.


Place it at a spot where the plant is exposed to steady and warm room temperature.

Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason #8 — Changing the Growing Medium

best Lucky Bamboo Turning Yellow Reason

Changing the growing medium of the plant will also make the stems and leaves yellow till the time it adapts to it. For example, placing a plant in the soil that was actively growing in water will make the leaves yellow.


Avoid changing the growing medium of the plant. However, if you do, the plant will turn yellow till it adapts to the new growing medium and will be green again after some time.

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

As these plants age, the older leaves start to take a yellow hue, which is a natural indication of aging. Snip away the old yellow foliage to make the plant focus its energy on growing more new leaves.

Do not keep the yellow or brown leaves on your lucky bamboo, as they can spread decay to the entire plant.

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  1. I was gifted a lucky bamboo which was planted in soil. Lady said she kept outdoor. I’d lie to bring it indoor. How do I make the transition and how often do I water it?


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