When you suddenly see the stalk of your bamboo plant turning yellow, you know that something has gone wrong with its care.

But what exactly has happened and can it be fixed?

Why Is My Bamboo Turning Yellow From The Top Down?

A woman holding a bamboo plant

Your bamboo is turning yellow from the top down because it is either being over or underwatered, has soil and nutrient issues, is receiving too much or too little sunlight, incorrect fertilization, issues with temperature, or a disease or pest infestation.

What To Do If Your Bamboo Is Turning Yellow

If the stalk of your bamboo is hollow and turning yellow it means that it’s rotting and needs to be removed.

Use a sharp, sterilized knife to make a clean cut and remove the rotting part of the stalk.

Remove the yellow part and take your bamboo out from its soil or water so you can inspect its roots.

If you find that the roots are healthy, rinse your container and the pebbles and place the remaining healthy stalk back in the pot.

Or plant it in a small pot with a fresh porous potting mix.

If the roots are unhealthy, you’ll need to re-grow your bamboo from a healthy cutting from your old plant.

Make a clean cut to remove a green section of the stalk and place it in water where It should root after a week or two.

Other Reasons Your Bamboo Plant Is Turning Yellow

Let’s look a little closer at some of these causes.

Also Read: Does Touching Succulents Hurt Them? (Not Always)

Watering Issues

If your bamboo isn’t being watered the way it likes, it may also cause yellowing.

If Growing Bamboo In Water

Water your bamboo every 7 to 10 days and ensure the roots are kept submerged.

Water a little more in summer or if you live somewhere hot.

It’s also important to clean out the container and change the water every week or so to prevent algae build-up.

If Growing Bamboo In Soil

If you’re growing your plant in soil, try to keep the soil consistently damp but never soggy.

Water your bamboo when the soil feels dry but don’t overwater it or it may lead to root rot.

If the soil has been severely overwatered, you may need to re-pot the plant into fresh soil.

It’s also important that you choose the right water for your bamboo plant.

Bamboos can be kept in a vase with some water and rocks in the bottom or can be kept in soil.

Try not to use tap water for your bamboo.

This is because there might be some chemicals in tap water that are not good for your bamboo.

Continued watering of your bamboo with tap water containing chlorine or fluoride is harmful to your plant.

Best Water To Use For Your Bamboo

A good choice of water to use would be rainwater or distilled and filtered water or even just spring water.

But probably the best option would be rainwater.

You can set up some open containers outside to collect rainwater.

Just make sure the water doesn’t run across an asphalt roof, because there may be chemicals in asphalt that can also harm your plant.

And try not to use cold water as it can shock your plant.

If the water is cold, make sure you wait for it to get to room temperature before watering the bamboo.

Plant Bamboo In The Correct Type Of Soil

For your bamboo to stay green and healthy it also needs to be planted in the correct type of soil.

Bamboo likes a well-drained and rich potting soil.

As mentioned before, the soil should be kept consistently moist, but never waterlogged.

And if kept in a vase with water or a pot with pebbles and water, make sure it’s always kept in at least an inch of standing water.

Sunlight Needs

The wrong exposure to sunlight can also cause your bamboo to start turning yellow.

Bamboo thrives on indirect sunlight.

Make sure you keep your bamboo near a window where does loads of bright indirect light, but not in direct sunlight.

A popular place to have your plant is on your kitchen counter, near a window.

Incorrect Fertilization Can Turn Bamboo Yellow?


If your leaves and stalk of your bamboo are turning yellow, it may be due to over-fertilization.

Bamboo usually doesn’t need any fertilizer.

It can actually last for years without any at all.

But, if you want to use a fertilizer, choose one specifically for your bamboo plant.

You should rarely fertilize it though, just to make sure you don’t over-fertilize the plant.

If your bamboo is in water and not soil, and you used a fertilizer, you can usually just change your water once you see the bamboo turning yellow.

On the other hand, if you have over-fertilized the soil, you should be able to just re-pot the plant into fresh soil.

Again, this doesn’t mean the plant will 100% survive, but at least it gives you a chance to save it.

You will probably find out within the next couple of days whether the plant will survive or not.

Wrong Temperature

The wrong temperature can also stop your bamboo from remaining green and healthy.

Bamboos need humidity and will only thrive if the temperature is between 18°C to 32°C (around 65°F to 90°F).

To increase humidity, you can use a spray bottle and mist the leaves when humidity seems low.

Bamboo prefers humidity, so this is a very important step if your home is quite dry.

You should mist dry leaves every two to three days to ensure it receives the right amount of moisture.

Misting the leaves should help prevent them from turning yellow.


Pests can also cause your bamboo to turn yellow.

Yellowing can often be an indication of a spider mite infestation.

Spider mites often attack bamboo.

You might need a magnifying glass to spot them.

Once identified, you can use rubbing alcohol or spray them with an insecticide.

Can Yellow Bamboo Turn Green Again?

Unfortunately, once your bamboo’s stalk turns yellow it won’t turn back to green again (even if you start giving the plant what was missing from its care).

If the stalk hasn’t turned hollow and has remained firm, you can probably leave it alone.

However, if the stalk is yellow, hollow, and degrading further, you should remove it from the plant.

Should I Cut Yellow Leaves Off Bamboo?

The leaves of your bamboo can also begin turning yellow – usually due to overexposure to sunlight or too much salty or over-fluoridated tap water.

But older leaves may also turn yellow due to the natural aging of your plant.

In any case, you should cut yellow leaves off of your bamboo to make space for new ones can grow.

Simply cut or peel the yellow leaves off before they turn black so that they don’t spread rot to any other leaves or parts of your bamboo.

Final Thoughts

When you notice your bamboo turning yellow and then that yellow begins to spread, it can make you fear that you’re about to lose your plant.

But if you follow along with this guide and take action quickly, there’s a good chance you can save your bamboo or at least grow a new one from your old one.