Why is my bamboo turning yellow?

I'm here to share my experience. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Bamboo is an amazing plant that has many uses. One of the most popular uses for bamboo is furniture making. From time to time, questions about bamboo come up that people want answers to, but don’t know how to ask. In this article, we will address the most important and central question, “why is my bamboo turning yellow?”

Bamboo varieties

Bamboo varieties
Photo from @greatgardenspeake

The bamboo plant varies in its tolerance to environmental conditions and may even vary within the same species. Some bamboo species tend to be more resistant than others, but there is no guarantee that all bamboo varieties will thrive in the same conditions. There are many reasons why your bamboo may turn yellow, including:

  • Lack of sunlight;
  • Improper watering – there may be an oversaturation of moisture, or a significant lack of moisture;
  • Improper temperature – the bamboo is either too hot or too cold;
  • Transplanting – the plant will be stressed if the transplanting process is not done correctly;
  • Pests and lack of fertilizer;
  • Other causes.

Let’s look at yellowing problems in more detail below.

Natural yellowing of bamboo leaves

The natural yellowing of bamboo leaves is a process that all plants go through as they age and renew. The leaves slowly turn from green to yellow, then to brown, and then eventually fall off the plant. This is a normal part of the life cycle of bamboo plants and there is no need to worry about it. After all, bamboo is an evergreen plant and it colors year-round. But in the process of renewal, it thus sheds old foliage and renews it with new foliage. Don’t be alarmed if your bamboo turns more yellow than usual in the spring. After all, for such a plant, our spring is autumn for it.

Natural yellowing of bamboo leaves
Photo from @himalayan_forests

But beware, if the bamboo suddenly dropped all the leaves and no new ones have appeared, then the plant is under stress and you need to look for the cause of the malaise

Natural yellowing of bamboo stems

The natural yellowing of bamboo stems is also a normal process that occurs as the plant ages. As the bamboo matures, it begins to turn yellow and then brown. Eventually, the stem dies off and falls away from the plant. This is another normal part of the life cycle of bamboo plants, and there is no need to worry.

Natural yellowing of bamboo stems
Photo from @mos_arj

But this only applies to older plants. And if you just purchased a fresh bamboo plant with green stems, and as it grows you see the stem begin to turn yellow, it’s worth checking your plant’s variety. After all, there is a variety called Golden Bamboo in nature, maybe that’s exactly what you got.

There is another type of bamboo that is less common, but you could still buy it. This is Phyllostachys edulis Moso. This type of bamboo has a yellow stem when mature, and it can also lose a lot of leaves in the spring that have yellowed this season.

Eliminating bamboo yellowing problems

As we have seen, yellowing is a natural process in the life cycle of bamboo plants. But there are some reasons for concern when it comes to bamboo yellowing. Some reasons may be due to environmental problems or lack thereof, and others may mean that you need to improve the conditions of your plant.

Yellowing of fresh leaves

If the leaves of a bamboo plant turn yellow, it could mean that the plant is not being watered enough. Bamboo plants do not have roots like ordinary trees and shrubs, but they do have root nodules or “rhizomes. The rhizome absorbs water from a large area under the ground. Therefore, you need to water enough water so that the leaves have enough moisture.

Yellowing of fresh leaves
Photo from @fourwalls.in

The second problem that can occur is that the soil is too alkaline. In order to measure the pH of your soil, a special measuring kit is sold at the gardening store. If after measuring it you find that the soil is too alkaline, you need to do the following:

  1. You need to add a special fertilizer with chylate iron to the soil to make the soil more acidic;
  2. Sulfur works well instead of iron;
  3. You can mix yourself thick coffee grounds, with pine needles and oak leaves. The resulting decoction to add to the soil.

Yellowing of old leaves

If the leaves of your bamboo plant are yellowing but are old, it may mean that you need to fertilize with nitrogen. Bamboo is a high quality plant and requires no fertilizer at all, so new shoots grow quickly after transplanting. However, if the roots are already very well grown in their permanent residence they lack nutrition, the leaves may start to turn yellow. So buy a regular nitrogen-rich fertilizer and feed your plant.

Yellowing with brown tips

If your bamboo leaves are turning yellow with brown tips, it could mean that the plant is being exposed to wind or sun. This can cause the leaves to burn and, as a result, turn yellow. The solution can be to protect the plant from direct sunlight during hot times of the day.

Yellowing with brown tips
Photo from @themindofaleaf101

The second reason is a lack of moisture. If your plant is standing in a shady place, then the cause is not the sun, but a lack of moisture. Bamboo likes a lot of water, so it is important to water it often. If you don’t have time to do this, get an automatic watering system.

Yellowing with pale spots on leaves

If your bamboo plant is turning yellow and has pale spots on its leaves, it could be due to pests. Small mites feed on the leaves of the bamboo, which is what causes these spots. You need to treat the plant against pests with special mixtures from the horticultural store.

Yellowing of stem and leaves

If your bamboo plant is turning yellow, it may be due to a lack of nutrients. The leaves and stems contain chlorophyll, so they need nitrogen to keep them from turning yellow. If this phenomenon continues, apply a special bamboo fertilizer or add a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Yellowing of stem and leaves
Photo from @nadyavedler

It’s also important to pay attention to the soil. If it is too waterlogged or heavy, the bamboo is not getting nutrients from it. The soil should be well drained and aerated. Organic compost can be used for this purpose.

Nicolas Wayne

Gardening and lawn care enthusiast

Add a comment