Does Your Lucky Bamboo Smell? Find Out Why!

Does your lucky bamboo smell? Do you want to know why this is happening? If yes, read this article thoroughly, and you will get answers to all your questions regarding this topic.

Lucky bamboo smells because of the three following reasons. Stagnant water, overwatering, and watering using mineral-rich water. But, the most common cause of this issue is stagnant water because this plant is usually grown in containers with rocks instead of soil.

In the following paragraphs, we will go through all the causes of smelling lucky bamboo and how to stop this issue and prevent it from happening again.

A Lucky Bamboo Plant Indoors

Table of Contents

Why Does My Lucky Bamboo Smell?

The most common cause of smelling bamboo plants is stagnant water. In fact, when it stays in stale water for a long time, this plant starts attracting bacteria which causes fungal diseases as well as stem and root rot.

Another cause of smelling bamboo plants is overwatering. Generally, this plant is known for being sensitive to overwatering.

When you provide the lucky bamboo with too much water, it will probably experience root rot. As a result, the rotten roots will die and transmit a bad odor.

Overly mineralized water can also cause lucky bamboo to smell. Generally, healthy soil will naturally have a balance of nutrients. However, introducing an excess of nutrients to the soil through mineral water can make it smell bad.

Finally, cold temperature is another reason why lucky bamboo may smell. In fact, when the temperature around the roots drops significantly, the plant tissue may die and emit a bad smell.

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How Do I Stop My Bamboo from Smelling?

The method of stopping lucky bamboo from smelling depends on the cause of the problem. For example, if the plant smells because it is staying in stagnant water, then you should get rid of this water immediately. After this, you will need to get rid of any dead stalks. And finally, you should add fresh water to the container.

If your lucky bamboo smells because of root rot, you should immediately get the plant out of the soil. Then, you should loosen the rootball and eliminate any infected or dead roots. After, you should clean the roots and let the plant dry in a sunny area.

While your plant is drying, disinfect the container and prepare a fresh soil mix by mixing regular soil with perlite and coarse. Finally, add the mixture to the container and plant your lucky bamboo again.

If your lucky bamboo is smelling, but there are no signs of root rot or any fungal disease, you need only reduce your watering frequency. Generally, this plant does not like frequent watering, and giving it water once a week would be more than enough.

To be accurate when watering lucky bamboo, check the soil before adding water. If the soil is dry, give your plant water to absorb the moisture. But if the soil is still moist, then you can skip watering. 

If the smell keeps returning, you should add activated charcoal and liquid sulfur to the soil. Activated charcoal is used to absorb odors and other impurities from the soil, while liquid sulfur is used to fight fungal disease.

Activated charcoal is recommended if you are growing your lucky bamboo in the soil, while liquid sulfur is recommended when the plant is growing in water.

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How Do I Prevent My Lucky Bamboo from Smelling? 

A Set of Beautiful Lucky Bamboo Plants

To prevent your lucky bamboo from smelling, you should incorporate the following actions in your plant care routine:

Water Only When Needed

As we have already stated, you must water your lucky bamboo less frequently. This is because the plant doesn’t like to grow in wet soil. Watering too often will result in root rot and fungal disease. However, if you water your lucky bamboo too infrequently, then the plant will start to suffer from stress.

The best way to water your lucky bamboo is to check its soil using your finger or a moisture meter. If the moister meter indicates dry soil, you can water your lucky bamboo. Otherwise, don’t water the plant.

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Change Water Regularly If the Plant Is Grown in Water

If you only grow your lucky bamboo in water, you will need to replenish it with fresh water every week. This will ensure the plant gets all the oxygen and nutrients it needs for its growth.

Changing water regularly will also help prevent algae development in the container, which can be toxic to the plant. It also helps to keep the container clean.

Another thing to take into consideration when growing lucky bamboo in water only is fertilizing. In fact, when a plant is grown in the soil, it will get access to many nutrients native to this environment. However, when you only grow your plant in water, it will be deprived of many nutrients. We recommend feeding your plant with a liquid fertilizer dedicated to hydroponic gardening.

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Don’t Use Tap Water

You should never use tap water for watering lucky bamboo or growing it hydroponically. This is because tap water contains a high amount of minerals and chlorine that can cause a lot of harm to your plant. 

Most cities around the world treat their water with chlorine or chloramine to kill bacteria and viruses. But these chemicals harm houseplants. Chlorine, in particular, can create a harsh environment that is difficult to live in for both humans and plants.

Using distilled water is considered the best alternative t tap water. Distilled water doesn’t contain minerals or other impurities that can potentially cause harm to your plants.

If you don’t have access to distilled water, you can use the filtered water you get from your domestic water filter. Filtered water is safe for plants and humans. It doesn’t have any impurities and will not contain any chemicals that can harm the plant.

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Diana Cox

I'm Diana from I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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