Did you notice that your lucky bamboo is shriveling? Do you want to know what causes this issue? If yes, read this article carefully, and you will get answers to all your questions.
Your lucky bamboo may shrivel due to environmental changes and poor maintenance. This can be caused by exposure to extreme direct sunlight, high temperature, or by too much watering. A small pot or depleted soil can also contribute to this issue.
In the following paragraphs, we will go through all the factors that may cause your lucky bamboo to shrivel and provide you with solutions that will help get rid of this problem. We will also give you tips on how to keep your lucky bamboo healthy.
Table of Contents
What Causes Lucky Bamboo Stalks to Shrivel?
The plant will respond negatively if you give your lucky bamboo too much or too little water. That’s why we recommend watering this plant only when necessary.
If your lucky bamboo is underwatered, you should notice that the stalks begin to shrink and shrivel. They will also start to lose their standard shape and color. As time goes on, they will become smaller and thinner.
Underwatering can kill a plant in a matter of weeks. It deprives the plant of air and nutrients, causing it to weaken and eventually die.
Giving your lucky bamboo too much water can also lead to shriveling. In fact, overwatering will automatically lead to root rot, depriving the plant of oxygen and nutrients. Therefore, the stalks will start shriveling in response to the lack of food and oxygen.
Beyond shriveling, overwatering can cause several issues. It can lead to various diseases, such as botrytis or fungal diseases. It can also weaken the plant, leaving it susceptible to pest attacks.
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Exposure to High Temperature
Most plants react negatively when exposed to high temperatures, often causing them to wilt. For lucky bamboo, a temperature above 90°F will cause the plant to curl or shrivel and ultimately die.
When you expose a plant to a high temperature, it enters a state of stress because the cells can no longer hold water. As a result, it begins to wilt after only two or three days. In this state, the plant cannot perform its functions correctly and may die.
If you live in a location where the temperature reaches extreme levels during summer, you can reduce the impact of these conditions by acclimating your plant before the hot seasons.
Excess Light Exposure
Light is a vital element for plant growth. Without it, photosynthesis cannot take place, and plants cannot produce food and energy. However, when you expose a plant to direct or intense light, you are causing it more harm than good.
Intense direct sunlight can burn the stalks of lucky bamboo, causing them to shrivel, wilt and turn yellow. Additionally, exposure to intense light will force the plant to produce more energy than it can handle, leading to death.
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Fertilizing can help your plant grow fast, big and healthy. However, overfertilizing can have the opposite effect. In the case of lucky bamboo, any overuse of high-nitrogen fertilizers or slow-release fertilizers can lead to shriveling and burning.
Overuse of high-nitrogen fertilizers can also encourage the growth of algae and fungi in the soil. It may also stimulate the development of other soil-borne organisms that eat your plants.
In addition, overfertilizing will force your plant will grow very fast, which could cause it to become leggy and floppy.
Soil is one of the most essential parts of any houseplant. It holds water, allows nutrients to be absorbed, and keeps the roots healthy. If the soil is depleted, the plant will not get the essential nutrients needed for its growth and will shrivel.
Additionally, growing a plant in depleted soil requires frequent watering and fertilizing, which can lead to leaf discoloration and root rot.
Soil depletion can result from not repotting your plant for more than two years or using soil already used to grow other plants.
When your lucky bamboo outgrows its pot, the roots will not be able to move around freely anymore and can begin to grow upwards.
As the roots grow upwards, they will not have access to water and nutrients, which will cause the plant to react by shriveling and changing color.
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How Do I Fix a Shriveling Lucky Bamboo?
1. Reduce Watering
If you are sure that your lucky bamboo is shriveling because of overwatering, you should immediately reduce your watering frequency to the minimum. Generally, this plant will require frequent watering when young, but after the first year, you’ll need to cut down on watering.
Be sure to still water your lucky bamboo regularly, but try to do it once or twice a week instead of daily.
Suppose you want to avoid underwatering or overwatering and be accurate about when to water your lucky bamboo. In that case, you should check the soil before watering instead of sticking to a rigid schedule.
To check the soil before watering, you should stick your fingers into the pot and feel the texture of the soil. If the soil feels dry, then you should water your lucky bamboo. If the soil feels damp, you should wait and perform the test within the next few days.
- Set the Temperature to the Optimum Level
The temperature around your lucky bamboo must be between 50°F and 90°F. If you don’t have a heated greenhouse, you should regularly check and adjust your lucky bamboo’s temperature.
You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of your lucky bamboo and adjust it accordingly. During the hot season, you can reduce the temperature around the plant using an AC system or a fan. On the other hand, during winter, you can keep the plant warm by using a heating pad or grow lights.
2. Reduce Sunlight Exposure
Lucky bamboo is susceptible to extreme light, so it will burn if exposed to direct sunlight. You can reduce the exposure to sunlight by placing the plant in a shaded area or under cover of a large tree. If you have a garden, then you can place a tarp over the garden as well.
Lucky bamboo requires between six and eight hours of sunlight exposure every day. The best way to fulfill this requirement is to place the plant near a south-facing window or balcony. This way, you will make sure that the plant is getting enough light without being exposed to the risks of direct sun rays.
If you can’t provide your lucky bamboo with enough sunlight, you can use artificial lighting techniques such as fluorescent, incandescent, and CFLs. These lights mimic the light conditions that your lucky bamboo needs and their intensity can be decreased to avoid the risk of burning the plant.
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3. Fertilize Less Frequently
It is essential to understand how often you should fertilize your lucky bamboo so that you don’t destroy your plant or waste too much money on fertilizers.
You can fertilize the plant every two months during spring, summer, and early fall. This frequency will ensure that the plant receives all the necessary nutrients without complications. However, it would help if you stopped fertilizing the plant entirely during winter.
Generally, plants that go dormant during winter stop growing for a while, and fertilizing them at that time will only disturb their balance.
4. Transfer the Plant from the Water to the Soil
Lucky bamboo is usually grown in water which is fine. However, hydroponic gardening supposes regular water changes and frequent fertilizing. If you are a lazy gardener or can’t commit to performing the previous tasks consistently for any other reason, then you should immediately transfer this plant from water to soil.
When you transfer your lucky bamboo to the soil, you will need to water it only once or once every other week, and you will need to fertilize it only 3 to 5 times during the year.
Additionally, the soil will provide many minerals that do not exist in water which will boost the immunity and growth rate of the plant.
5. Repot the Pant
When the roots of your lucky bamboo start crowding or growing outside the pot, you should repot the plant immediately. This will allow the roots to breathe easily and benefit from the advantages of fresh soil.
When repotting your lucky bamboo, ensure the new pot is slightly bigger than the current one. For example, if you have a six-inch pot with a diameter of two inches, the new container would be an eight inches pot and three inches in diameter.
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