There is a definite charm to the different bamboo plant varieties available and each of them come with their own care requirements.
Without proper care, bamboo can quickly become yellow, faded, and die off.
I discovered within weeks of buying the first bamboo plant that I needed to take good care of it to prevent my bamboo from needing revival.
How to Revive Bamboo?
You can first trim the bamboo to foster new growth, and fertilizing it certainly doesn’t hurt. Follow a simple program to revive bamboo. This includes pruning, fertilizing, watering, and providing adequate light. I also ensure there are no insects that may be chomping away at my bamboo roots, causing them to weaken and die.
Steps on How to Revive Bamboo
Step One: Check Water Levels
Bamboo is a thirsty plant, and you should check to see if the soil is well watered but not waterlogged. Don’t drown your bamboo, but ensure it is moist.
Underwatering is one of the main reasons bamboo may wilt and look sickly. However, overwatering can lead to root rot, which can cause your bamboo to sicken too.
If my bamboo is planted in a pot, I ensure the pot is well-watered, but I also check if the pot has sufficient drainage to ensure my bamboo doesn’t drown in waterlogged soil.
By using a potting mix that has sufficient peat moss or bark, I know my bamboo will be able to grow better roots and thrive.
To maintain water levels, I may add mulching around my outdoor bamboo to help prevent the soil from drying out.
Bamboo should be watered twice a day or as soon as you test the soil and find the top inch of soil is dry.
Step Two: Light It Up
Ensure your bamboo has enough light. Bamboo requires direct sunlight.
This means you need to find a spot for your potted bamboo that offers direct morning sunlight to help the young plants produce food by photosynthesis.
I once noticed that one half of my potted bamboo was wilting, while the other half was thriving. The cause? My pot was standing with sunlight on one side, and the other side was in constant shade.
A simple solution was to move the pot, and soon, my bamboo was thriving again.
Step Three: Prune It Into Shape
Bamboo is a member of the grass family, and by cutting grass, you stimulate growth. The same happens with bamboo plants.
Pruning will revive an ailing bamboo since it encourages new growth and removes parts of the plant that are sickly and taxing the bamboo, using up nutrients and energy.
Pruning a bamboo to revive it includes removing sickly stems and yellowing leaves, cutting back on flowering stems as these take up a lot of energy, and removing dead leaves that may limit the sunlight your bamboo can receive.
With my outdoor bamboo, I often have to get quite aggressive in pruning.
I use a hacksaw and sometimes a spade to prune back dying leaves and I also divide the rhizomes to stop the roots from growing beyond the plant’s ability to sustain.
This helps freshen up my bamboo, and I know that with sufficient watering and fertilizer, my bamboo will soon thrive again.
Step Four: Check For Insects
Insects love to eat bamboo as the shoots, stems, and leaves are juicy and sweet. There are even some bamboo species that humans can also eat.
So it’s no surprise that there are a little less than 100 insect species that can really attack a bamboo plant.
The bamboo I planted in my garden began to sicken and wilt after a few weeks, and upon closer inspection, I found it was covered in mealybugs, and there were also bamboo spider mites burrowed into the leaves and stems.
To revive my bamboo, I cut away the infected parts, and I applied natural insect repellents in the form of neem oil and sprinkled baking soda around the roots and over the leaves.
Signs My Bamboo Is Dying
If my bamboo is dying and not thriving, I will notice leaves that yellow and dry out. There will be no or limited new growth, and my bamboo will look tired and faded.
While bamboo naturally has older leaves that will die off, your bamboo shouldn’t start looking more dead than alive.
As soon as I begin to see these signs, I know I need to take action to revive my bamboo.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Revive Bamboo
Can you bring a bamboo plant back to life?
While you can’t save a dead bamboo plant, you can take action to save a dying one and revive it. Finding out what is killing your bamboo is the first step toward ensuring it will survive and thrive. If your plan’s thirsty, add more water. Should the soil be waterlogged, stop watering and add moss and bark to potted bamboo to ensure the roots can drain effectively. Also follow up on the soil pH, ensuring it’s a slightly acidic 6.0, and ensure you provide organic fertilizer to maintain your bamboo’s nutrient levels. Provide good quality lighting to ensure your bamboo can produce nutrients with photosynthesis.
Can yellow bamboo turn green again?
If your bamboo leaves have started turning yellow, you have no option but to cut these off as they won’t turn green again. The pruning process is part of the revival of your bamboo. Yellow leaves sap strength from your bamboo, and if they rot against the stems, you risk the formation of rot and bacterial infections. Cutting back yellow leaves helps your plan recover, so don’t hesitate to cut away yellow bamboo leaves.
Should I cut my bamboo’s dead leaves?
Dead leaves should be cut off your bamboo as these simply compromise your bamboo’s health and can lead to rot. There are certain insects that target dead leaves, and removing dead leaves from your bamboo will prevent these insects from striking.
The Final Revival
Bamboo isn’t a difficult plant to cultivate, and mostly it just needs enough water and it will thrive.
Once my bamboo has adjusted to its new home, I can water it quite negligently and simply ensure it’s insect-free and it will do well.
If you follow my four-step plan for reviving your bamboo, you will also enjoy green-finger success. Happy reviving!
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.