How to Save a Dying Bamboo Plant

Updated November 21, 2016

Bamboo plants can add a tropical focal point to any garden. As a fast-growing plant, they can quickly establish privacy and a windbreak to yards. Oftentimes bamboo problems stem from a poor choice of planting site, improper cultural practices or disease. Make sure you understand all of your bamboo plant's growing requirements before planting. Keep up a maintenance schedule to produce a healthy bamboo tree. Monitor your plant when you see discoloured leaves or stunted growth.

Inspect your bamboo plant for fungal spots. Fungal spots express themselves on plants as brownish-black circular rings around the plant. Spray the plant with a copper fungicide.

Check your plant for pests like aphids. Aphids pose problems, because they leave a sticky residue that acts as a hospitable environment for sooty mould. Power-wash the bamboo plant to rid it of sooty mould and apply a pesticide.

Conduct a soil pH test. Bamboo plants prefer growing in slightly acidic soils within a pH range of 5.0 to 7.5. Purchase a soil pH test from your local county extension office. Dig a 6-inch hole in the planting site and send the samples to the laboratory's address provided on the kit. Wait for the results. Add lime to soil that is too acidic and sulphur to alkaline soil.

Make sure that your soil provides adequate drainage. Bamboo plants' root systems can not survive in waterlogged soil. To determine if you have a drainage problem, dig a 1-foot hole and fill it with water to saturate the sides. Refill the hole with water and measure the water level with a measuring stick. Wait 15 minutes and measure the water level. Multiply the results by 4. If it is less than an inch, then you have a drainage problem.

Water your newly planted bamboo tree every day the first month after planting. New bamboo tree gardeners make the mistake of not giving the plant enough water to establish a strong root system. Release water from a soaker ball set near the tree, but away from the base of the tree, and give it a slow watering.


Prune damaged or diseased areas from your bamboo plant to keep it looking healthy.


Avoid applying weed-and-feed on your bamboo, because it will cause damage to the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Fungicide
  • Pesticide
  • Shovel
  • Soil pH test
  • Soaker ball
  • Pruning shears
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