How to Revive Bamboo

Written by amy shelleby
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How to Revive Bamboo
Most of the natural pests that attack bamboo are located in Asia. (Bamboo image by AzamSa'ad from

True bamboo is a very hardy plant. It does not require a lot of maintenance to thrive in the right environment. A healthy bamboo plant will look green and robust, and a sick bamboo plant will look pale yellow and thin. Changing the way you care for the plant--one issue at a time--may be the best way to revive your bamboo plant.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mulch
  • Fertiliser
  • Insecticide, if needed
  • Garden shears, if needed

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  1. 1

    Touch the soil in the pot or around the plant in the ground. If the soil feels soggy, you are over watering the plant. A young bamboo plant needs water twice a week. An adult bamboo plant needs water only once a week. A good rule of thumb for watering bamboo is if the leaves point upward, the bamboo is thirsty. Droopy leaves on your bamboo is a sign of over watering. Cut down or increase your watering schedule for one month to see if the plant improves.

  2. 2

    Move a potted bamboo plant to a different location. Bamboo plants like the sun, but not direct sunlight. Try placing the bamboo five feet from a window. Wait two weeks to see if the plant's condition is improving.

  3. 3

    Place 2 inches of mulch around the bamboo plant. According to, you should maintain a layer of mulch over the roots and rhizomes at all times. You should also allow fallen leaves to decompose into the soil surrounding the bamboo plant.

  4. 4

    Fertilise your bamboo plant with a lawn fertiliser that is high in nitrogen. Bamboo is a grass, and will respond favourably to lawn fertiliser. Apply the fertiliser as instructed by the manufacturer in the spring or summer. You should never fertilise bamboo during the cold weather when the plant is dormant; the nitrogen could burn the roots.

  5. 5

    Examine the bamboo plants for pests and disease. There are very few insects that will attack a bamboo plant in the U.S. If your plant is showing signs of aphids--one of the few pests of the bamboo--use an insecticide spray on the plant. If any of the sheaths show signs of fungus--a fuzzy growth on the plant--cut the infected sheaths off the plant using sharp garden shears.

Tips and warnings

  • Each year the bamboo plant sheds old leaves. In the spring, many of the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. This does not mean your plant is sick or needs any special attention.
  • Once a bamboo plant flowers, it has come to the end of its life. The best thing to do at this point is purchase a new bamboo plant.

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