How to revive a bamboo plant

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Bamboo is a decorative grass that gives a lush feel to any garden. Types range from dwarf bamboo, which grows to just 30 cm (1 foot) to massive timber bamboos that grow to more than 30 metres (100 feet) tall. Dwarf bamboo, often called "lucky bamboo," is a popular house plant grown in water gardens and in pots.

Bamboo that is under-watered or receives too much or too little sunlight responds with wilted, brown leaves and wrinkled, dehydrated stalks. A number of remedies can revive your wilting bamboo plant.

Revive outdoor bamboo

Cut off the flowering stems of large bamboos, removing the stem portion down to the main stalk.

Chop the rhizomes, or horizontal underground stems, into sections that are 20 to 25 cm (8 to 12 inches) long with a sharp-edged hoe or axe.

Apply an all-purpose, organic lawn fertiliser that is high in nitrogen. A 10-6-4 formula works well -- 450 g (1 lb) of fertiliser, applied once as per the manufacturer's instructions, will supply five large outdoor bamboo plants. Water generously. The bamboo may revive with continued care.

Revive indoor bamboo

Remove the bamboo from the pot, or remove it from the water garden and rinse thoroughly.

Submerge the bamboo stems in water up to the first leaves. A tall narrow vase works well. Bamboo with any section of green stalk should revive.

Remove leaves that turn yellow. If any stalks become soft or turn yellow, remove and discard them; they will not revive. Bamboo with completely dead culms, stalks and leaves may still revive from the rhizomes. Leave the bamboo submerged for a few weeks to give it adequate opportunity to revive.

Fertilise the plant with all-purpose granular fertiliser when the bamboo produces new growth. Bamboo is a grass and responds well to high nitrogen grass fertiliser; a 10-6-4 formulation is recommended. Mix the fertiliser with water as per the concentration instructions on the package. Allow the bamboo to develop a hearty root system.

Transplant the bamboo to a large pot with new, all-purpose soil or to a clean water garden.