Why Are Your Lucky Bamboo Leaves Turning Brown? (5 Reasons)

By | Updated April 22, 2023

Lucky bamboo leaves can turn brown due to too much heat or insufficient sunlight. Chlorine/fluoride in tap water or too much fertilizer can also cause brown tips in lucky bamboo. To prevent this, use filtered water and avoid overfertilizing. Brown leaves may also indicate pests or diseases.

Are your lucky bamboo leaves turning brown, leaving you puzzled and concerned? You’re not alone. 

Brown leaves can be a common issue among plant enthusiasts who want to maintain the health and aesthetics of their beloved indoor plants.

Here we’ll explore five reasons your lucky bamboo leaves might change color, from poor water quality to pests and diseases.

5 Reasons Why Lucky Bamboo Leaves Turn Brown

Lucky bamboo is a popular indoor plant, but its leaves can turn brown for various reasons. 

Inadequate lighting, poor water quality, extreme temperatures, and pest infestation are some of the common reasons why this happens. 

Additionally, over or underfertilization can also lead to brown leaves. 

Below, we’ll discuss five reasons lucky bamboo leaves turn brown and how to prevent it.

Poor Water Quality

One common reason for lucky bamboo leaves turning brown is poor water quality. 

Tap water often contains high levels of fluoride and salts, which can cause damage to the plant’s delicate root system and lead to the browning of the leaves.

For example, you might notice that your plant suddenly starts developing brown tips on its leaves after using tap water for an extended period. 

This could indicate that your local municipality has introduced additional chemicals into the water supply.

Consider switching to bottled or rainwater collected in clean containers to remedy this issue and protect your lucky bamboo from further harm.

Inadequate Lighting

Inadequate lighting is a common reason lucky bamboo leaves turn brown, as these plants thrive in bright indirect light. 

When your lucky bamboo plant receives insufficient sunlight, its leaves may struggle to produce chlorophyll and gradually lose their vibrant green hue, eventually turning brown.

To ensure optimal growth for your lucky bamboo, place it near a north or east-facing window where it will receive plenty of indirect light throughout the day. 

Alternatively, consider using artificial lighting like fluorescent bulbs placed about 2-3 feet away from the plant to mimic natural sunlight conditions.

Season changes might require adjustments to maintain consistent lighting exposure for indoor plants like the lucky bamboo.

Temperature Extremes

One major factor contributing to lucky bamboo leaves turning brown is temperature extremes. 

These delicate indoor plants thrive best in consistent and moderate temperatures, ideally ranging from 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

For example, placing your lucky bamboo near an air conditioning vent or beside a drafty window during winter months could subject it to uncomfortable temperature changes.

Similarly, exposure to direct sunlight for extended periods may result in overheating and leaf scorching. 

To avoid these adverse effects on your beloved houseplant, position your dracaena sanderiana away from potential sources of extreme temperatures, providing it with indirect light and maintaining proper humidity levels within its environment.

Over Or UnderFertilization

Overfertilization or using the wrong type of liquid fertilizer can cause lucky bamboo leaves to turn brown. 

Too much fertilizer salts in the soil can damage roots, eventually browning leaves.

On the other hand, under-fertilization could lead to a lack of essential nutrients, impacting leaf health.

To prevent over or under-fertilizing your lucky bamboo plant, apply only the recommended amount of fertilizer and use one with balanced nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

A common approach is applying half-strength liquid fertilizer once every two weeks.

Pests And Diseases

Pests and diseases are other reasons why lucky bamboo leaves may turn brown. 

Common pests include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects that can suck the sap from the plant, causing leaf discoloration.

Diseases like root rot caused by overwatering or insufficient drainage can also lead to the browning of leaves. 

It’s important to regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests or diseases so you can catch them early and take action.

If you notice any issues, use natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap to remove pests or repotting in fresh soil if you suspect root rot is present.

How To Treat Brown Lucky Bamboo Leaves

To revive brown lucky bamboo leaves, immediately trim the affected areas and optimize the growing conditions. 

This involves adjusting the lighting and temperature, removing excess minerals and fertilizers, and using a suitable liquid fertilizer. 

Additionally, consider natural remedies or pesticides to tackle pests and diseases affecting the plant. 

Here we will outline the steps to treat brown lucky bamboo leaves and restore your plant’s health.


Keeping lucky bamboo plants healthy by regularly trimming brown leaves or tips is crucial. 

Using a clean and sharp pair of scissors, cut off the affected areas, ensuring not to damage any healthy parts of the plant.

One thing to remember when trimming a lucky bamboo plant is that it can be sensitive to environmental changes. 

So make sure you don’t trim too much at once, as this may cause stress to the plant.

It’s better to take your time and gradually trim any browning leaves over a few days or weeks if necessary.

Changing Water And Soil

When treating brown leaves on Lucky Bamboo plants, changing the water and soil is one of the most critical steps. 

Tap water often contains chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, which can build up in the soil over time and lead to brown leaves.

To avoid this, try using filtered or distilled water instead.

When changing the soil for your Lucky Bamboo, use a well-draining potting mix that allows for plenty of airflow around the roots. 

Avoid using heavy soils that may retain too much moisture and cause root rot.

Additionally, consider repotting your plant every year to ensure it has enough room in its container and fresh nutrients in its soil.

Adjusting Lighting And Temperature

Proper lighting and temperature are crucial for preventing brown leaves in lucky bamboo. 

These plants thrive under bright indirect light, but direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, causing them to turn brown.

Temperature also plays a role in the health of your lucky bamboo. 

They prefer temperatures between 65-90°F (18-32°C) and don’t do well in extreme cold or heat that can cause their leaves to wilt and turn brown.

Keep them away from drafty doors or windows during winter months or prevent them from being exposed to air conditioning vents during summer.

Using Appropriate Fertilizer

The right type of fertilizer can make all the difference in keeping your lucky bamboo healthy and vibrant.

Using a balanced liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for indoor plants is important.

Overuse of any fertilizer, even natural ones like worm castings or compost tea, can cause brown leaves on your bamboo plant.

One helpful tip is to use half-strength fertilizer every other watering instead of full-strength every time. 

This will help prevent over-fertilization and keep your lucky bamboo looking its best.

Remember, too much fertilizer could also lead to brown stalks on your plant, so finding the right balance between giving enough nutrients without going overboard is essential.

Treating Pests And Diseases

One of the common reasons why lucky bamboo leaves turn brown is due to pests and diseases. 

Insects like spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs can damage the plant by feeding on sap or sucking leaf nutrients.

To treat them, you can wipe down the leaves with a soft cloth dipped in soapy water or use insecticides formulated explicitly for indoor plants.

In addition to pests, fungal or bacterial infections can also cause discoloration of the leaves. 

If you notice any signs of infection, such as black spots, yellowing leaves, or slimy roots, it’s best to remove those affected parts immediately and discard them properly.

You can then apply a fungicide or bactericide as per label instructions to prevent the further spread of the disease.

How To Prevent Lucky Bamboo Brown Leaves

To prevent lucky bamboo brown leaves, it’s essential to take proper care of the plant. 

This can be done by using filtered or distilled water, providing the right lighting and temperature, fertilizing correctly, and inspecting the plant regularly for pests and diseases. 

These steps will help ensure your lucky bamboo stays healthy and vibrant.

Using Filtered Water

Filtered water can significantly benefit your lucky bamboo plant and prevent brown leaves. 

Tap water contains harmful chemicals such as fluorides and salts that can cause the tips of your bamboo leaves to turn brown.

Using distilled or bottled water is an effective solution, but it may be expensive and inconvenient for some plant enthusiasts.

Filtered water is a cost-effective and convenient alternative to tap water when caring for your lucky bamboo plant. 

Not only does it remove harmful chemicals, but it also improves the overall quality of the water by removing impurities that could lead to root rot or other soil-borne diseases.

Additionally, using filtered water ensures your lucky bamboo receives a consistent and balanced supply of nutrients for healthy growth.

Providing Appropriate Lighting And Temperature

Proper lighting and temperature are crucial when growing lucky bamboo indoors. 

Lucky bamboo plants thrive in indirect bright light, making them an ideal choice for offices or living rooms with minimal natural light.

Direct sunlight should be avoided, as it can cause the leaves to turn brown and dry out.

To ensure your lucky bamboo remains healthy and vibrant, provide bright but indirect light and maintain a consistent temperature between 65-85°F. 

Keep your plant away from drafty windows or air vents that could drastically alter its environment.

Proper Fertilization

Over-fertilization can lead to brown tips on the leaves of lucky bamboo. 

When applying fertilizer, always use it in moderation and follow the instructions on the label carefully.

Not all plants have the same nutritional needs, so use a fertilizer specifically designed for indoor plants or lucky bamboo. 

Also, if you notice discoloration in the leaves after fertilizing, stop immediately and change the water.

Regularly Inspecting For Pests And Diseases

Regular inspection is crucial to lucky bamboo care, especially when preventing pests and diseases that can cause brown leaves. 

Spider mites and aphids are common pests that affect the plant’s health, causing leaves to turn brown or yellow over time.

In addition to the pest inspection, check for disease indications such as fungal growth, rotting roots or stalks, or discoloration. 

These problems often arise due to poor water quality or improper watering techniques.

Early detection through regular inspection allows for timely treatment with appropriate methods, such as cutting away infected areas or treating with fungicides.

Final Thoughts

Lucky bamboo leaves turning brown can be caused by poor water quality, inadequate lighting, extreme temperatures, over or underfertilization, pests, and diseases.

To treat the problem, trimming and changing water and soil can help adjust lighting and temperature. 

Prevention is critical; use filtered water, provide appropriate lighting and temperature, fertilize properly, and regularly inspect for pests and diseases.

Caring for your lucky bamboo plants requires proper watering and attention to detail in their environment.

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