What is the optimum condition for my desk bamboo to grow? I am in a competition with my peer and after one day he has substantial growth and I do not. I have placed it under my desk for the evening because I'm afraid maybe it's getting too much light. Your advice?
Sonny from Oklahoma City
Try a little liquid fertilizer! It helps things to grow! And check and see if the other plant is being swapped out for a larger one.
Our local Chinese restaurant has beautiful bamboo (lucky) in their restaurant. The lady told me she only puts ice cubes or crushed ice on hers for watering them. I've tried this on my puny little stems and they are staying alive so far, just not as beautiful as hers. I haven't tried fertilizer yet, but will now!
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Hardiness Zone: 9a
Tamara from Eureka, CA
Depending on your local water source and whether it has fluoride in it, using tap water could be your problem. I was told to switch to purified or rain water when mine was turning yellow. That did the trick. Ever since, mine has been healthy and growing. I have rain barrels for recycling roof water in warm months. In the fall, I fill a big 2-gal. jug and that usually lasts me through the winter. I've never fertilized it. (02/08/2008)
In the other vase, most of the leaves are green with only a couple that have a small yellow strip that starts at the beginning of the leave (the part from the stalk, not near the the end of the leaf). The roots in this vase are the regular yellowish green color. My father thinks the plant with several yellow leaves is the one he may have put too much fertilizer in at one point, but he thought it would be OK b/c he eventually emptied the water out and put new water in when he thought that's why the leaves were yellowing (from the fertilizer).
The leaves seem to get dusty quickly and I was wondering if I should take a sponge and wipe them down. Will the dust effect their growth? Is it better to not fertilize the bamboo? Are the stalks OK totally submerged in water just like the roots? And one last question... To keep them from growing up into the chandelier over the table they're on, do I take a kitchen knife and just cut the bottom of the stalk? If not please let me know the right way to do this. I really like these plants and don't know if they are fragile or can take all this shuffling around in order to clean the vases and refill the water and so on. Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.
VJK from Massachusetts
I have several of these bamboo plants and have managed to keep them alive for the past 3 years. I keep mine away from window, low light. You can replace the stuffing with fish rocks and keep the roots and a bit of the stalk in water. I have never fertilized mine just change the water twice a year and keep the vase full the rest of the time. You may want to cut some of the foliage off at the stalk to keep it under control. More will grow back and the stalk will keep growing. Good luck!! (04/30/2007)
By HUMBLE MOM
I have one too, and am going to repot in glass marbles found in Dollar Tree. They make a fertilizer just for these plants. I am going to get some for mine. Can't hurt. Maybe you can find some in your area. (05/01/2007)
By Judith E.
I have 10 of these - very large plants. I have had them for 5 or 6 years. You change the water with room temperature water out of your tap once a week. Just let it run in you container. Also let it run over the leaves to get the dust off and rub them with your fingers to remove the dust. Keep them in low light maybe 6 ft. away from a window. You can use African Violet Fertilizer drops half strength if needed. They will come back to green in time. (05/03/2007)