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Bamboo Palm Pic 1
Bamboo Palm Pic 1  

Bamboo Plant Pic 2 - Stems
Bamboo Plant Pic 2 - S  

I have a Bamboo Palm that is dying and I cannot figure out why.

Over the last couple of weeks leaves/branches have been browning and drying up and I have regularly cut them off.

Just recently though one stem seems to have died, but just on the bottom, about a third of the length of the entire stem. It got thinner and looks as if it shrank or dried up. It is unable to support the upper portion of the stem and leaves. There is a clear line between the sick portion and the healthier looking portion.

I figured this might be because it was sitting too close to the furnace which has recently been been blasting more warm air. So I moved the plant about a foot away from it and tried to hold up the broken stem with a skewer.

About a week later though another stem developed the same problem!And some of the smaller stems that had developed turned dry and brown also.

The plant sits close to a south facing window. I water it regularly but let it dry out in between.

If I had to guess, maybe I potted the plant incorrectly in the summer and the water isn't draining properly in the bottom. The other guess would be that there is something wrong with the soil/water.

I would really appreciate if you have any idea what caused this and how I can save this plant!

Thanks so much!


I suspect that as you suggested the drainage is very poor. It appears that there is no drain tray under the plant therefore no drain hole. If that is the case then either drill a hole in the bottom of the pot and set a drain tray under it or repot it immediately into a pot with better drainage. If you have doubts insert a wood dowell rod into the pot all the way to the bottom and leave it there an hour. Then pull it out and look at it very closely. If the bottom few inches of the dowell rod is a lot wetter than the top part then drainage is the problem. Improve drainage and the plant's condition will improve.

Besides that insects could be at least part of the problem. Spider mites can attack this plant also. If you see very fine spider webs in the leaf crotches then spider mites is definitely the problem. To rid the plant of the mites you need to mix 2 cups of water with 2 cups of rubbing alcohol and 1 tablespoon of dish detergent and put the mix in a spray bottle. Spray the plant thoroughly making sure you get the tops and bottoms of all leaves. Repeat the spraying twice a week for a month. Consistency in the spraying is the only way to get rid of the insects. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!!!!!!!



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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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