Lucky bamboo is a fantastic indoor plant but its leaves can droop if it is getting too much water, too much sunlight or is allowed to dry out too much. Keep the soil of lucky bamboo moist but not too wet, move it into a space that gets as much filtered light as possible.
Cold weather can also cause the leaves to droop so keep them away from windows in winter and out of the direct path of air-conditioning.
This article will explore why lucky bamboo leaves droop and how to solve each problem at home.
Why lucky bamboo leaves droop
The top 5 causes of drooping leaves on lucky bamboo is too much water, too much sun, too much fertilizer, drying out too much and very cold weather. Let’s explore each one and how to solve each problem.
1. Too much water
Overwatering lucky bamboo can quickly lead to drooping leaves. While they like moist soil, too much water can cause the roots to be starved of oxygen and nutrients and the plant will suffer. The first sign of overwatering is drooping leaves so check your soil and see if it feels wet.
There are a few things to check and change if your lucky bamboo is overwatered. The soil will feel wet on the top and may even grow white or green mold. The soil can become smelly and there may be water sitting in the base of the soil.
Check your watering schedule. You may need to reduce the amount of water you are adding to your plant and how often you are watering. Indoor lucky bamboo like a small amount of water every 3-4 days in warm weather. Reduce watering to once per week in the cooler months or even less if the soil is staying moist.
Check that your plant has good drainage. The easiest way to avoid overwatering is to allow the pot to naturally drain out the excess water. Using outdoor pots with drainage holes and place them inside indoor pots without.
You can take the pot over to your sink and let the water drain before placing it back inside the indoor pot or on a pot tray.
The best way to water lucky bamboo is to thoroughly water the top of the pot with a watering can or tap and let the water drain out of the bottom. This works well if your plant is growing in a pot with drainage holes.
If your lucky bamboo is growing in a pot without drainage holes it is best to add smaller amounts of water often. I give my bamboo a small amount of water with a spray bottle every 3-4 days. I spray the soil surface to allow the water to slowly soak down to the roots.
2. Too much sunlight
Lucky bamboo are sensitive to too much direct sun which can burn the leaves turning them brown on the edges and causing them to droop.
Move your lucky bamboo into a position that gets bright filtered light. Keep it at least 2 feet away from a window so that it does not get the radiant heat. Place it far enough away that it still gets at least 3-4 hours of bright filtered light. Use a UV grow light to give it an extra boost if you want to keep it in a dark spot.
3. Too much fertilizer
Lucky bamboo leaves can be damaged if they are given too much fertilizer causing them to burn and droop. You can often notice brown tips on the leaves and yellowing. Lucky bamboo enjoys only small amounts of fertilizer and can even survive for years without any fertilizer.
Add around ½ a teaspoon of slow release plant food to your lucky bamboo in spring. This will keep the plant happy for the whole year. Water the fertilizer in and.
4. Dry soil
Lucky bamboo that are allowed to dry out too much can develop drooping leaves. They will eventually turn brown and die off. If you feel the soil and it is dry 1-2 inches below the surface, it is likely that your bamboo has become too dry.
Act quickly to moisten the soil of your bamboo. If the pot has drainage holes you can thoroughly wet the soil. Water the soil until you see the water flow out the bottom of the pot. Let the plant drain well before returning it to the indoor pot or pot tray. Keep the soil moist and you should see the leaves stand up in the next day or so.
5. Cold weather
Cold weather can cause lucky bamboo leaves to droop. These plants thrive on warm weather and humidity so cold air flowing from air-conditioning or from an open window can cause the leaves to droop.
Move your lucky bamboo away from windows and air-conditioning outlets. You can increase the humidity around the plant by misting it in the morning or using a plant humidifier. Keeping your bamboo indoors during cold weather will be essential but could be moved outside under a verandah when the weather warms.
For more on growing lucky bamboo, check out my previous article, Why lucky bamboo stalks are shriveling | 6 Solutions.
Lucky bamboo leaves drooping | Summary
Lucky bamboo are easy care plants but if you see their leaves drooping it is time to act fast. If the soil feels wet it could be overwatered where as if it feels bone dry, it will need a thorough watering. Keep lucky bamboo soil moist to encourage quick and green growth. Fertilize it with half a teaspoon of indoor plant food once per year and keep it out of direct sun.
Lucky bamboo are easy to care for if you get a few basics right. Watch your plant closely and make adjustments if you see the leaves start to droop.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.