The Q&A Archives: lucky bamboo house plant

Question: My Lucky bamboo is getting scattered yellow spots on the leaves.
It is in a small glass container in standing water, it is getting pretty root bound. Do I need to add fertilizer to the water? What kind? Or, do I need to transplant it to a larger container? It is on my desk at my office so perhaps it is not getting enough natural light. I am near a window but it gets no direct sun.

Answer: Lucky Bamboo is one of those easy to grow plants; they are happy in a glass of standing water, don't mind having crowded roots (as long as they're covered by water), grow in very low light conditions and do not need fertilizer. In fact, if you do fertilize, you'll encourage fast growth which will be thin and pale green. So, don't move your plant or place it in a larger container. That's not what's causing the yellow spots. Instead, carefully inspect the leaves for signs of insects. Use a magnifying glass if necessary. Feeding from small pests such as white flies, scales, mealy bugs or spider mites can all result in yellow spots on the leaves. Once you've determine which of these pests is causing the problem, you can control them with a houseplant insecticide or you can simply wash or wipe them off the leaves of your Lucky Bamboo. Check your plant periodically for new generations of pests. Best wishes with your Lucky Bamboo!

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