The Q&A Archives: Bamboo Potted Plant

Question: I have a planted bamboo plant which is braided. There is one

Answer: Based on your description, I am not certain that what you have is actually a bamboo; these are usually too stiff and rigid to be woven. Instead, I think you may have a "money tree" or pachira, these are currently quite popular as gift plants and the like. This plant is generally very easy to care for -- does well in bright indirect light, avoid overwatering -- and generally stays healthy, so what you are seeing is certainly unusual. If it is truly a fungal problem, you can try wiping it clean with a damp cloth to reduce the spores available for reinfection. Mold or fungal infections tend to occur when there is excess humidity, so avoid wetting the stem when you water the plant, and try to improve the air circulation around it (but do not place it in a draft). I am a little concerned because it sounds like it is only happening on one stem. It is possible something has happened to that stem (either at the root level or damage above ground to the bark or possibly a break created when it was bent or even exposure to cold if it was transported during winter) and it is in the process of dying, thus making it more susceptible to pest or disease such as rotting. If this happens, you may have to try to remove it by cutting it off at ground level and cutting out the affected above-ground sections of that stem as best you can. But since I have not seen the plant, it is difficult to make a definite diagnosis. I would suggest you consult with your local county extension and/or professionally trained nursery staff as well. (They would probably appreciate photos, both close up and of the overall plant.) If a chemical control is needed, your county extension will have the most up to date recommendations on what to use and how/when is best to use it. Good luck with your plant!

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