A Quick And Dirty Bamboo Palm Guide
Bamboo palms are a beautifully tropical plant, that are relatively low-maintenance. They are native to South America and will give any room in your home a cool, tropical feel.
These plants have a green trunk, that is around 4 feet high, but if grown in the appropriate conditions, it can reach 12 feet high!
These plants are also know for their positive effects on our health. They are notoriously known for cleaning the air, and bamboo palms are particularly good at clearing carbon monoxide, chloroform, and formaldehyde from the air.
However, they do have a dark side. The fruits that grow on this palm are toxic to pets and humans. When they mature they turn a black color, to be sure to dispose of them when this happens.
This article is going to cover a few questions with regards to caring for bamboo palms.
Can You Prune A Bamboo Palm?
Pruning a plant is when you trim away any dead branches or stems that have withered and died. This will increase the growth of the plant, ensuring it continues to grow healthily.
It is beneficial for your plants as it helps keeps pests away, and allows your plants to keep a shape that is suitable for the space it is growing in.
Doing this every now and again is good for your plants, especially during the spring and summer which are peak growing seasons for them. All you need are some good gardening scissors.
Pruning your bamboo palm is pretty straight forward. Older palms will tend to become dry and will adopt a brown color. You should prune these away to keep the plant looking well and tidy.
It is recommended you should clean the pruning utensils with rubbing alcohol before beginning to prune to avoid disease. You can do this by dipping a cloth in a rubbing alcohol solution and cleaning the utensils with that.
The best utensils for this are pruning sheers. They are available in most gardening shops or online stores.
Why Is My Bamboo Palm Turning Yellow?
Bamboo fonds turning yellow is a normal occurrence. This is usually due to the amount of water or quality of the water being used. It is most likely a sign of too much water being added.
Bamboo palms do not cope well with soggy soil, they prefer barely moist soil. A guide for how much you should water them is to let the top third of the soil dry out before watering them again.
Another reason for your bamboo palm turning yellow is spider mites. These insects will suck the colour out of the leaves of your plants. You can find out if this is the reason for the discoloration by feeling the yellow fonds.
If spider mites have had their way with it, the leaves should feel gritty. You can also look out for any webbing within the leaves, this would be a tell-tell sign of spider mites.
You can get rid of these mites by pruning and disposing of the infected leaves. You can also rub the rest of the leaves with 70% rubbing alcohol to kill the rest of the bugs.
Another option is to dilute some rubbing alcohol with water, and create a spray solution and spray it on the plant every few days. This should kill off the rest of the spider mites.
You can also move the plant to your shower, and shower it down every so often. The force of the jets will be enough to remove the spider mites. It’s best to repeat this process every month to prevent anymore infestations.
Why Are My Bamboo Palms Turning Brown?
If you are noticing the tips of your bamboo palm are turning brown, there could be a number of reasons for this. As with yellow tips, a reason for browning could be pests. There are a few different types of bugs to be aware of when it comes to a browning palm:
Aphids: Tiny aphis are among the most common sap-sucking pests. They can cause quite some damage, such as excreting honeydew which in turn attracts lots of ants. The sticky honeydew can also lead to sooty mold developing on your plant.
Scale: Scale are similar to aphids as they also create honeydew which attracts ants and mold to your bamboo plant.
Mites: As we covered earlier, mites are hard to see with the naked eye, so it’s best to feel for a gritty sandy texture on your plant, or look out for webs within the leaves.
Mealybugs: These pests are common with bamboo plants. They are easy to spot as they have a white, cottony covering for protection.
Most of these bugs are easy to dispose of. You can either use an insecticide spray, or even strong blast of water will get rid of them.
Other factors that could be turning your palms brown could be heat. If your bamboo plant is placed in direct sunlight all the time then this could turn its leaves brown. It’s best to alternate their position, and ensure they are getting enough shade.
Chilly weather can also burn your palms and have them go a browny color. Some may drop from the plant, but don’t worry, they’ll be replaced by new leaves.
Under and over watering can also cause brown tips on a bamboo palm. Some watering tips are as follows: new bamboo palms should be watered once or twice a week. With potted bamboo palms, having them slightly drier is best.
Mature bamboo plants will let you know when they need watering, their plant leaves will start to curl. Cutting the brown parts of the plant will help it continue to grow nicely.
Can I Put My Bamboo Palm Outside During Summer?
To keep this plant growing at a steady rate, you’ll have to provide conditions that are similar to its tropical habitat. For this plant, that means moisture and filtered light, since its origins are South America.
To grow outdoors, this plant is only suitable for zones 10 and 11, the southern half of America.
Indoor palms, like many other plants will benefit from being outdoors in the summer. However, it is important to note that indoor palms will not do well in direct sunlight, so providing shade for them if they are outside is a must.
Photo By Dick Culbert Licensed Under CC BY 2.0