"My Lucky Bamboo leaves are turning light / pale green!"

Got a great and an all-too-common question from the online contact form today.... thought it might make a great post!

Q: "I have had a bamboo plant for a few years which stands in water and pebbles. There are 5 of them which have produced many leaves and are growing taller.  I just add water to the vase when I see it gets low.  I have noticed that many of the leaves have turned a "pale" green and I am wondering why this is happening?  Does it require any type of "food" added to it.  By the way, it does not sit in direct sunlight.  It is in the corner of my room and doesn't get any sunlight at all.  Thank you for your help!"

A: Thanks for your note, I'll try to give you some advice! Given all the detailed information you've provided I can only determine two reasons why this might be happening:

1) As you suspected, the plant may just need some nutrition at this point as water will only provide the very basic traces of minerals at best.  If you have been using tap water these two few years, it could be one-part no nutrition and one-part chemicals in the water.  Best thing to do as you proceed is invest in some lucky bamboo fertilizer (we sell Green Green which I find is a great balance for lucky bamboo) and to switch to water from a natural source (probably bottled if you don't have a well).

2) Check the leaves carefully for a spider mite infestation.... this is the only other reason (outside of sunburn) that the leaves might be turning yellowish.  Spider mites are known by tiny webbing between the leaves and also by a sticky brown substance on the underside of the leaves.  The mites themselves are very hard to see with the naked eye but you can occasionally see them crawling about if you look very closely or with a magnifying glass.  If you notice any of this, let me know and I'll try to help you from there.

Good luck!