My bamboo leaves have been yellow since the winter. What should I do about it?
May 22, 2021
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. Bamboo is a perennial evergreen that is actually a grass. When it is planted and grown properly it can be fairly easy to care for and requires little regular maintenance beyond regular watering, although different species might have unique requirements.
Since your bamboo has developed what looks like browning at the tips of its leaves since the winter, I think this is most likely due to winter damage. Cold weather can burn the leaves of many bamboos and may cause the leaves to drop, but they will be soon replaced by new leaves. If you wish you can cut the brown tips off with a pair of clean, sharp scissors. Your bamboo might benefit from mulching around the plants to help to insulate the roots from severe cold. The species of your bamboo will determine its hardiness and ability to tolerate our winter climate. Toronto is typically Plant Hardiness Zone 6, although this can differ with depending on the microclimate of a specific location. If you know the species of your bamboo you can check it’s planting zone at the website below. The Plant Zones listed are for the US, so add 1 to the US number and that is the Canadian zone.
There are other possibilities for the yellowing / browning of the leaves on your bamboo, including over or under watering (it is very important to have well-drained soil and ample watering but not so much that the roots become soggy and waterlogged), and using too much fertilizer (organic compost or manure applied as a top dressing annually in the spring is ideal). Bamboo typically is not bothered by insects, but you could check the leaves carefully especially for webbing on the underside.
This website has a lot of great information about bamboos :
Best of luck with your bamboo !