Operation Save the Lucky Bamboo

Sunday 21 January 2018

Returned to my lab the other day to find my lucky bamboo in horrifying condition. Sometimes plants go weird on me, not enough water, not enough sunlight, got knocked over, got eaten by animals, but this time, it totally baffled me. This cute little plant had been sitting around my desk for years now, only requiring the occasional refill on water and then suddenly I find it with every stalk dead. But I won't give up that easily, commence operation save the lucky bamboo.

I've had my lucky bamboo either around my lab desk or in my home kitchen for years now. Same little plant day after day, doesn't grow too much, doesn't do too much. But all the same I loved the little thing. I'd seen the leaf tips turn yellow before if it faced a bit of neglect but nothing really bad. Once I had a stalk turn completely yellow so I separated that one before anything spread and the rest continued on green and happy.

So when I came into my lab the other day and found every stalk suddenly shrivelled and yellowish brown I thought it might be gone for good. Now I always water with tap water, so any observer is welcome to say if that is the reason my plant died, but I figure if I can drink tap water, so can the plants. That being said a day or two after that the plants hadn't made any improvement at all and it looked like they were beginning to hollow out. Although it still had green foliage higher up, I was pretty sure that if the stalk was completely and utterly dead so it was only a matter of time before the flow of nutrients was going to reach a breaking point and the last of my leaves would fall.

And so, I carefully cut off each of the regions that was still green and I prepared some containers. Some new rocks, some fresh water and my freshly cut bamboo greens. Will they root and carry on? I'm not entirely sure. But here's hoping it's going to be a learning experience and that in the end I will still have my container of lucky bamboo sitting on my desk for years to come.