What's wrong with my lucky bamboo?
November 7, 2006 7:17 PM   Subscribe

My lucky bamboo has developed bumps along the underside of the stalks. Does anyone know what is causing them, and if they are harmful to the plant?

I've done some googling, which has led me to discover that it's not actually bamboo, it's dracaena sanderiana. I can't find anything to explain the bumps, though. I hope the plant isn't sick. It's the only green thing in my office and I get a ton of complements on it.
posted by donajo to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
It's thinking about making roots there, looks like.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 7:19 PM on November 7, 2006

yes, new roots.
posted by distrakted at 7:27 PM on November 7, 2006

Response by poster: I thought about that, but it's fairly high up on the plant. There are roots at the bottom of the plant, in water. Does lucky bamboo usually develop roots at the top/middle of the plant? The stalk is about 18 inches tall, with those curls about 6 inches from the top of the stalk. There's another 18 inches of leaves above that. I'll try to post a full-length pick tomorrow.

If roots do sprout from the bumps, do you think I can just cut them off without harming the plant?
posted by donajo at 7:27 PM on November 7, 2006

Best answer: They're more like potential roots. I think it'll only put out roots there if the bumps are in water or moist soil. If they're kept above water, the roots won't develop much beyond the bumps you see.
posted by redheadeb at 7:59 PM on November 7, 2006

Bamboo is a grass and an aggressive propigator. It appears that your bamboo has the bumps only on the underside of the forced curves and horizontals. In a natural situation, if the grass went horizontal or was pushed over, it would sprout roots on the bottom and keep trying to grow. The fact that your bamboo has been encouraged to grow in the spiral may be confusing the plant, causing it to attempt another rooting.

Just a theory.
posted by onhazier at 6:23 AM on November 8, 2006

It's definitely the beginnings of roots. Many creeping plants or others that propagate easily from cuttings display the same thing. It's nothing to worry about. It won't make roots unless those bumps get in water or soil. If, by some strange fluke, it does sprout, just pull the roots off.
posted by OmieWise at 7:07 AM on November 8, 2006

Some plants can produce aerial roots - which will grow from bumps like those and wander off in search of water - but I don't think dracaena is one of them. That would only happen in a high-humidity environment.

Yes, on the off chance it did produce aerial roots, cutting them off would do no harm as long as there's adequate roots in the water.
posted by mmoncur at 1:34 AM on November 10, 2006

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