White Fungus on Bamboo

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Indoor bamboo plants are just as susceptible to white fungus as outdoor plants are.
Indoor bamboo plants are just as susceptible to white fungus as outdoor plants are. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Some bamboo is susceptible to a variety of fungus and pests. Fungal infections particularly can begin to grow on indoor bamboo plants if you don't care for them properly. Outdoor wild bamboo is susceptible to fungus, too. Bamboo also tends to attract a type of pest that creates a residue that looks like fungus. You should try to control white fungus or the pests that create white residue as soon as you notice them.

Mealy Bugs

Mealy bugs are common pests on bamboo and many other types of plants. They tend to infect a plant when it has begun to grow sooty black mold, which is a result of overly wet conditions. Mealy bugs spin tiny white webs that can resemble hairy white mold. Rub your hand across the surface of the bamboo plant. If you see streaks of blood on the plant, it is likely that you have an infestation of mealy bugs.

Sooty Mold

Sooty mold is a type of fungal infection that is a problem for many outdoor and indoor bamboo varieties. It can be white or black, depending on the strain of fungus. Fungus tends to grow on the bamboo when it has been watered too much or if there has been a lot of rain. It can also spread in nurseries or a bamboo plantation if the area isn’t ventilated or if the plants are placed too close to one another.

Mold on Bamboo Wood

White mold fungus can also grow on bamboo wood after the manufacturer has harvested and processed it. It can even occur after you’ve bought and installed the wood in your home. In many such cases, the bamboo has not completely dried after production. The water will eventually work its way to the bamboo's surface. White mold fungus will grow there because it thrives in areas with excess water.

Prevention

Prevent any type of mold on bamboo by not over-watering the plant. Watering requirements will differ depending on your climate and the variety of bamboo. But if you notice mold growth, cut back immediately on the amount and frequency of watering.

Removal

Remove white fungus and mealy bugs from live bamboo by spraying the plant with an insecticide or fungicide. Spray the bamboo as often as instructed by the insecticide manufacturer until the fungus is gone. Remove it from manufactured bamboo by spraying with a solution of one part water and one part white vinegar, and then wiping up the residue. White vinegar kills mold spores.

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