How to Neutralize Water Odor from Bamboo Plants

What You'll Need
Purified bottled water
Soap and water
Strainer or mesh
Opaque vase, as needed

If you own a bamboo plant, chances are you may have experienced some water odor coming off of it. Bamboo plants can make for ideal indoor plants in small spaces because not only do they require minimal care to keep them healthy, they have also come to symbolize good fortune. However, when its water starts to give off unpleasant odor, it would be the time to give them some attention.

Neutralizing the Odor

A few simple tricks can be done to get rid of the water odor from your bamboo plants:

Step 1 - Clean the Vase

Carefully lift out your bamboo plant from its vase or container. Check for black roots and clip these off. Inspect the stalks for firmness and color; if there are mushy or rotting stalks separate them from the healthier ones and discard them. Pour out the water from the vase. If there are algae in the water, consider switching your clear glass vase to an opaque one to prevent future growth. Put larger stones or marbles into a bowl and wash them thoroughly with soap and water; rinse well. If using gravel to hold down the bamboo plant in place, pour them out into a strainer or mesh and shake well under running water to clean. Wash the vase with soap and water making sure the deposits sticking on the sides and the bottom are scrubbed clean. Rinse well.

Repeat this method every 7 to 10 days. Do not allow the bamboo to sit in stagnant water for 2 weeks or more. This will cause the oxygen in the water to remain undissolved; when combined with a rotting stalk, produces Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), which is a foul-smelling gas.

Step 2 - Arrange the Bamboo

Put back the bamboo plant into the vase. Arrange as desired and anchor with the stones, marbles or gravel. Make sure that there is enough room for your stalks; otherwise, divide them and arrange in another clean vase. If desired, trim the shoots at this point.

Step 3 - Use Purified Bottled Water

Pour purified bottled water into the vase up to 2 to 3 inches from the roots.

If no purified bottled water is available, take some tap water and allow standing for at least 24 hours to give time for the chlorine to dissipate. Since this method does not eliminate the fluoride and other minerals in tap water that can cause rotting or deterioration in the plant, it is best to replace the water as soon as purified bottled water becomes available.

Step 4 - Check Location and Water Level 

Bamboo plants thrive on low amount of sunlight so prevent overexposure, algae growth, and consequently water odor, by placing them in the darker portions of the house. Every 3 days, check for its water level to ensure that there is still enough. Add more water as indicated in Step 3. 

Following these steps decreases the deterioration of your bamboo and helps in keeping it odor-free and happily dispensing good fortune into your home.