The possible reasons for a bamboo plant turning yellow include over-fertilization, prolonged exposure to sunlight and over-watering. Most bamboo plants feature green leaves and stalks, but improper care can turn them yellow.
The reason for yellow leaves or stems on a bamboo plant often depends on the type of bamboo. For example, Lucky Bamboo often turns yellow when the soil is over-fertilized. When Lucky Bamboo is grown in water with no soil, it requires fertilization every other month; for soil plantings, fertilize it every 30 days.
Excess water can also cause bamboo plants to turn yellow. The soil in which a bamboo stalk is planted should never be saturated. This causes the leaves to turn yellow and eventually fall off. A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to the leaves. If they start to curl and shrivel, the plant needs more water. When they start to turn yellow, they have too much water.
In some forms of bamboo, yellow leaves are an indication of sunlight exposure. Golden bamboo, for example, is usually grown in dense clusters. When the bamboo is thinned too aggressively, the stems might turn yellow.
Although yellow leaves might signify an unhealthy plant, bamboo plants grow back their leaves after they are lost. However, dead or cut stems will not grow back.