Before and after

Recently I mentioned that I needed to trim some of my groundcover and "shrubby" bamboos to remove the winter-damaged leaves, but that I wanted to wait a while until there were signs of the new branches and leaves clearly forming.

I decided yesterday to do this, and it was a bit painful. What made it tough is that this mild winter has spoiled me -- some of these plants have leaves that are virtually undamaged. They're green and lovely, and have been all winter long.


That's why I dreaded this day, because I knew it would transform something that looked like this:

into something that looks like this:

That's Sasaella bitchuensis before and after trimming. I thought garden "after" shots were supposed to look better than "before" shots?

The "to trim or not to trim" question was extremely difficult for me the first two years I grew these plants. On one hand the only half-green leaves were a bit ugly so I wanted to remove them, but on the other hand letting any green leaves stay on the plant would help it photosynthesize and establish faster.

These days I barely debate it, as I know that the new leaves will look so much nicer than the old ones. Even the smallest spots of winter damage are very apparent in a sea of fresh greenery.

Still though, I hate the weeks between the removal of the old growth and the emergence of the new.

At least I have plenty of other bamboos to look at during this time.


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Linda/patchwork  – (March 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM)  

I know what you mean about some 'afters'. I have an Autumn Sage that needs to be trimmed back. It was missed when the others were cut back. But, it's blooming! I just can't make myself do it right now.
You're right though to bite the bullet and get it done.
Good job.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 11, 2012 at 2:25 PM)  

Like you, I hate making plants uglier than they were, but often it's necessary for longer-term enjoyment. In a month or two your bitchuensis will be nicer than ever before.

Christine  – (March 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM)  

I'm learning to bite the bullet and prune / cut back - its not nice but so rewarding when the plants respond with all the lush new growth.

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