Can't bear it any longer

Today I tell you about a mistake. Not a big mistake maybe, but I hate being wrong about plants. Last summer I redid this raised planter box, making it into a bamboo planter, putting a tired-looking arrow bamboo (Pseudosasa japonica) there.

Well, almost a year later, the plant still looks tired. It's so ugly, I won't have it in my garden any longer!


I'm not sure if this is just a bad form of this particular bamboo species, or if it's not liking its new surroundings.

It looks just as terrible as it did a year ago.

I decided to replace it with a much nicer plant:

It's the exact same species as far as I know, but looks so much nicer! (Incidentally, this is the plant I was first thinking about putting here until I chose the larger, rattier one. Good choice, right?)

I just pried the offending plant out of the box:

and was careful to dig around to remove any spare rhizomes that may have been left behind:

There were a few in there.

Since this box tends to stay dry for longer than it really should, I added more peat and organic matter to help with water retention:

I did this last year when I planted, but it can't hurt to do it again.

Then the new plant went in:

Even though it is smaller and less full, the new one looks so much better!


The old one spread out a little bit, but mainly just stayed in a tight ball of rhizomes:

I chopped this up and put it on the compost pile (well, near the compost pile as I want to be sure it doesn't root in -- I'll let it dry out for a few months before grinding it up). No more time for ugly plants in my garden!

I have another potted arrow bamboo that looks almost as ratty as this one:

It's not destined for the compost pile yet, but perhaps soon. I have several pots of the nicer-looking form too, so no sense in keeping the ones I can't bear to look at, right?

This one though... it's not too hard on the eyes. I can't wait unit it adds a few more leaves and fills out.

(I often read gardeners writing about removing underperforming plants and thought "how do they get so tough with their plants?". Well, it seems I've now matured enough in the garden to join their ranks. Fear me oh weak and lacking greenery!)


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (August 16, 2012 at 10:36 AM)  

It took me a long time to get to the point where I say, enough is enough. Kudos for removing the ratty japonica. Not all plants are equal.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (August 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM)  

It didn't take me too long to become ruthless. But I do try to rehome them - composting is a last resort.

allison  – (August 16, 2012 at 5:13 PM)  

I have been nursing a night-blooming cereus for TEN YEARS and it has not bloomed once. I ignore it, I coddle it, I've moved it everywhere I could, and yet.....I can't bring myself to pitch it. It's quite large now and makes for a nice hanging plant in my classroom. But no flowers yet. Or ever, I fear.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax!  – (August 17, 2012 at 5:09 AM)  

Is it the plant or the planter that's the problem? Do bamboos like to be in pots?

Alan  – (August 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM)  

Good thinking Lucy! The plant will eventually fill the planter, but it's a few years away from that point. Right now it's the plant that's the problem.

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