Big leaves, cleanup time

My Indocalamus tessellatus bamboo has such large leaves, it's really a standout even among so many other bamboos. Unfortunately it gets bitten by winter quite easily and the new leaves emerge relatively late. So in the spring when everything is fresh and new (right now), this plant looks tattered and tired.

I've not pruned this one to the ground like I do with some of my others, instead using a more delicate pruning technique when needed. It's needed now!


The problem isn't so much the entirely dead (fully brown) leaves, as many of those will fall off themselves or with just a gentle tug.

The main problem is the half-green leaves:

They are firmly attached and won't drop on their own. I cut each of them off by hand.

The long thin tubes are the new leaves about to unfurl:

Wouldn't you rather see this (fresh leaf):

Than this (a leaf from last year):

This may seem like a tedious process to you, but the leaves are so big it really only takes 20 minutes or so. Here's the "after" shot:

Here's "before" again for comparison:

Sure the plant looks a bit thinner than before, but with the brown gone it looks so much better. Plus in a week or so all of that new foliage will open and this will be so pretty again.

It's not work, it's gardening!  :)


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outlawgardener  – (May 24, 2017 at 9:09 AM)  

Wow, what a difference 20 minutes makes. Kudos to you for your tireless work to keep your bamboos in bounds and looking beautiful. Every year I contemplate removing mine, especially the grove of phyllostachys vivax which I let go for so many years and is now in many places where I don't want it.

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (May 24, 2017 at 10:07 AM)  

Pruning out the old leaves is tricky.
I nearly pulled up an entire plant doing that.

Anna K  – (May 24, 2017 at 3:48 PM)  

Truly well worth your time, Alan! Love its habit, and those large leaves. I have so much of that kind of work to do in my garden. Not necessarily with bamboo, but with other things... when will I ever catch up...? Happy spring to you!

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