|Small bamboo overtopped by larger bamboo.|
|Small bamboo shoots surrounded by larger ones.|
After consulting with Joe and Veronika, we decided to attempt a surgical operation on the bamboo to separate the two different types, as it was pretty clear the larger bamboo would soon bring about the death of the small cultivar because of its larger size. As with humans, operations like this need to be done with care and it helps greatly to make as few cuts as possible and keep cutting tools as clean as possible so that infections do not occur. After making the necessary preparations, Veronika dug out the entire clump, carefully separated the rhizomes from one another, and put the plants back into the ground as soon as possible. The 'Stripestem Fernleaf' cultivar went back into the hole from which it was taken, while the larger bamboo was moved a few yards away to the end of an existing bamboo hedge. While the larger bamboo seemed to handle the operation just fine, with little physical decline after replanting, we were worried that the tiny Fernleaf cultivar would not make it, as it went into a rapid decline after being replanted. In their own way, plants experience stress and trauma after significant surgical operations just like humans. Here we can see distress of the small bamboo indicated by the foliage thinning significantly and losing color:
Fortunately, like humans, plants are tenacious and can overcome trauma and stress, especially with good care. In this case, we began to see significant signs of improvement as the summer rains began; rain water is like chicken soup for plants. While rain water is pretty great, the fact that I regularly came by and sat by Fernleaf's (garden)bed side, holding one of its shoots in my hand, exchanging jokes about orchids and reading bedtime stories about "The Little Bamboo That Could" like any good friend would do was more likely the real cause for recovery. Today, you'd barely even recognize it as the same plant:
While you can see it definitely did lose some of its shoots (like patients who lose weight while recovering from an operation), the ones still there have some very verdant foliage. Although we are still in the process of nursing this bamboo back to full health, it seems like the operation was successful and the plant will eventually make a full recovery - congratulations to Dr. Veronika and the rest of the "medical" team here at Kona Kai!