Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guest Post - Rani: The Merciful Plant

(We are grateful to Rani for today's guest post!   You might remember Rani from 
this great post about cake decorating.  You can also access her own Blog here. )

If there was a colour opposite to green, my thumbs would share its name.

I do NOT have green thumbs. My thumbs do not even closely resemble the colour green. I’m not spearmint green, or even aqua green. So when it comes to growing vegetables, flowers and herbs, I fail miserably every. single. time. How is this possible, I hear you ask? Well, it’s a long and miserable story, but if you’re interested, read this (“What’s the Opposite of Green?”) for further clarification.

So today I am going to share with you something that even non-green thumbs like myself can grow...
I’m talking about… BAMBOO!


I know, it’s a pretty random plant to have in your home. But, it’s real. Check this out:

This beautiful, green leafy plant is growing in my home. And boy is it growing! I love it; I love its colour, its leaf, even the funny little roots that tangle in the bottom of the vase. I love this plant.

And it loves meJ

I discovered bamboo when I went to a professional photo shoot sitting with my three girls. The Asian lady who owned the business had a large vase of them in her windowless office. I instantly liked them. They were dark green and unique. I had never seen anything like them. She was given them by a florist friend “years” ago. All she had to do was change the water every now and again and trim them from the top, not the bottom.

 Years? Change water every now and again? I had to have them!

So off I went. For days I asked every florist I passed whether they sold them. No one did. But then, as if like lightening, a bolt of inspiration struck me. I needed an Asian florist! So off to Sunnybank I went. Sure enough, the first Asian florist I went to sold beautiful bright green stems. I was actually surprised at the colour, because the photographer’s bamboo was very dark green, but I can now assume it was probably due to the lack of natural light in the office. (Hello, doesn't even need natural light to survive?!) But I definitely preferred the bright light green ones I found this day. I bought five, at $5 each. The following month I bought two more J.

Well, it’s been almost three years, and my bamboo is still thriving! If anything, my house is overflowing with it!  The stems grow from the top and they shoot up in long stems. If you don’t want them too long, they must be trimmed from the top. If the leaves get a little yellow/brown on the tips, just use scissors to trim the colour off (into the shape of a leaf).

The roots grow very long and intertwine with each other, but they can be cut apart if desired, or even trimmed back so they don’t intertwine. The stems grow taller by smaller shoots branching off from the major stem, but it somehow maintains the straight up-right position as it grows. The water should not sit too high in the vase when you first begin. Only about 6cm of water in the bottom should be enough. Then as the roots grow and intertwine you will need to add more to keep the roots moist.

Many of my older stems now have faded cut-off marks where I have trimmed them down because I want to keep them confined to the size of the vase I sit them in. But I keep all the cut-offs in glass bottles around my house and I love to see the roots sprout from the ends (usually around 1-2 weeks later). I watch as the little stems grow longer and longer, stronger and stronger, and I think to myself… “look at me..  I’m like a plant physician!” It’s quite exhilarating. J

When long enough newly grown stems will one day join their original stems and make my vase even fuller and more lush.

Needless to say, I have bamboo all over the place, and I think I always will. I love how fresh it is, I love how it adds a pop of colour to any space. But what I love more than anything else is the fact that there is not one single speck of brown dirt anywhere! Water is the ONLY thing this wondrous plant requires to survive – and even thrive! Now THAT is my kind of plant. J

So maybe I do have green thumb after all? Well, bamboo green, anyway..  J


  1. Thank you Rani, I really like this! I am a convert and want to get some bamboo! I love the bright green and that they live just in water. And don't die too easily. And that you could grow a lot of new ones and give them away as presents.. and that they look so interesting :)

  2. Brilliant! My thumbs must be black, because every plant I touch pretty much just dies, so this is super exciting! It looks really nice, too! I once had a mini palm tree in a little pot on our kitchen sink for I think about a year - that's my current PB, obviously it was pretty easy to nourish also, but I'll have to try bamboo sometime!! :) (and the fact that you use the cut offs to grow new plants? TOTALLY a plant physician!!)

  3. This is AWESOME Rani! I need some Bamboo! I think I'd wear the title of 'plant physician' rather well.... I've just never had a plant survive long enough...

    xo Tammy