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LAZARUS (Bloody Tree rats again)


Hi Wayne, 

Back in November 2015 I purchased five seedlings of 'Wayne's Pick' x 'Katrina'. Three of them have been growing nicely in pots and one was mounted on a big rock in the garden.


The remaining one I mounted onto a large nicholii that's growing in the corner of the backyard. I have another speciosum that has been growing on the same tree for many years so I figured that the new seedling would also grow nicely in its new home. And so it did. Within a month or so a new growth had appeared.


One day, several months later, I noticed that the leaf on the newest cane had been chewed off and a couple of the smaller canes had also been damaged. Judging from what was left behind, whatever chewed it had teeth. I can only conclude that it was one of the neighbourhood possums.


For whatever reason the possum wasn't interested in the much larger speciosum on the other trunk. Maybe it just has a preference for grandiflorums. I have a 'Redback' x 'Pancake' crossing growing on a another nicholii in the same corner of the backyard and that hasn't been touched.


I made a protective cover from some wire mesh and put that over the plant to keep the possum at bay but over the next 3 years it only grew very slowly. Nothing like the plant growing on the rock.


At the end of last year I took the protective mesh off and was rewarded soon after by a possum chewing most of what remained of the plant.


On February 1st this year I decided it was time to put the struggling little plant out of its misery. The first picture is how it looked after removing it from the tree.


My intention was to throw it in the bin but, for whatever reason, I took pity on it and decided to give it one more try. But this time in a pot.


To my great surprise, just three weeks later a new growth appeared on one of the chewed canes. A week later a second new cane appeared!


The second picture was taken at the end of April and it looks like the little fella is going to be okay.


I think I'll have to name this one 'Lazarus'.




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  • Roger Lodsman on

    They are colloquially known as bush sugarcane and, as with most things, some are more sweet than others..

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