Can I save my plant’s broken branch? (See photos)
resolved Oct 22
  • My ZZ plant suffered a fracture from a human.

  • I will post weekly photo updates.

  • If the branch recovers and no longer needs the supports, this will resolve as YES. Otherwise, NO.

  • I will not bet in this market.



Structurally branch is looking ok so far, the leaves are a bit more yellow though.




REMOVAL OF SUPPORT TEST (photos ~15 mins post removal of support):


SUMMARY: confusingly, the branch seems to have suffered a secondary fracture just after the end of the first support. However, it looks like without the support THE ORIGINAL FRACTURE HAS REGAINED ITS STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY. I will assume that the second fracture is related to the first fracture in some way, and thus for this to resolve YES, I am looking to see that the entire branch can survive independent of a support. For the timebeing I have returned the support, and will repeat a second test (remove support) in roughly 1 month. If it looks stable at that point for several days without the support, this will resolve YES.


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Plenty of growers do what's called super cropping.

I'm betting ur all good.

I am travelling so will actually do the second test on October 17th.

confusingly, the branch seems to have suffered a secondary fracture just after the end of the first support

Classic stress concentration failure mode. The support is stiffer than the original plant stem, so the stiffness of the combined system changes sharply at the end of the support. Stresses, especially cyclic stress from motion, concentrate stress there.

The usual fix is to have a region of gently-decreasing stiffness so that the bending is spread over a larger area.

A common household example is the strain relief feature on a cable, where it joins the connector or device. The heavier / stiffer plastic is tapered or segmented over the nearby region of the cable to taper the stiffness and avoid a sharp transition.

predicted YES

@EvanDaniel The thing where you've chained two pieces together, with a semi-flexible joint between them, is good on (based on this analysis). Loose joints (tape applied loosely, thread tied loosely, elastic bands, etc.) are good. It doesn't have to be fancy, just notice that bamboo skewers (or whatever) are extremely stiff in context, and that's not what you want. Thin and flexy is good. The ability for the stem to follow the path traced by the reinforcement loosely is important; you don't want to force something exact.

Can you rotate the plant such that the leaves on the recovering branch get the most sunlight?


I’ve posted the update, see the text at the bottom. If you look carefully, you’ll see where the branch is bending now is at the site of a second fracture. Actually at the first fracture, without the support, the branch still has structural integrity (ie. doesn’t bend)

Sorry! Helping friend move apartments, got a bit hectic. Will post within 24hr

predicted NO

Is today the day?

predicted NO

Weekly update?

I am going to push the close date back by 30 days. The intent of this question, and I believe the readers, is “can the branch recover to the point of not needing the support”.

I figured this would be determined by 1 month in (sept14), but now I’m not sure if that’s enough time since it is changing state slower than expected.

However, on September 14th, I will still test removing the support and see what happens, and report that here in the weekly update.

Market can adjust at that point. However, resolution will happen when there is more concrete yes/no signal (expected 2 months in). After 2 months in, I will repeat a “Remove support” test. If it doesn’t show any improvement over sept14 (1 month in), I will resolve this No.


predicted NO

Can we please get a picture of the wound site with the next update?

predicted NO

My green thumbed friend said "It will likely live with the support, but it will always need that support and if you take it away it will die". We will see!

at the base, it looks like it’s falling out of the pot 👀

@awse Yeah she just decided to grow that way. It’s a bit crowded in this pot to be fair. Still stable though.

Can't wait for an update! I am heavily invested in this crucial market.

Posted a new update.

Seems like she’s hanging in there so far. Still more yellow than the other branches but doesn’t seem to have gotten much worse than the prior week.

Only time will tell.

predicted NO

Plant is drought tolerant, so could be yellowing is a delayed result of the damage. Will need more data to see if it gets worse or plateaus

predicted YES

Hit us with some update photos. I’m on the edge of my seat!

@CoryS I posted some new photos 2 days ago into the description. I’ll post ~weekly photo updates.