If you are like me, ie. a little clumsy, it is likely that you will come across this problem at some point. I dropped my baby yellow courgette while moving it around, pretty much right after I felt proud of myself for managing to get so many flower bulbs on a little plant. (!) The main stem nearly snapped in half, with only 5% intact at the bottom, near to the root. I thought I had decapitated and killed it! Since I could not make it any worse, I decided to try to save it.
I first tried wrapping the ‘injured area’ with toilet paper, then wetting it to form a ‘cast’. Unfortunately, it failed as the damage was too close to the root. The ‘cast’ could not ‘set’ fast enough before the plant started to moved.
First aid- bandage and splint
I then replaced the toilet paper with masking tape. I had to be careful not to break the remaining stem. As the masking tape is naturally sticky, I managed to keep the plant in the profile it was supposed to be in. I imagined that by doing so, the plant could still use its remaining 5% of tissue to send signals to the rest of the plant to grow back. I chose masking tape over sticky tape as its paper content allows the plant to ‘breathe’ and grow more easily in theory, I thought.
I then tied a bamboo skewer (the kind which I use to make kebab or satay) to the plant so that it could act as a splint. This is essential as the plant was weak at the bottom and after such a fall, it could no longer support its own weight. In addition, I piled the soil around the stem up slightly so that it further supported the stem.
The next few days were crucial as if the plant did not like the bandage and splint support, it would just dry out and die. I watered the plant lightly each day and watched.
How did it turn out?
The bottom two leaves did dry out but the plant soon got use to the idea of the support. The plant grew healthily thereafter and gave me lots of health and yummy yellow courgettes!