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Latest posts by BILLYC


Posted: 02/08/2013 at 11:38

At the start of the Summer I bought 300 Busy Lizzies (Not the New Guinea variety) from Tesco's. At time of purchase I did not know that these plants where highly prone to to the airborne BL virus. Once I found out I received a full refund. However, the plants could not be returned as they had already been planted out in borders, pots & hanging baskets.

Pretty soon the plants began to either die off or struggle to survive. The ones that didn't die where in a very sorry state, flowers formed but quickly died off, plants remained small & showed no sign of the prolific spreading out. It was obvious that all the plants showed the classic signs of the virus infection.

Now, suddenly three months later, the surviving plants - I would guess about 70% - are a revelation They are growing prolifically, bushing out, healthy with hundreds of flowers with no sign of any disease.

I was under the impression that once this virus infected Busy Lizzies there was no hope for them. Yet these plants seemed to have survived the virus & somehow become healthy again. Does this mean that BLs are becoming resistant to this infection? If so is there hope for BLs next year?

Before people write in & say that perhaps the plants were not  infected in the first place I can assure you that ALL plants where infected. The vast majority planted in borders in close proximity of one another so virus would be easily transferred from plant to plant.

Any expert horticulturalist (not educated guesses) out there who could explain this?????   


Posted: 03/07/2013 at 11:23

I have two Rhododendrons growing vigorously in ericaceous compost in pots on my patio. They will soon outgrow their pots.

I intend transplanting them into my garden but my soil is not suitable for Rhodedendrons. I intend  transplanting plants into larger cheap plastic pots topping up with ericaceous compost, digging two large holes & planting  plant & POT in the holes. This is to try & prevent contamination of the ericaceous compost with my alkaline garden soil. This is something I have thought up (I am a novice gardener) & have no idea whether it will work.

Any advice? Experts only please as these plants are my wife's favourite. If anything happens to them I am a dead man.

If OK what is the best time of year to do it?



Posted: 05/06/2013 at 07:33

lazy gardener - You may have a point I think maybe I have overwatered. Should I leave to dry out?

marshmellow - Plant in close proximity to outside door obviously opening & closing. Should I move plant?

Clay soil and boggy lawn

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 15:52

I had this problem with my front lawn for many years. Believe me none of the suggestions work as I have tried them all. This is how I cured my problem but be warned it takes a lot of hard work.

Firstly my lawn is only 40 sq. mts. this method may not suit a large area.

Higher yourself a 8 inch auger (a large petrol driven drill that drills 8 inch holes) Drill holes in the boggy area to a depth of about 18" & about 18" apart. Remove soil that has come out of holes. Fill holes with pepples (you can buy from a builders yard). Purchase good quality top soil & cover to a depth of about 2". Allow to settle say a week. Tread in with heels & rake till level. Then either turf (best method) or sow using a hardwearing rye grass seed. If done correctly I guarantee this method works.

My son & I took 2 days to drill holes & remove soil & another 2 days to spread top soil & lay turf.

I doubt whether you will try this but if you do be careful. Check no underground drains or water pipes.

From a boggy moss ridden mud heap I now have a beautiful lawn as good as a bowling green.

Good luck.



Posted: 04/06/2013 at 15:28

lazy gardener - Sorry no. In subdued light & has been well watered


Posted: 04/06/2013 at 08:05

I have a Alicante tomato plant growing in a pot on the windowsill. It has been growing healthily for 3 weeks or so & is about 2ft. high. Suddenly the stems on the plant have begun to curl downwards some of them so badly that they are touching the main stem. I have followed all instructions given on this web site.  Any ideas why?????


Posted: 03/06/2013 at 15:22

For those of you still interested in the Busy Lillies bought from Tesco.(See post 30/5/2013) I received a full refund from Tesco's from a very helpful manager. I had no receipt but checked back on debit card for proof of purchase. Manager also informed head office about fungal disease & dangers of selling these plants. Ten out of ten for Tesco's. Just a pity they sold them in the first place. All plants are slowly dying.   

Impatiens (Busy Lizzies)

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 10:35

Mummy Muddy Paws - The plants are NOT the New Guinea variety as far as I know. The packaging only says Impatiens no specific strain is mentioned as is the case with most bedding plants bought from supermarkets etc.

Stop Press - I have just inspected plants after a period of prolonged rain. All plants have white or grey spots on their leaves. Is this the start of the fungal disease?????Or does fungus start underneath the leaves?????

Impatiens (Busy Lizzies)

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 09:54

Thanks for replies. Sorry I didn't understand the concept of the disease. I thought the plants were already diseased when bought. I did not realize that plants actually `catch` the disease.

I still maintain however that Tesco are being irresponsible in selling them to a unaware general public. 

Tomato Plant

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 09:45

Many thanks to all who replied. I intend leaving plant till it is about 6ft. high then I will pinch out top. I know about side shoots & will begin feeding when fruit appears. Special thanks to Bookertoo who explained to me like what I am a complete novice.

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