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Borassus


Latest posts by Borassus

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What is this strange plant?

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 13:22

Liverworts are fascinating! They're descendants of some of the first plants to colonise the land. Your liverwort is Marchantia polymorpha, which is really common in pots and, if you look closely, you'll see some cup-like structures on the surface. These contain tiny propagules called 'gemmae', which are dispersed by rain drops, spreading the liverwort far and wide! Liverworts don't harm other plants, but they're a symptom of excessive moisture, so as long as you keep your compost on the dry side, you shouldn't have to worry about them.

Who's afraid of varginia creeper

Posted: 12/04/2012 at 16:34

Hi Percy,

Virginia creeper should grow between the laurels, but I wouldn't worry about its roots taking over from them. In fact, if the laurels are large, then it might be difficult for the creeper to establish without a bit of TLC. Dig in plenty of compost when planting and water regularly until the climber has established, as the soil around mature laurels is usually dry and poor in nutrients.

Scottish Clematis

Posted: 12/04/2012 at 16:31

I used to grow in Fife and found that most clematis flowered well, but avoid all the evergreen types (Clematis armandii, C. cirrhosa, C. x cartmanii) as they are too tender. Montanas and Viticellas are easy to grow and prune, while Alpinas and Macropetalas are really cold-tolerant

tulips not flowering..

Posted: 12/04/2012 at 16:27

Hey gardenfanatic,

Are these tulips left over from previous years, or did you plant them last autumn? If they are old bulbs, then it's quite common for fancy tulips to fail after the first year. Unlike daffodils and many other bulbs, they just don't like staying in the soil year after year and should be lifted once the leaves die back, then stored dry until the autumn. On the other hand, if these are new bulbs planted in 2011, then they should have flowered. Planting bulbs too deeply or too shallow may have stopped them blooming. If they were planted quite late in autumn, then this could also have stopped them flowering well.

Miniature Tree or Bush

Posted: 12/04/2012 at 16:22

Hi Mike,

Can I ask whether your new border is sunny or shady, and what's the maximum size you'd be happy for this tree/shrub to reach?

2 year-old Choisya ternata

Posted: 12/04/2012 at 16:20

Hi yarrow2,

The leaf damage doesn't look like vine weevil, as these bugs tend to chew into the leaf from the edge, rather than making holes. This is not to say that there aren't weevil larvae in the soil. Your plant doesn't look particularly robust and I suspect that it hasn't been growing in ideal conditions, making it much more susceptible to pests. Look out for caterpillars and slugs on those new shoots and put the plant in a warm, sunny spot and hopefully, it will produce some healthy new growth.

Root maggots (I think)

Posted: 05/04/2012 at 12:47

You're welcome Emma!

Be vigilant with your other pots, as plants rarely show symptoms until a lot of damage has been done to the roots so, where possible, lift plants out of pots and inspect the roots, looking for grubs. It's especially important to check pot-grown strawberries, primroses, heucheras, sedums and geums, as vine weevils really like these plants!

Happy Easter!

Root maggots (I think)

Posted: 05/04/2012 at 09:15

Hi Emma, could they be vine weevil larvae? Take a look on a search engine to be sure. These are really common pests of potted plants and can do a lot of damage chewing on the roots. The best way to control them is with the chemical Provado, which is applied to the roots, but if you prefer not to use chemicals, then repot the plants, removing all the old compost. You'll also need to head outside at night with a torch, to try and catch the adults before they lay more eggs.

What is this?

Posted: 05/04/2012 at 09:08

Hi Hayley,

It's a willow – not sure which species – but attractive when in flower in spring. It might turn into a bit of a thug if left unpruned, and their roots are one of the worst for damaging house foundations, so if it's near a building, you might want to consider getting rid of it!

David Austen Rose - white bobbles on some branches

Posted: 06/03/2012 at 13:26

When you say there are white bobbles, where are they? On the leaves, stem, or on the soil? With a bit more detail, I might be able to ID the bug/problem

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