Latest posts by Borassus

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Easy to look after House Plants

Posted: 06/03/2012 at 13:20

It depends on how much light gets into your room. Cacti and succulents need the sun, while palms and ferns prefer a shady site. Dracaenas (dragon trees), scheffleras (umbrella plants) and parlour palms (chamaedorea) are all pretty tough


Posted: 28/02/2012 at 13:47

Hi Hagar333,

It sounds like your cordyline has been seriously damaged by cold – unfortunately, the red ones are MUCH more vulnerable to cold than the green ones – and then, when it was feeling low, it has been attacked by cordyline slime flux. This bacterial disease causes the bark to fall off and slimy material often appears on the trunk. As suggested by Fonzie, I'd leave it to see if it sprouts at the base in spring (wait until at least April), but you'll still have to remove the trunk.

Tesco foot christmas tree

Posted: 28/02/2012 at 13:43

Hi Victoria,

Be careful when planting a Christmas tree outside, as they often grow much larger than anticipated. One of my neighbours had to get a tree surgeon in to fell a spruce tree that a previous owner had planted one Christmas!

Beaucarnea Recurvata - rotting?

Posted: 28/02/2012 at 13:39

It sounds like either cold, overwatering, or a combination of the two. Beaucarnea comes from Mexico, so doesn't like our cool, damp winters, especially if sited in a place with limited sunlight. However, they are quite robust plants, and I've seen one that was frosted outside, resprout the following spring when brought into warmer conditions. 

I advise that you stop watering altogether and leave the plant to go completely dry. If you see any signs of squishiness in the branches, then cut them back by 2-3 inches. If possible, move the plant to a warmer place (though as the weather is warming up now, that may not be necessary), such as a sunny conservatory. My plant goes to my neighbour's in winter as I don't have a conservatory. In April, start watering again on a fortnightly basis and hopefully you'll see some new shoots appear. Good luck!

Strelitzia Reginae help

Posted: 27/02/2012 at 09:08

Hi Paradise Birdy,

Bird of Paradise plants (Strelitzia reginae) do form a mass of thick, fleshy roots, which gradually push the plants out of their pots. It's nothing to worry about and you don't have to do anything, though in the long run, they'll need bigger pots and they may even split/crack the pots they're in. Unfortunately, there's no way of restricting their growth – they'll keep on growing in even a tiny pot – so you may want to think about donating one of your plants to a school/nursing home/neighbour, to give you a bit more room!


Posted: 27/02/2012 at 08:55

Hi Judith2,

These bulbs have started flowering early – most tulips don't flower until April-May – and they are so far ahead that they haven't properly formed their flower stems. I suspect that the stems will start to lengthen eventually. I'd blame the weird spring weather, with extreme cold and warm spells close together, for tricking the bulbs into blooms. It's nothing to worry about and I suspect that if you keep the bulbs, they'll form proper flowers next spring.

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