The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Q&A HOW DOES YOUR GAR­DEN GROW? THE SUN­DAY MAIL'S GAR­DEN GURU AN­NETTE MCFAR­LANE HAS THE AN­SWERS TO YOUR PLANT PROB­LEMS

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WHEN I bought this plant (pic­tured) about 12 years ago it was named New Zealand Holly. I had it in the ground un­til last year. It had never grown much. When I de­cided to pot it, it shot up and looked lovely. Now I no­tice over the past four months its leaves are dry­ing and fall­ing off. Also the small branches are also drop­ping. I can­not find any­thing on the web or in li­brary books.

Mar­garet, Bris­bane I sus­pect that your mys­tery plant is a species of Leea. There are sev­eral dif­fer­ent types in­clud­ing at least one na­tive to Aus­tralia (Leea indica) and Hawaii (Leea coccinea). Some have the com­mon name of holly. As rain­for­est un­der­storey plants they like semi-shaded po­si­tions and moist welldraine­d soil. I sus­pect that your plant may re­quire a lit­tle more reg­u­lar wa­ter­ing now that it is in a pot and liq­uid fer­tiliser to quickly re­place its lost fo­liage. I HAVE a ques­tion about thin­ning. I hear ev­ery­one say to thin out the seedlings once they have es­tab­lished and grown a lit­tle. With the ones that are thinned (re­moved from the ground), can they be re­planted some­where else?

Judi, Toowoomba It is of­ten nec­es­sary to thin out over­crowded plants when you grow them from seed. Whether or not you can trans­plant them de­pends on what they are. Root crops sown from seed, like car­rots and parsnips, do not tend to trans­plant very well, so are usu­ally dis­carded. Other seedlings that trans­plant easily, like sweet corn, let­tuce and beans, can be used to fill in any gaps where seeds have failed to ger­mi­nate. OUR Cal­lian­dra Tweedii-Pie has been in our gar­den for al­most 20 years. We would like to prune it, but each time we think to do so, it bursts

n Cal­lian­dra are won­der­ful longflow­er­ing plants that of­ten spot flower through­out the year. When they reach their peak bloom­ing de­pends on where you live. In the north they bloom dur­ing win­ter, but I sus­pect in Gat­ton yours is more likely to reach peak flow­er­ing in spring and sum­mer. Prune it any time while the weather is warm, then ap­ply fer­tiliser and wa­ter to en­cour­age growth. Do you have a ques­tion? Email: home­ground@the­sun­day­mail.com.au. In­clude your sub­urb and a photo (if pos­si­ble)

 ??  ?? forth in an abun­dance of blooms. Is there a spe­cific time it should be cut back?
Mar­ion, Gat­ton
forth in an abun­dance of blooms. Is there a spe­cific time it should be cut back? Mar­ion, Gat­ton

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