Bay of Plenty Times

Q&A

- WITH GLENYS WOOLLARD Gardening · Botany · Hobbies · Biology · South America · United States of America

Why­has­my­pas­sion­fruit vine sud­den­ly­wilted, with fruit drop­ping off?

Pas­sion­fruit vines are prone to sev­eral fun­gous dis­eases that cause wilt­ing and leaf/fruit drop; the most se­ri­ous one is crown canker, pos­si­bly brought on by frost dam­age, slug dam­a­geor plant in­jury. There’s no cure, and although fungi­cides might help with other fun­gous dis­eases it may be cheaper to re­place the plant— pas­sion­fruit vines are not longlived, usu­ally last­ing from 4 to 7 years. Tan­gled growth, toomuch or not enough water, and lack of trace el­e­ments can also cause prob­lems.

What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween­fren­c­hand African marigolds?

African marigolds (Tagetes erecta) grow taller and­mayneed stak­ing; they have larger flow­ers and are more tol­er­ant of hot dry weather. French marigolds (Tagetes pat­ula) are bushier and tend to have sin­glepetal flow­ers. Both kinds are ac­tu­ally na­tive to South Amer­ica, and both are frost-ten­der an­nu­als, with a dis­tinc­tive aroma that re­pels mos­qui­tos and other in­sects. Keep plants dead­headed to en­cour­age more blooms, not­ing that short­er­stemmed flow­ers are good in a vase —strip off the leaves if you hate their smell.

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