Christchurch Mail - - GARDENING -

Swan plants are to monarch but­ter­fly caterpillars what bam­boo is to pan­das so sow swan plant seeds now. These black and yel­low crawlers have mas­sive ap­petites so you’ll need quite a few plants if you want them to stick around long enough to meta­mor­phose. Raise seeds in seedrais­ing mix or sow di­rect out­side if frosts are over in your area. Swan plants like freedrain­ing soil and a shel­tered site, and will grow up to 2 me­tres. For find out more about monarch but­ter­flies, visit Rachel Clare these tangy sub­trop­i­cal beau­ties? Pas­sion­fruit like free-drain­ing, light soil and a shel­tered spot and can be trained along fences, trel­lises and up ve­ran­das.Make sure you dig in plenty of com­post when plant­ing, and feed them with a gen­eral bal­anced fer­tiliser when plant­ing and then twice through­out the grow­ing sea­son. Vines planted now should fruit within 9-18 months.

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