Q How can I perk up my languishing lacecap? SHIRLEY LONG, BRISTOL
A Most ericaceous composts are based on recycled materials that decompose over time, often presenting problems with drainage. Nor do they contain sufficient nutrients to support long-term growth, which is why (judging from the photo you sent) your hydrangea looks starved. Next spring, add a controlledrelease fertiliser to feed the plant all summer, or apply a liquid fertiliser every week from April to September. Use an ericaceous feed to keep the flowers blue.