I BOUGHT THIS ARGYRANTHEMUM MORE THAN A MONTH AGO BUT IT’S NOT GROW­ING AND THE NEW FLOW­ERS LOOK DRY AND UN­HEALTHY. I AM WA­TER­ING EV­ERY DAY AND US­ING FER­TILISER EV­ERY 1–2 WEEKS. WHAT AM I DO­ING WRONG?

Dana Marenco, via Face­book

Gardening Australia - - MAILBOX -

PHIL DUD­MAN SAYS This looks like it may be a spent flower that has started to rot. Best thing to do is go over the plant and pick off any ma­te­rial that looks like what you are hold­ing. This type of reg­u­lar main­te­nance will keep your plant look­ing clean and healthy, and stim­u­late the for­ma­tion of fresh flower buds. For­tu­nately, it looks like you will have plenty of good-look­ing flow­ers and buds left be­hind. Many mod­ern argyranthemum va­ri­eties are quite com­pact, so it’s not sur­pris­ing that it doesn’t look like it has grown much in the last month, and plants of­ten need that time to set­tle in. You could step back from wa­ter­ing now. Aim for twice a week for the next two weeks, then once a week. Once es­tab­lished, it only needs wa­ter­ing in par­tic­u­larly dry con­di­tions. When you wa­ter, aim the wa­ter at the ground and try to keep mois­ture off the fo­liage and flower buds. I sus­pect you are us­ing a liq­uid fer­tiliser. You could re­duce your ap­pli­ca­tions to once ev­ery 2–3 weeks.

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