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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