When is the best time to prune our ‘Everlasting Love’ frangipanis ( They’re 2.5m tall and closely planted to form a hedge. What’s a good height to prune them to maximise flowering?
JIM RITCHIE BRISBANE
Unlike most frangipanis, these are shrubby, upright and evergreen, flowering for half the year: ideal for a hedge. Prune after flowering in late summer. Their height won’t affect flowering but a good height for hedges is the height you can reach without a ladder. My frangipani has a long, V-shaped seedpod, which I’ve never seen before. How can I grow the seeds?
JUNE HARPER BY EMAIL
After months of ripening, pods split open to release many paper-winged seeds. Allow seeds to swell between layers of wet paper towel overnight, then insert into moist seed-raising mix with the papery wing just above soil level. Keep on the dry side until germination in a week or two. They can take three to 25 years to flower and may be different from the parent. My five-year-old grafted black passionfruit used to fruit in summer but the past two years has fruited in winter. The fruit is not as sweet. Why?
ANDY BERZIN ADELAIDE HILLS
Fruiting is usually summer to late autumn in your area but is weatherdependent. When crops develop late, they lack the necessary sun and heat to ripen during the cooler weather and cloudy days as winter approaches. Consider planting a replacement, as passionfruit are usually productive for only five years. It is possible these fruit are from the undesirable rootstock having taken over. Otherwise ripening and sugar development may be slow if fruit don’t get 4-6 hours daily of direct sun. When ripe, fruit change colour, then fall. With slightly wrinkled skins they can be even sweeter. Citrus fertiliser with trace elements is recommended. Send your questions to: heleny[email protected] or Helen Young, PO Box 3098, Willoughby North, NSW 2068. Website: helenyoung.com.au. The best question for August wins a stylish glass cloche, ideal for protecting cold-tender plants or young seedlings. It’s worth $100 from thefrenchboathouse.com.au.