TWIG

The Weekend Australian - Life - - GARDENING -

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.

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