Quick questions & answers
Q Why won’t my passionflower bear fruit? Ian Mitchell, via email A I suggest that you feed your plant with sulphate of potash at 1oz (28g) per sq m. Sprinkle it over the root area, monthly, from April to September. Water it in. Also, train stems horizontally to encourage fruiting. Q
What is the white stuff on my ‘Gala’ apple tree? Rosey Watson, via email A Your ‘Gala’ apple is infested with woolly aphids, a pest whose sticky wool protects the ‘naked’ creatures beneath. Control it with BugClear for Fruit & Veg. Based on rape-seed oil, this clogs the aphids’ breathing pores which causes them to die.
If the pest recurs in spring and summer, reapply the rape-seed oil or simply use a stiff brush to remove the colony. Q
Why has my amaryllis bud started to open Grant Rivers, South Ockenden, Essex A It is not unusual for amaryllis to flower at different times. Ideally, position it in a warm, sunny place and, if necessary, support the heavy blooms with canes.
After flowering, continue to liquid feed and water your plants throughout spring and summer, stopping in November.
Then, after three weeks or so of allowing the compost to dry and the leaves to shrivel, repot the bulb in John Innes potting compost No2, mixed with a quarter part by volume of grit, to ensure good drainage.