Quick questions & answers
QMy cousin has asked what this plant is. Do you have any ideas please? Ormond Jones, via email
AThe intruder in question is black nightshade (Solanum nigrum). A widespread British native, its fruits contain solanine, an alkaloid poison. If young children are around who may be attracted to the fruits, please remove plants and bin or compost them as soon as possible.
QSince Campsis radicans is such a vigorous plant and so easy to propagate, why is it one of the more expensive climbers to buy? Ken Flavell, via email
AI fear that the relatively high price charged for a Campsis plant may be due to the size of pot in which it is sold. Then again, cuttings, which are normally taken to propagate this plant, may not be easy to root. Once rooted, cuttings may also take a long time to mature to produce a saleable plant.
QHow long does it take African violet leaf cuttings to flower? Jo Barnes, Telford, Shrops
AIt could be a matter of time before it flowers. If the cutting was taken this spring it won’t have been in compost long enough.
Keep it healthy and it should bloom next spring, or even earlier.