Gardeners’ Question Time
A ANNE SAYS This is a tricky plant to grow, so at least yours is still alive. The Chilean bellflower ( Lapageria rosea) is an evergreen twiner, hardy to -5°C, and when happy will produce large, pinkyred, bell-like blooms. Its roots must be kept cool and shady, but it likes a little sun and warmth at the top, so a cool greenhouse or conservatory border is ideal, as long as the temperature doesn’t get too high in summer. Ensure the plant never dries out at the roots, but don’t overwater it. It likes neutral-toacid soil, but not if the texture is too fine or spongy. Try gently repotting the plant in spring before new shoots grow from the crown. Avoid undue root disturbance and use a potting mix made of one third of soiless and John Innes ericaceous, and the other two thirds of composted bark, grit and leafmould.
Keep the roots of Chilean bellflower cool and shady, but don’t overwater