Gar­den­ers’ Ques­tion Time

Gardeners' World - - Contents - Ni­cola McCart­ney, by email

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

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