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Valerie Munro's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 139


Re: Acer palmatum Dissectum update

from Valerie Munro

Hi Joan

Thank you for sending in some photos - the story gets slightly longer!

You have the pot standing on a hard surface of crazy paving - this is going to add to the problem as when the concrete heats up, it then acts like a night storage heater and radiates the heat out again, and any pot that is standing in its direct path will get this added blast of heat.

The same thing happens in reverse in a cold spell in the winter when the soil in a standing pot can freeze and cause all sorts of problems for a plant's roots.

The best thing to do for the future is to put your pot on some sort of stand that will allow an air break between the bottom of the pot and the concrete.

This may not have singularly caused the problem with your acer, but it would certainly have contributed to it.

I hope that this helps
Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Fri. 5th August 2011 13:17

Re: PLEASE HELP !!!!!

from Valerie Munro

Hi John

From the pics that you have supplied, from what I can see the cherry and the pansy are not being attacked by the same thing.

The pansy flower look as if they have been nibbled by earwigs, and perhaps if you wanted to catch them out, then here's a method I've just discovered but not yet tested It's vegetable oil. Apparently they love it and I read that by placing a tin (aluminum pie tin) in the ground up to the lip and filling it with vegetable oil will invite the earwigs to come swimming… You decide if this is a method for you…

As for the cherry, again trying ti inspect your pic closely I would reckon that it is suffering from a fungal infection called cherry leaf spot. And our recent hot and humid weather will have done much to encourage it.

As most fungi will spend the winter in the soil ready to leap on new tissue the following year, the best control is to carefully rake up all the fallen leaves and dispose of them carefully. do not under any circumstances put them in the compost bin.

I hope that this helps, I think that your answers are more control than an outright cure (for both!)

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Fri. 5th August 2011 12:57

Re: Acer palmatum Dissectum

from Valerie Munro

Hi Joan

No matter how you feel that your acer is in idea conditions, you have changed its own personal micro-climate, and it is probably reacting to that change. It would be better to compare the conditions in your garden to the conditions in which is was in the garden centre. My local garden centre keeps its acers under a shade screen, and I know that if these were suddenly shifted out into the open, albeit it sheltered from wind and with not excessive amounts of sunlight, that they would sulk.

From your description what it is doing is going into premature dormancy.

I'm sure that you are really sad that this is happening, but I do think that it is only a temporary thing and next year the plant will have toughened up to the conditions in your garden.

Perhaps you could submit an actual pic which might confirm the diagnosis.

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Fri. 5th August 2011 12:39

Re: Climber that produces a green velvety bean pod?

from Valerie Munro

Hi Judi

It does look very like a wisteria. Great news that you managed to get it to grow from a seed, as the seed coat is quite tough. Had your seedlings lived, you would then have had to wait for many years before they would produce a flower, this is because a seed grown wisteria has a very long period of juvenility - other plants seem to mature much quicker than this!

The wisteria that are normally on offer at garden centres are usually grafted, which means that the plant has skipped this juvenile stage, and lept straight forward to being a grownup.

Although wisteria normally flower early in May-ish, sometimes there is a second flush of flowers later in the year.

I hope that this helps

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Thu. 4th August 2011 09:29

Re: Re: hydrangea paniculata phantom

from Valerie Munro

Hi Jackie

If the hydrangea was in transplant shock or suffering from a lack of water then it would have gone into premature dormancy as a response. But I wouldn't give up on it - just make sure that it is kept well watered and your fingers crossed.

These are wonderful plants, but they do take a while to get settled, so don't expect a sudden growth spurt until well into the second year. All you can do now is to make sure that the plant doesn't peg out completely

Good luck

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Thu. 4th August 2011 09:08

Re: Grass fungus

from Valerie Munro

Hi Lesley

Normally when mushrooms appear on a lawn, it's a sure sign that there is rotting wood in the soil. Rather than killing off the fungi, it would be better to remove the root cause.

If you can bear it, you could carefully remove the turf over the affected area and see what's down there - with new build houses or recently renovated, it's a sad fact that some builders will merely bury their excesses to save them a journey to the Tip.

Having removed/or not the cause, then it's an easy job to replace the soil, tamping it down level and pop the wad of turn back on top. Or, if that is too complicated, just keep scraping off the mushrooms and dispose of them. As we don't know what they are I would do this with caution, washing your hands afterwards and resist the temptation to cook and eat!

Good luck

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 3rd August 2011 08:55

Re: NO FLOWERS ON PLANT

from Valerie Munro

Hi David,

The comments that you have received so far are all very relevant, but there is one question that I have to ask. Have you been feeding your plant?

Any flowering plant will need a shot of potassium to help it to set flower buds and then go on to produce beautiful flowers.

Camellias also need added iron to help to keep the leaves green and glossy.

You say that yours is planted in clay soil which may not be helping the problem. There are a number of products at the garden centre that will fit the bill - just read the nutrient ratio on the side of the pack - expressed as the product's NPK reading - and check that there is more potassium than nitrogen in it and that should do very nicely.

You need to start feeding now to help it produce flowers for next year.

Good luck
Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 3rd August 2011 08:50

Re: Mine is dying!

from Valerie Munro

Hi Amy

There could be a number of things going on here, and without actually seeing the plant for myself it's going to be a bit of trial and error.

You say that you have just planted it - was it already in a pot? Did you water the pot well before planting? Did you disturb the root ball in any way in transplanting it? Was the hole deep enough so that the plant fitted nicely into it? Was the hole too deep so that soil was piled up over a stem that was hitherto exposed to the light?

Sorry about the grilling!

If you're happy that the planting was OK, then we have to look at the possibility that it's sulking - and my cure for this is to give it a sugar shot. To one litre of water mix in 6 teaspoons of ordinary sugar. After watering the plant very well to make sure that the soil is well hydrated, then pour this mixture slowly around the root area and allow to soak in.

Fingers cross that might just do the trick.

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 3rd August 2011 08:44

Re: Any ideas, fellow green fingers?

from Valerie Munro

Hi Andrew

Great pictures which makes ID much easier!

This plant is also know as rosebay willow herb and it has one of the most efficient seed dispersal systems known to man - invite one of these into your garden, and suddenly there will be hundreds - I think that qualifies as a weed!

If you are unable to remove it without damaging the surrounding ecinacea, then just break off the flowering stem and that will prevent it scattering any of its seed.

My husband tells the story of when he was at primary school the teacher asked them all to bring in a flower into class - he forgot, but found one of these growing along the roadside and thought 'that'll do'. He hadn't bargained for the horror that this plant struck - the room was full of farming children, and this plant was the scourge of the farming community.

Quite pretty though for such an 'evil' plant!

I hope that this helps

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 3rd August 2011 08:33

Re: No flowers

from Valerie Munro

Hi Jill

Normally when a plant produces leaves and no flowers, the reason is that it is running short of the nutrient potassium. I'm wondering if you have been feeding your plant, and if so with what? The fertilisers that you can buy at the garden centre are all slightly different, and it's important that we choose the right one for the job in hand.

Nitrogen will give a plant lovely leaves and is a great lawn food product, but a flowering plant needs potassium to produce flowers, fruit and seed.

My staple product is called Westland 'Nutri' which is a slow release product, and one application will last for 6 months - each time you water or it rains, a little of the nutrient is released. 'Nutri' has almost twice as much potassium in it compared with its nitrogen content. If you cannot get this, then Top Rose will work just as well, but the effect only lasts 3 months.

It may be too late in the year to do anything about it this year, but you could try and give your plant a quick dose of tomato feed, but make sure that the ground is well watered before you apply it. Don't expect a miracle, but keep your fingers crossed just in case!

I hope that this helps

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 3rd August 2011 08:25