How can I revive my old roses?
QMY rose bushes are very old and now have few flowers. I want to replant them but when is the best time to do it?
AROSES used to be planted 'bare root' in the dormant season but most garden centres now only offer potted roses. These should be planted in early spring. It is important to choose another site as replanting into an existing rose bed could lead to poor results. Incorporate some organic material before planting and fork in some rose fertiliser. Plant so that the union of the root and shoots is just below soil level to prevent wind damage.
QI HAVE just bought a beautiful, salmon- coloured poinsettia and would like to know how best to look after it.
AKEEP your plant in good light, otherwise you will get leaf drop and water well - but allow to dry out (almost) in between watering.
QI TOOK seeds from my blue delphinium after the summer, planted them in compost, then kept them indoors in my sun room, but they have never grown. Where did I go wrong?
ATHEY like fertile, well-drained soil and a sunny, sheltered site - but watch out for powdery mildew. The best way to propagate is by dividing clumps in spring and replanting. Pinch out tips when the stems are 1-2ft high to make bushier plants. In July, cut back the spikes when they have finished and you should get a second flush of flowers in the autumn.
QI HAVE cordylines and phormiums in my garden and am worried that they may be damaged or killed by the cold. What can I do to protect them?
AIF the forecast is for severe frost then I suggest you use horticultural fleece, wire mesh or sacking to wrap round them with some straw packed inside. You will need to pull up all the leaves together to prevent breakages. When the risk of frost is past remember to remove the protection, otherwise the lack of light and air will damage the plants.
QI WOULD like some colourful plants in my porch, but it is not very warm. What can you suggest?
AFLOWERING azaleas are looking superb just now and are readily available in garden centres. They come in whites, pinks, peaches and reds and are ideally suited for cool temperatures in a well-lit spot. Keep the compost wet at all times and mist when in flower. Once they have finished flowering, move to a cool, but frost-free site, and continue watering. Move the pot into the garden and keep well watered and fed until early autumn when you can bring it indoors to flower next Christmas.
QI PLANTED up some tubs in the autumn with white-flowering pansies but they are looking poor and the leaves are turning yellow. What could be wrong?
AI'VE assumed that you have used new compost and that it contains sufficient lime and nutrients. The usual cause of poor winter performance is waterlogged compost. This is usually caused by the pot sitting directly on a concrete surface which prevents rapid drainage. The remedy is to use 'pot feet' or small bricks to allow the water to drain rapidly. This will also minimise the risk of frost damage to the pot.
IF you have a gardening query, write to: Carolyn Spray, Seven Days Magazine,
Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA.