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Just like the blog in jan of last year, I have two what were very mature Torquay Palms which died (apparently) in the bad Winter. I cut back the trunk as suggested and then ko9re and more.
Towards the end of last year shoots appeared at the base and we now have ten or eleven very strong palms growing around the old trunk.
My question can I cut them from the root system and replant them or will I need to leave them where they are as i fear eleven in a square metre would be far too dense!



the only way you can grow them on is if you can get a good piece of root or three with each plantlet. This often isn't possible because they arise off the base of the old trunk rather than off the roots below. Your other option, though, is simply to remove by cutting at the base all the ones you don't want and bin them.

27 Mar, 2012


I have a question, I hope this is the right place to put it.

I bought a gardenia for my daughters wedding who chose our garden as her venue.
She loves guardians. I planted it in half a wine barrel. it was ok for the wedding day but now a year later, it looks really sad.
losing leaves, buds not turning into flowers ....
I have fed it and watered it faithfully but I am thinking of getting it out of the pot and put into garden bed.
Somehow I am only good at killing things in pots no matter how many I have tried, they just don’t do it for me.

Once in the ground they come to life. What am doing wrong with pots.
If there is anything I can do to save this gardenia in the pot, I would.

Any ideas from members?

18 Mar, 2015


This isn't really the right place to put your question, and you will probably get more answers if you post it under the Questions section, by clicking on the Gardening Questions tab at the top and entering your question again in the box that appears. However, I will answer it anyway.

Generally: two or three problems with pots which might explain why yours don't survive. Number one is watering - people often get that wrong, either by using a pot with no drainage holes, or a pot contained in something else with no drainage, and then overwatering, meaning the plant is sitting with its roots in water, and very few plants like that. The other mistake with watering is not giving enough so the plant suffers drought. The rules are reasonably simple - ensure the pot you use has drainage holes; water when the surface of the compost feels just dry to the touch, water well when you do water, so that water runs out of the drainage holes. Empty out any excess water in an outer container or tray after 30 minutes, and again 30 minutes later if lots more has collected. These are the same rules as for pot plants in the house.

Two other things with pots outside - not sure where you are, but many plants are more vulnerable to cold temperatures in pots than they are in the ground, so precautions should be taken for smaller pots if the weather is cold. Second, root room - the plant should be in a pot that's just right for its roots, not far too big, nor too small, and with some plants that might mean potting up into something larger yearly, others biennially. It's hard to say whether the half wine barrel you used was actually too big for the plant, because I don't know the size of plant, but a rule of thumb is, any single plant you pot into something else should have no more than 2 inches of potting compost around and below the rootball when you put it in - an inch of space is more usual. If the rootball is, say, 5 times smaller than the volume of potting compost around it, there's a risk that the unoccupied compost sours and becomes toxic to the plant. If, though, you're planting several plants into a large container, that isn't a problem - the roots of all the plants will occupy the compost fairly quickly.

If you're not happy with this answer, you could repost your question in the main questions section, as I said at the start - I'm the only person who will have seen your question other than Martindcutler - because he asked the original question and I was the only one who answered, so it won't flag up for anyone else.

If you want advice specific to your Gardenia, knowing which USDA zone you're in would be essential, and a photo of the plant would be useful, but if you didn't use lime free compost (acid or ericaceous compost is what you'd need) that would be something that could cause the plant problems. These plants prefer acidic conditions, or at least neutral, not alkaline.

19 Mar, 2015

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