Q&A with Glenys Woollard - Gardening

What conditions does a lemonade tree need?

Treat it like other citrus: plant in a sheltered sunny spot in rich free-draining soil, fertilise when needed with citrus food, and water in dry conditions. The origins of the lemonade tree are obscure, but it is apparently a lemon/mandarin cross. Trees on trifoliata rootstock usually bear good crops from an early age and, as the name implies, the fruit is much sweeter than a regular lemon despite looking very similar. Watch out for thorns when pruning or picking.

Should I remove dead flowers from lilac?

Yes, or you will get fewer blooms next year. Also prune out old and weak shoots to let light and air into the centre of the shrub.

This encourages the new buds in summer that will lead to future flowers. If your lilac has grown too tall, cut it down to half its height - you may lose some of next year's display in the process, but there should be plenty of vigorous shoots to bloom the following season.

If you have a gardening question, email Glenys at glenyswoollard@clear.net.nz

- Hamilton News

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