Q&A with Glenys Woollard - Gardening

By Glenys Woollard

How can I stop my outdoor container plants from drying out while we are away?

Failing a nice, green-fingered neighbour to come across and water them every day or two, shift the pots into shade and group close together, placing a saucer or dish under each. Then give your plants a good soaking before you go and hope for an occasional shower. Or try cutting a lengthwise slit in empty plastic bottles, fill with water and place cut side down on containers so moisture slowly seeps out.

Could you explain why my lower gladiolus blooms shrivel before the upper ones come out?

It's nature's way. Gladiolus blooms always start from the bottom and work their way up the stem over a week or two. This makes for a long-lasting cut flower if picked as soon as the first flower opens - remove dead blooms and replace the water daily to keep your arrangement looking fresh. Gladiolus (singular) is the genus name, derived from the Latin word for sword. Gladioli is the plural.

- Hamilton News

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