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  • #51016


    Can anyone advise how to keep swan plants from one year to the next. Do you cut them back?
    I am in Christchurch and the frost kills them.

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  • #51026


    Hi RoseMJuliet

    This is a tricky one. There is no easy answer. I would certainly prune back any dead branches off them and then it’s about making where they are planted as WARM and SHELTERED as you can. Here are some ideas:

    Mulch around your plants – 2 or 3 inches with bark, prunings or something similar.

    This is where you place loose coverings (such as decaying leaves, bark chippings or crushed shells) or special sheets of material over soil to enhance its quality. Mulching will improve the soil’s texture, prevent weeds from growing and, crucially, protect the plant roots from cold temperatures.

    You should always lay mulches over moist soil and remove any weeds first. You can also use the plants’ own leaves as protection by tying them up to protect the crowns underneath. Feed your plants with compost first.

    Use frost cloth when you’ve pruned the plants back. Make sure they’ve got shelter on the southern side – bushes are great to keep the warmth in your garden. If you have got your swan plants separate / on their own, then consider in the season planting other bushes or shrubs around the swan plants. This also gives the caterpillars a chance to hide when there are wasps about.

    And I found this useful page on the Tui Garden site. You don’t HAVE to use their products (of course, they’d love it if you did). Feel free to substitute.

    Hope that’s useful.


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