Swan plants (Gomphocarpus fruticosus)

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  • #14471

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Hi Everyone

    We’re selling swan plants again for the MBNZT. These plants are well worth buying for your garden. Monarch butterflies will be thrilled to see this beauty growing in your garden.

    Creamy flowers which when fertilised turn into swan-like seed pods, hence the name. When they open the very fine filaments will carry the seed away on the wind.

    Plant in full sun, any average, well-drained soil.

    These plants have NEVER been sprayed so they are safe for caterpillars – we can guarantee it!

    You can see for yourself how tall these plants are – I am 1.5 metres tall (5ft). The swan plants are between 1.2-1.7 metres high.

    1.2-1.4 metres are $6 each or 2 for $10. The other plants measure between 1.4-1.7 metres and these are $8 each or 2 for $15.

    Pick up can either be from Massey West or Blockhouse Bay or Manukau.

    You can contact Jacqui on 551-3383 or Charlotte on 832-7547 if you would like to buy any.

    Cheers

    Char

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #25465

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Excellent Chris, good to hear. Hope the pumpkin works out for you.

    Jacqui

    #25464

    ChrisHawken
    Participant

    Thanks Robert. The wait and see approach has worked and I now have 4 J’s hanging in the plants and a healthy teaming mass of caterpillars. I’ve started culling them but might try the ‘pumpkin approach’
    The virus doesn’t seem to have continued it’s spread so I’m wondering if the nurseryman got it right
    Chris

    #25435

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Chris,

    I think your wait & see approach is good. I doubt the caterpillars will have trouble on the plant. However they may prefer the taste of another plant given the choice!

    So you have a different virus to the one I’ve come accross, but there is many & I just know they exist.

    I also have a small space for plants, and it sure can be a pain for controling disease, aphids or plants that drop lots of seed.

    Robert.

    #25434

    ChrisHawken
    Participant

    Thanks Robert. The virus does start near the tip but as white and yellow striping, no die back as yet. I have started new plants but have to have them near the infected ones.
    I’m adopting a ‘wait and see’ policy at present because so far the caterpillars seem unaffected
    Chris

    #25431

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Chris,

    Firstly, don’t spray a plant with Caterpillars – it’s too risky. Next the recipe Jackie mentioned is good for aphids. Another version is to use extra washing-up liquid (when you next do the dishes) & get lots of bubbles, place the bubbles on the aphid investation & leave them to ‘pop’ by themselves. Repeat the following day if required (however this is unikey).

    As for the sick plants, I suggest you get new plants underway asap, but leave the caterpillars on the present plant – let them strip it bear & use the leaves as the plant will probably die anyway. Hopefully the new plants will be big enough to deal with a limited number of caterpillars by the time you need them. (lots of plants on trademe, so you should be able to get a local source).

    By the way, does the virus start near the tip of a stem & slowly cause the stem to die back? If so, the plants days are *deffently numbered. Don’t waste the food & let the caterpillars eat it.

    Robert.

    #25430

    ChrisHawken
    Participant

    Thanks jacqui – I’m in New Plymouth. The virus was diagnosed by my taking the yellow striped deformed leaves into a plant nursery, only a few tips are like it so far and the caterpillers are merrily eating them.
    I guess that recipe can be sprayed on without hurting them?
    I have a very small garden so can’t really move plants to other areas, but they are in quite a shady spot so may have to consider some rearrangement
    Chris

    #25426

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello Chris

    Whereabouts are you? What is the ‘virus’?

    It really depends on how bad it is. Sometimes, by feeding the soil and spraying the foliage with appropriate organic sprays the plants will come right.

    Plants with lowered vitality through bad aphid infestation can then suffer from sooty mould and mildew etc. Was just rereading the post here in the forum, which gives this recipe for controlling aphids:

    60ml liquid seaweed fertiliser (or other liquid fertiliser)
    1 tsp dishwashing detergent
    2 Tbsp baking soda
    1 litre water

    Mix together all ingredients and spray on infested plants once a week.

    Do you have more room in your garden, where you can plant more plants? If so, I suggest getting some more and planting them in a different area, i.e. not close to the sick plants. More the caerpillars over if you can – easiest way is to pull them off gently, and put them onto a scrap of fabric and then drape the cloth, saucer style, between the branches of the new plant and let them crawl off at their own pace. Clothes pegs are useful.

    Hope that helps. If you are in Auckland, and want some of our plants, there are some still available.

    Jacqui

    #25425

    ChrisHawken
    Participant

    My swan plants were attacked by yellow aphids last season and now have a virus which has only just become obvious. There are already hundreds of caterpillars on the plants with the first ones ready to turn into cocoons so it doesn’t seem to be bothering them. However I have been advised to rip out and burn the plants because of the virus.
    Can anyone advise me if it is necessary to do this now or can I wait until the end of the season when all the butterflies have gone?

    #25423

    rosemjuliet
    Participant

    These plants look great. I am envious.
    But….is there anywhere in th christchurch area that plants similar to these can be purchased as mine are pretty much sticks also and I want a long season.
    Have had a monarch or two but nothing for them to lay on as yet.

    #25363

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Those plants are great, Char.

    People who have bought them off me are thrilled with them. We had an email from someone today looking for plants as hers were “sticks” – and ours were CHEAPER AND LEAFIER!

    #25329

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Here are the photographs.

    Swan plants for sale

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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