Unhealthy Projects

Some of the plants in our garden are a bit depressed. Some have been depressed for a long time, some are more recently depressed. I’m going to make it my project to try to cheer them up.

For our passionfruit vine, the trigger was being thrown into a new environment. He was unsure of his new surroundings, felt lost without the protection of his pot, and confused about what we expected him to do with the elaborate lattice we’d constructed him next to. It was all too much and he became overwhelmed.

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We knew straight away that he wasn’t happy. At his grandad’s suggestion we chopped him right back so he could grow at his own pace and get a feel for his new environment, rather than being thrust into the lattice unnaturally by hand. Plus his shocked roots wouldn’t have to drink so much to keep his leaves looking nice.

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I was convinced that the change was just too much for him, and he wasn’t going to make it. But, with some encouraging words from his grandad, Kate and James, we gave him a chance. He is slowly creeping out of his shell again to sniff around at his new environment.

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With some continuous love and affection, I think he’ll make a very fine passionfruit vine.

Like many with depression, Maggie the Magnolia’s depressive symptoms are linked with the weather. But unlike most humans, she is more depressed in the summer months. Her first summer was a big struggle, and she has never really recovered. Perhaps she became ashamed of her appearance after her leaves became burnt. Like the passionfruit vine, I think she also struggled adjusting to her environment. There was a half dead tree in her place before she arrived. The tree stump was actually rotten. We have always been worried about the soil and drainage in this spot, so it’s no surprise she’s struggling. She’s actually looking better than ever at the moment so I do have high hopes that with protection from the sun, plus some extra love and care, she’ll be ok.

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There are three other depressed plants in our garden, and despite my keen interest in psychology, I’m not sure what the cause is.

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Our yellow-leaved grevillea. Molly the grevillea was yellow when she was younger, but she adjusted and turned green within a few months. This grevillea has been yellow for a long time, and is showing no signs of improvement despite the occasional feed. I’m not too sure what the best treatment option is here. Perhaps she’s depressed because she knows I love our other grevillea’s (Molly and Peaches and Cream) more than her. I’ll make a special effort to show her more love.

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Our philotheca has been depressed ever since he arrived here, about two years ago. He’s looked half dead since about a month after he was planted, but has never actually died. The passionfruit vine used to be next to him so I’m hoping for some miraculous recovery now he has his own space. I thought philotheca’s were meant to be pretty hardy, but he obviously doesn’t like this soil at all.

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Our lovely lime tree has been in and out of depression several times. I’m just hoping he’s strong enough to pick himself up again. This depression hit really fast, soon after I fed him and he sat outside on a rainy day. I’ve since moved him into a sheltered spot, out of the sun and protected from the wind (for a good lie down as Kate suggested). I’m closely monitoring his water intake with my new moisture meter. I spray him with Neem to keep the pests away (thanks to James for the suggestion). If anything he’s looking worse. I’m not sure what to do next 😦

Notice that our lemon tree isn’t on the list of “unhealthy projects”? That’s right! Our lemon tree is looking fine and dandy! She still makes me nervous though. Fingers crossed she stays off the list!

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Citrus Help

Oh citrus, how I struggle with thee.

My lime tree was coming along nicely. I took this photo less than a month ago:

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And since then it’s been looking better and better…

Until last week.

Out of nowhere, it’s leaves curled up and shrunk.

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The only insects on it is the odd ant because I’ve been inspecting it for dreaded aphids everyday and I’ve got my little army of lady bugs to help the aphid fight. We had about three days of fairly constant showers (not rain, just showers) last week, could it have gotten too wet? But it’s in a pot with good potting mix so it should have good drainage. The only other thing I can think of is that I’ve fed it some iron, magnesium and powerfeed (with mostly has phosphorus and nitrogen) over the past month. Just one dose of each because I’m paranoid that my citrus are hungry and some of the leaves had a little yellow coming through. Could I have overfed it??

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Next citrus question:

My brand new, much loved and cared for Meyer Lemon has been on a very slow decline since I bought it about a month ago. It’s in a pot with good potting mix. I’ve also fed it iron, magnesium and powerfeed (one dose of each) plus sprinkled slow release fertiliser on it. I’ve moved it out of a full sun position to a spot that gets morning to early afternoon sun only, and full shade after that. I make sure it doesn’t get too dry, but it too was out in the constant showers last week so it may have gotten a bit wet, but once again, it’s in a pot. It doesn’t look especially bad, it just looks a little sad with a couple of the older leaves which have gone completely yellow and the other leaves have tiny yellow spots all throughout. Any advice/suggestions?? I really want my citrus to be happy!

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The Fruits (And Veg) Of My Labour

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My brussels sprouts are finally sort of starting to look like brussels sprouts! Man they’re slow! Hopefully they’ll get bigger quickly from now so I can eat them before it gets to hot and they go all floppy and open. They’re funny little things.

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My first two tiny baby capsicums are starting to grow. That was fast! I only planted them a week ago! Hopefully the plant doesn’t spend all it’s energy making two little baby capsicums because the plant itself is still really little. It’s got some growing to do to make all the capsicums I’m expecting out of it!

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My lime tree did it’s usual ‘winter death’ thing but the new growth is looking great! Is there anything I can do other than bring it inside to keep it healthy in winter? I feel like the warmer months are spent regrowing all the leaves that fell off in winter and by the time that’s done it’s winter again. It has only been two winters that it’s done it’s ‘winter death’ but that’s two out of two and I’m sensing a cycle. It gets a good mix of fertiliser including slow release, and I’m generally pretty on top of the aphids when they pay their visit, and it’s in a pretty sheltered spot in a pot with nice soil. I just don’t have the citrus touch!

Next Crop Update: 3 weeks on..

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Original crop planted on November 25. From far to near: lettuce, beets, bok choy (far box); chillies, tomatoes (near box).

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Everybody’s happy and jumping out of the vegie boxes (the caterpillars are happy too – see prev post). I’ve been giving my poor lime tree some TLC too (you can see it in the far pot) and it’s got lots of new growth after a good dose of fertiliser and oiling the leaves to get rid of the bugs.