Confessions of a killer gardener

If you’re new to gardening, or still learning, here are some of the most common reasons why plants fail:

  • Water – all plants need water to survive. Give them too little and they dry out; too much and they literally drown. Do your research on each plant’s water needs, then observe the moisture level in the soil and how your plants are responding – wilting and yellowing foliage are common signs that they need a drink.
  • Position – every plant has its favourite spot, whether it be a sunny or shady location. Get it wrong and they soon let you know. Putting a plant that demands good drainage in a poorly drained spot will eventually lead to heartache and tears.
  • Climate – it’s in a gardener’s nature to want grow something special that’s not necessarily suited to their garden’s climatic conditions. Some outsiders survive and even thrive in a foreign climate when the right microclimate is provided, while others simply never accept being out of their natural environment. That’s when talking to other local gardeners about their experiences can save disappointment or inspire new horticultural challenges!
  • Pests – some plants are simply prone to pest attack, and if you are not onto it early, the victims can be doomed to failure. Early detection and response is the key. Check your plants regularly; sometimes picking off the culprits is all that’s required to manage the population of problem pests.

What we really need are more plants in the garden that never say die, no matter what we do (or don’t do)! In the February issue, we feature 10 plants you can’t kill… well almost.