I bought dead plants from the supermarket. Will they recover?


I took a risk and bought some of those dead-looking plants off the supermarket reduced trolly, but should I have bothered? Only time will tell but with some good cultivation technique I may be able to revive at least one of them. So in this video we discuss the problems associated with buying dried-out supermarket plants, something I wouldn't usually do as they are usually beyond the point of revival. However on this occasion I was persuaded by the super-cheap price.

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Free Tropical Plants by Propagation - Update


For the uninitiated, growing a tropical garden in the UK must appear to require huge amounts of backbreaking work and specialist horticultural knowledge. But this is simply not true. With minimum knowledge and the most basic of equipment (bag of compost, a glass of water and some second hand pots) will get you started and allow you to propagate a surprisingly amount of fancy species and cultivars for absolutely free! And who doesn't want that?

Less than two months ago English horticulturists Lorna and Simon began making a few videos on propagation, but now its time to see if their techniques actually worked. So in this video they bring to the table the plats that have been featured in the previous videos for an update as well as quickly go over the techniques they used.

If you have any questions on propagation the feel free to leave a comment on out YouTube Channel. Also, if you would like to support our channel then consider clicking the 'LIKE' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons.


PLANT CHOICES FOR AN EXTREMELY COLD-HARDY, TROPICAL EFFECT GARDEN

 

It is easy, or at least relatively so, to create a cold-hardy, tropical effect garden, but is it still possible to produce a tropical effect garden if you experience extremely cold winters? By that I mean parts of the world where winter temperatures can drop to around - 15 degrees celsius or 5 degrees Fahrenheit in old money!

Well the answer is of course yes, however there will be some more cultural work involved with some of the plants in my following selection to give them a helping hand over the finish line of survival. To promote the effect add canna and dahlias which can be lifted and brought in under protection each year. Also consider growing salvias and tobacco plants as cheap annuals for their vibrant colours and architectural effect. 

Palms

Trachycarpus fortunei 'Chinese Windmill Palm' -15 Celsius
Bismarck Palm 'Bismarckia nobilis' -9 Celsius (my absolute favourite)
Mediterranean Fan Palm 'Chamaerops humilis' -12 celsius

Bamboo 

Phyllostachys aurea -15 to possibly -20 Celsius
Phyllostachys bissetii -25 Celsius!
Phyllostachys nigra - Black bamboo -20 Celsius
Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis  -25 Celsius

Banana

Musa basjoo, root hardy to -12 celsius with a thick mulch
Musella lasiocarpa -7 with protection such as thick mulch and a wrapping of horticultural fleece

Hostas

Giant leaved hostas -15 easily but if you are worried apply a dry mulch to the crown

Crocosmia

Most species and cultivars will go down to -15 Celsius

Fatsia

Established species and cultivars can tolerate down to -10 Celsius but they will look shocking until the re-grow through the damage.

Phormium

Phormium species and cultivars will generally go to -10 Celsius, but can go colder is protection is in place

Cordyline

Cordyline species and cultivars will generally go to -10 Celsius, but can go colder is protection is in place

Kniphofia

Kniphofia species and cultivars will go down to -15 but it is worth putting a dry mlch on the crow to be on the safe side

Yucca

Yucca baccata -20 Celsius
Yucca filamentosa - 20 Celsius

This list is by no means exhaustive but it will set you in the right direction for building yourself an extremely cold-hardy, tropical effect garden.



 

HOW TO FEED AND FERTILISE YOUR TREE FERNS


No-one can argue that tree ferns have an incredible architectural presence in the garden but unless they are maintained correctly they can lose their vibrant colour and easily fall into poor and often stunted condition. Correct feeding of Tree Ferns is imperative when it comes to maintaining a quality look to your plants but it is not as simple as pouring liquid soluble fertiliser around the root system. English horticulturist Simon explains in detail how tree ferns have evolved to survive in their cloud forest environment and how that effects the way they access nutrients. This means that tree ferns require fertilisers applied differently to most other plants which once in place drastically improves the condition of these amazing plants.

If you would like to see more content like this then consider subscribing to our Youtube channel. It is absolutely free and you can be notified of all of our future videos.

Tropical Upgrade for Boring Trees!


You tend to see the same ten ornamental trees wherever you go in the UK. This is because they are tried, tested, have an element of ornamental value and generally easy to grow. However if you are seeing the same trees time and time again then eventually they end up fading into the background, no longer drawing your attention. This doesn't need to be the case as they can be adorned and upgraded simply by mimicking the tree environments found in the tropics where a single tree can be home to a dozen other plant species, greatly enhancing the look of a tree and adding multiple layers of ornamental interest!

There are a range of hardy plants that can be employed to give you this look that is created by tropical epiphytic plants such as bromeliads and orchids and even Spanish moss!


So with English Horticulturists Lorna and Simon first attempt at upgrading their boring trees how did they get on? And what do they have in store for next season?

Tropical Garden Successes and Failures! We show you our dirty secrets.


Many gardeners aspire to grow a cold-hardy, tropical effect garden and to be honest it is not as difficult as you might think. Once you have done a little homework on what plants have been proven to be hardy and where it should be planted it requires no less work that a typical herbaceous border.

That being said it is easy for things to go wrong and often this a problem with suppliers wrongly labelling plants or plants being sold with underlying bacterial or fungal infections. Of course, simple bad luck can also be a factor.

That aside there are many videos on how clever gardeners are in growing their cold-hardy tropical effect garden (we are no exception) but this doesn't help those who are struggling to achieve the same result. Therefore we decided that it would be a far more valuable teaching tool to showcase the mistake and failures we experienced. Therefore by standing in solidarity with our gardening brethren we can share our bad experiences and use these as a teaching moment to improve our gardens in the future.

Top 100 UK gardens: Highdown gardens full tour and review


Deep in the West Sussex countryside, Highdown gardens has an enormous amount of horticultural history attached to it and rightly so. Originally a working chalk quarry it was purchased by Sir Frederick Stern in 1909 who, against the advice of the contemporary leading horticulturists created what would have been a world class garden in the wonderful countryside of what is now the South Downs national park. 

Groundbreaking in his attempt to grow anything he could get his hands in his chalky soils, he managed to prove many of those around him wrong. Over the years he published several books on chalk gardens, on peonies and snowdrops and part-funding expeditions to China to bring back yet more exotic plants to try out at Highdown. He was rewarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal and became vice president of said organisation. He was chairman of the John Innes Horticultural Institute from 1947 to 1961 and vice-president and treasurer of the Linnean Society from 1941 to 1958.[4] Stern was knighted in 1956 for his services to horticulture

Do the gardens reflect this grand history? Well why not join English Horticulturist Simon and Lorna as they visit this historic site. If you would like to ask us a question then you are very welcome to leave a message in the comments section. Also consider supporting our chanel by clicking the 'LIKE' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons. 

Desert Cacti and Succulent Glasshouse, Wisley walk-through, and review


The Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley are not only the best of the five gardens currently under the RHS stewardship but they are also amongst the best in the world! So why not join English horticulturists Lorna and Simon as they walk around and discover the delights of their Desert glasshouse which holds their permanent collection of established cacti and succulents as well as a rolling display of quality pot grown specimens. Keep your eyes out and you will always see a number of extremely rare and unusual cacti and succulents usually only found in the grasp of the most ardent and enthusiastic cacti and succulent collector!

We have visit Wisley numerous times over the years and the desert glasshouse is always an absolute treat. If you would like to ask us a question then please leave a message in the YouTube comments section. Also consider pressing the 'LIKE' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons. It is absolutely free and also as helps to support out channel.


How to Grow Tradescantia from Cuttings


Tradescantia are a fantastic genus of plants which can provide exotic ornamental foliage as house plants, ganging plants and even garden plants! Surprising under-rated and even non-exist and in many garden centres, they are extremely tough with some species capable of surviving freezing conditions!
However, arguably their best feature is that they are super easy to propagate from cuttings, in fact they will even root in a glass of water.

In thus video English horticulturist Simon explains two, very simple technique to grow Tradescantia from cuttings and so if won't be too long before you will have them coming out of your ears.

If you would like to see more content like then then consider pressing the 'SUBSCRIBE' button. It is totally free and it allows you to never miss a future episode. Also we would love to hear from you so if you have any questions why not leave a message in the comment section.

Best Tropical Garden in England! RHS Wisley


If exotic or cold-hardy tropical effect gardens are your thing then you are in for a treat because in this video we get to visit the impressive exotic gardens planted out at the Royal Horticultural Society's flagship garden - RHS Wisley. Created in 2017, it has over the years matured into one of England finest examples of an exotic garden - if not the best exotic or cold-hardy tropical effect garden in England!

So why not join English horticulturists Simon and Lorna as they walk-through the exotic garden pointing out and discussing the plants that catch their attention? There is a lot to see and the planting scheme is full of species and cultivars that you really won't see in regular garden centers. However you can use the RHS's plant finder services to located the required specialist nursery should you see anything that your hearty desires. Ginger lilies, the range of hardy palms and the various cultivars of hibiscus moscheutos were of particular interest to us.

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How to Grow Coleus From Cuttings


I love Coleus, they are just a fantastic choice for any garden - let alone an exotic or tropical effect garden. Yes they can be taken by slugs and snails but with a little cultural help this can be resolved. So why do I love them? Well they are one of the best species for providing colour in the shade and they are super easy to grow from cuttings. So easy are they that they will root in a glass of water in just two weeks!

However there is just a little bit more you need to know to really succeed in growing Coleus for cuttings and this is all explained in the above video.

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The Prodigal Tortoise Returns


Oh my goodness it has been a rollercoaster of emotions these past couple of weeks! One of the tortoises had escaped its quarters and after a detailed search of both ours and our neighbours gardens realised that it was definitely missing. After a lot of emotion, all from Lorna by the way we had a stroke of luck. A couple walking their dog found Gonzales in the woods nearby, at which point they may have decided to keep him for themselves or just leave him there, however they decided to rescue him and taking him down to their local vets in the next town along. The vet then put out a notice on their facebook page however we are not on their friends list so our search could have ended right their!

Luckily one of our neighbours came across this listing and passed it on to us. We called them and went down with proof of ownership and fortunately the tortoise that they had was no other than Gonzales himself. Our family is now completed.

If you would like to see more content like this then consider subscribing to our channel 'Walking Talking Gardeners'. It is completed free and you will be notified as soon as we upload a new video.

Acer griseum 'Paperbark Maple' - Information dump!


If you have even the most basic of horticultural training then you would probably been introduced to the wonderful Acer griseum -'Paperbark Maple'. Native to central China it is considered to have one of the very best ornamental barks of any garden tree. Due to the price it isn't often seen in the suburban garden but it is a favourite of many temperate public gardens.

So if you are looking for a small tree that is as tough as nails and capable of surviving in a range of soil types and positions then Acer griseum has to be on your list. To find out more check out the video where English horticulturists Simon and Lorna discuss both the history and the merits of this wonderful species.

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How to Grow Free Tobacco Plant from Seeds


Growing free tobacco plants from seeds is arguably the easiest propagation you will ever experience. So viable and wanting to germinate are the seeds that you can literally shake a seed head over a damp bag of compost and they will grow - 100% guaranteed!

This is the beauty of propagation, the ability to grow new plants for free instead of only being able to purchase the limited plants available in your local garden centre or super market.

To find out more check out this video where English horticulturists Lorna and Simon go into detail on Nicotiana sylvestris. If you like content like this don't forget to press the 'LIKE' and SUBSCRIBE' buttons.

Caterpillar damage on Aeonium


Do you love Aeonium plants? Would you like them to not be eaten by caterpillars? UNlikely, but what can you do about it. In this video English horticulturist has found an infestation of caterpillars on one of their specimen Aeonium plants and discuss the various method of control that can be employed. These range from a live and let live philosophy to organic and inorganic management.

If you like this kind of content the don't forget that by subscribing to the Walking Talking Gardeners Youtube channel you will be notified of all future videos and it is a completely free service. Also we would love to hear from you so if you have anything you would like to ask us then please leave a message in the YouTube comments section. Oh and by the way, clicking the 'LIKE' button if you like any of our videos is also super helpful.


Tropical Gardens at Monte Palace, Madeira - Full Unscripted Walk-Through...


Monte Palace Tropical Gardens is arguably one of the most exotic and flamboyant of all the gardens on the gorgeous island of Madeira. Yet despite being located half way up a steep volcano it is surprising easy to get to due to the extremely convenient cable car that takes you straight there from the harbour.

You can easily loose a couple of hours here so make sure you either take refreshments or purchase something in the cafe/bar on site. Once finished you can choose to take yet another cable car to the eat of the island to the Madeira Botanical Gardens or perhaps take the opportunity to almost get back to Funchal by experiencing the fantastic Monte toboggan ride. You can check out the video we made when we took the toboggan here - https://youtu.be/AwFUAK3IU7c

If you would like to see more videos on out trip to madeira then check out out YouTube channel - 'Walking Talking gardeners'. And if you would like to support our channel then consider clicking on to the 'LIKE' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons.

Unboxing my new succulent plant - Cotyledon 'Choco Line'


Hello YouTube friends and family and welcome to our first ever unboxing video. We will be watching English Horticulturist Simon as he receives and opens a mail order succulent to add to his collection. The packaging of mail order plants is always a bit worrying as the boxing materials vary greatly.

If you want to see more content like this then check out our other videos and if you would like to support out channel consider clicking onto the 'SUBSCRIBE' button. It is completely free and that way you will always be notified of any of our future videos.

We Lost Our Tortoise - This is What Happened Next!


Oh, my goodness, our family has been on an emotional rollercoaster for the past week or so! One of our tortoises managed to force its way out of one of the summer enclosures and make his escape. After checking both our gardens and the neighbours gardens to no avail we assumed that he was just hiding and would naturally reappear a few days later. However ten days had passed and still no tortoise. 

Then out of the blue, a chance notification on facebook have us a tenuous lead. A tortoise had been handed in at the vets in a town 3 miles away for us. Was it our missing tortoise? Well you can find our as it happens in the accompanying video.

If you would like to see more content like this then let us know in the 'comments'  or consider supporting our channel by clicking on to the 'SUBSCRIBE' button. It is absolutely free and allows you to never miss one of our future videos.

Unboxing Tortoise super complicated Lego - Likey!


Unboxing videos are a cultural phenomenon and of course we at the 'Walking Talking Gardeners' YouTube channel are never ones to shy away from jumping onto any popular band wagon. That being said welcome to our very first Unboxing video where English Horticulturist Lorna opens up a brand new box of lego-likey bricks to build herself a brand new tortoise to add to her already 'too-many' collection of tortoise garden art. This my opinion not hers.

So start yourself in and prepare you mind for Lorna boxing video and if you like this kind of content then don't worry as i will be publishing my very own unboxing video in the next to distant future.

If you would like to get in contact with us on any subject then write something in the comments, we would love to hear from you. Also don't forget that you can support this channel by pressing the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.

Giant Tropical Canna Lily - What is the deal with it?


If you though that Canna lilies were lovely, small to medium sized ornamental plants ideal for the suburban border then you are wrong. |It turns out that Canna lilies can be huge and even take over the garden like a giant, creeping weed! Anyway, Lorna really loves this plant and wanted to invite you to see why she thinks it is so amazing. 

Unsurprisingly it is not my 'Cup to Tea', as it means that I am going to have to go in to the broader over the winter and dig out most of this years growth before it finds its way into the field next door at which point I will have the farmer banging down my door demanding that I deal with it!

Anyway check out the video and if you have any strong opinion on giant canna lilies we would love to hear from you in the comments. Don't forget that you can support our channel by pressing the 'Like' button, and even more so by click onto the 'Subscribe' button.


Cold Hardy Spanish Moss? Try growing Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'


It is undeniable that the pendulous hanging growth of Spanish moss - Tillandsia usneoides is evocative of the tropical and subtropical climates of central America. However if you want to replicat this effect in colder, northern European countries then unfortunately Spanish moss isn't going to survive. However if you are happy to squint a little you can achieve a strongly similar look by growing Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'.

This wonder hanging plant cultivar makes for a great substituent albeit that it is not an epiphyte and will need to have its root system growing in a pot.

To find out more about this under-used yet tough-as-old-boots (at least in the south of England) herbaceous perennial then check out our video above. If you would like to support our YouTube channel then consider subscribing buy click onto the 'Subscribe' button and that way you will never miss a video.

How to Grow Englands Tallest Flower Spike - The Tree Echium 'Echium pini...


If you live in the warmer climates of southern and south-western corners of the United Kingdom and Ireland then you may well have noticed a very unusual and overly tall flowering plant that has been coming increasingly common in these parts. It is the Tree Echium - Echium pininana and despite being endemic to La Palma in the Canaries, it has begun to naturalise here in the warmest regions of our country.

The fact that Echium pininana is naturalising proves that conditions are great for growing this super-impressive plant in your own garden. However the further north you go the more difficult it will be for it to cope with the colder winters. Of course you can consider wrapping juvenile plants with horticultural fleece to protect the growing tip ensuring that the magnificent flowering spike in produced the following spring.

To find out more check out the above video and why not consider supporting our YouTube gardening channel by subscribing. That way you will never miss an episode.

How to grow bananas from seed without a day and night temperature heated...


Do you love the idea of growing banana plants from seed but don't have the specialist equipment to do so? Well most of the regions of the world were bananas naturally grow are usually tropical or at best Mediterranean or for a few special species warm temperate. So if you live in a northern European climate it will be possible to grow maybe a handful of species at a pinch and will a little helping hand but growing them from seed, well how would that work?

Well germinating bananas from seeds outside of their natural environment is a little bit of an art. You will need a heated propagator which can produce differing day and night temperatures. It sound more complicated than it is as you just need to connect it to a timer which switches off for 12 hours at a time.

But how would you replicate the germination conditions without a heated propagator? That can be achieved by timing germination with your local seasons. To find out more check out our video above where everything will be explained.

If you would like to support out channel or watch more content like this then why not consider subscribing?We would love to hear from you so if you have any questions for us or would just like to ay hello then you are very welcome to leave any message under 'Comments'.


HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS! We did the Monte Toboggan Run in Madeira


Hello there and welcome to another video from the 'Walking Talking Gardeners', however instead of our usually horticultural fare we thought we would show you something a little different. While we were checking out the various amazing gardens that Madeira has to offer we had the opportunity to take part in the Monte Toboggan Run. This was something I had wanted to do since I watched it on Blue peter as a child.

So why don't you join us as we step in to the rather rickety wooden frame of the taboggan and slide our way down to only halfway down to where we actually wanted to be!

You can support this channel by 'Subscribing' and that way you will never miss the opportunity to watch another episode.

Echeveria 'Sea Monster' - How To Propagate and Pot Up


If, like me, you are a big fan of cacti and succulents then this video may be right up your street. I had a large specimen of Echeveria 'Sea Monster' and in my usual fashion became bored with it and left it outside over the winter to fend for itself. Of course with temperatures down to minus 6 degrees celsius the whole thing turned to mush - or so I thought. I cam across this little section of stem which was found growing through the bark chips which went down this early June!

So if you are interested in what became of this lucky survivor then why not check out our video. We also discuss a little more about the simple propagation techniques required to grow more of this wonderful cultivar for free.

If you like this kind of content then why not consider subscribing to our channel or pressing the 'Like 'button'. Don't forget you can also leave a comment,we would love to hear from you.

Free Tropical Cold Hardy Plants and How to Get Them


Walk around any garden center nowadays and you may be surprised at just how much regular plants cost - let alone anything a little out of the ordinary. So what if I told you that you could have tropical cold-hardy plants for free? Well you may not believe me, but believe me you should as you can easily propagate many tropical cold-hardy plants with very simple propagation techniques.

In this latest video myself and Lorna walk around our garden pointing out the plants of interest as well as discussing the propagation requirements of the easiest ones. In fact many of the plants you see here are already ones that we have propagated previously! Some require no skills at all!

So why not join us on what could be the first step to obtaining plants for free. Please leave a comment and remember that you can support our channel by pressing the 'LIKE' and SUBSCRIBE' button..

Super Easy Growing Citrus from Seeds


Everyone (who is as like-minded as me) loves the idea of having citrus plants in their garden. Why? Because they are exotic, aspirational and just absolutely gorgeous looking. There is also the 'I would love to grow my own lemon for gin and tonics' cliche to be considered. However citrus plants are expensive and if you are not confident in looking after them going forward this could constitute a financial risk that you may not be willing to take.

Be that as it may, growing citrus plants from seed is actually super easy and can be sown straight from the fruit once it is clear of pulp. There are a number of techniques that can be employed to grow citrus from seeds but in the accompanying video we will discuss the easiest and most straightforward method.

If you have an even easier method to growing citrus from seeds then why not leave a message in the comments section of the video, we would love to hear from you. And do for get that you can support our site by clicking the 'Like' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons.








How to dead-head Dahlias


There is often some confusion when it comes to dead-heading Dahlias as the spent blooms and the newly forming buds can look very similar. Also there seems to be a general habit of snapping off the heads of Dahlias and leaving unsightly stalks behind. So if you want to know the difference between an finished flower and a bud about to bloom and the best technique to remove the stalks then check out our video above on everything you need to know about dead-heading dahlias.

If you have any questions at all then don't forget to leave a message in the comments, we would love to hear from you. Also consider pressing the subscribe button so that you never miss an episode.

Best Plants for a Cold Hardy, Tropical Effect Garden


For many, having a tropical garden in the cold, rainy climate of England is little more than a fantasy. Why? Because tropical plants live in the tropics where the sun shines all year round with temperatures rarely dropping below 25 degrees Celsius. And of course that is true. However  just because you cannot grow genuine tropical plants due to your climate, this does not mean that you cannot grow similar looking plants that are cold hardy which will give you the same effect. Tropical forests are synonymous with tall specimens, large leaves and unusual architectural plant structures, so with a little research it is easy to pick out plant which match these criteria to bring the look of the tropics to your very own back garden. So which are the best plants for a cold hardy, tropical effect garden?

Luckily the choice is fairly limited which makes designing a cold tropical effect garden relatively simple and starts with knowing which are the two largest leaved plants you can grow here. They are the giant ornamental Rhubarb - Gunnera manicata and the rice-paper plant - Tetrapanax rex. Moving on from there you can check out Fatsia species and cultivars, hardy bananas, variegated spanish reed, Cannas, large leaved hostas and the range of hardy palms that are available. 

Another trick to add to the tropical effect is to mimic the colour palette of the tropics which means adding plenty of red flowering plants wit a lesser splattering of orange, hot pink and vibrant yellows.

To find out more about with are the best plants for a cold hardy, tropical effect garden then check out the above video. Don't forget to comment with your favourite cold hardy , tropical effect plants, and consider supporting out YouTube channel by pressing the 'Like' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons.





How to propagate Orchid cactus (Disocactus) from cuttings


Living in the UK you wouldn't think that it would be possible to find epiphytic orchid cacti hanging from a tree, but grow them here you can. In fact arguably the most attractive of them all - Disocactus × jenkinsonii (usually always miss-named as Disocactus ackermannii) is considered hardy in the UK and has be given the prestigious Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society! In reality, this is a hybrid between Disocactus phyllanthoides and Disocactus speciosus. It has a very complex taxonomic history and has been mistaken for Disocactus ackermannii for a long time.

It is extremely rare to see Orchid cacti (Disocactus species) for sale but assuming you come a cross a speciment it is very easy to take cutting to propagate you own specimen. Check out the video above where the surprisingly simple process of propagating Orchid cactus (Disocactus) is explained.

If you would like to leave a comment we would love to hear from you, and consider pressing the 'Like' buttoned or subscribe to our channel so that you never miss an episode buy pressing the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.


Quinta Magnolia Gardens walk-through with horticultural commentary


The Portuguese island of Madeira, also known as the Garden Island - and for good reason, is a magnet for all those who are lovers of all things Horticultural. There are the tree main gardens that you really do not want to miss is you every come to visit :

Monte palace tropical gardens
Madeira Botanical gardens
Palheiro Gardens

However you you are staying on the island for a few days and want to looks at some other worthwhile hardens as well as walk amidst its colonial history then consider having a visit to Quinta magnolia gardens in the west of the Islands capitol Funchal, and only a ten minute walk away from Reid's Palace hotel..

Formally an Edwardian pleasure garden and until more recently the British Country Club', the facilities at Quinta Magnolia are now open to the public and the 40,000 square metres of mature trees, shrubs, flowers and lawns are now free to the public to visit and walk around.

So if you are considering visiting Quinta magnolia and what to have an idea as to what is there then why not join English Horticulturists Simon and Lorna as they walk through and discover what they find of interest.

Don't forget that you can support this channel by leaving a comment, or pressing the 'Like' and 'Subscribe' buttons.

CACTI AND SUCCULENT GARDEN AT MADEIRA BOTANICAL GARDEN


Hello and welcome to another video from the 'Walking Talking Gardeners' YouTube channel. In this feature we are walking around and discovering the wonders found in the cacti and succulent garden at the Madeira Botanical Garden, Funchal.

Interestingly this property was originally part of an estate belonging to the family of William Reid, founder of Reid's Hotel. However in 1960 it was opened to the paying public.

So why not take a walk along with English horticulturists Simon and Lorna as the discover for the the first time the plants and landscaping as one of madeira not-to-miss gardens.

If you would like to see more content like this? Then why not support out caneel by pressing the 'Like' and 'Subscribe' button. That way you will never miss any of our future videos.

HOW TO GROW YUCCA ELEPHANTIPES FROM A CUTTING


You will probably recognise the extremely popular Yucca elephantipes from the houseplant department from your local supermarket or garden centre. However what you may know know is that the Yucca plant can also be grown outside as a full-size garden plant quire happily in the milder regions of the UK! So this would include London and the south of England, and southern Ireland.

Native to Mexico and Central America it is an evergreen shrub capable of growing  between  up to 8–12 metres however in the UK it is more likely to grow to 3-4 metres at most.

Growing Yucca elephantipes from cuttings is a lot easier than you think so why not check out our latest video to find out more? Don't forget that you can support our channel but pressing the 'Like' and 'Subscribe' buttons

TORTOISE BAD-BOYS INTRODUCTION: Say hello to Speedy and Gonzales


Hello and welcome to the YouTube channel 'Walking Talking Gardeners', and just to give you a heads up the video we are looking at today is a little different to our usual fair. Instead of looking at the world of plants and gardens my wife Lorna wanted to make a video on the two main loves of the life - her tortoises Speedy and Gonzales.

So sit back and enjoy Lorna introducing her two favourite beings and talking a little about what they eat and the differences between them.

If you would like to see more content like this then consider pressing the 'Like and 'Subscribe' buttons.

If you would like to ask Lorna a question about her tortoises then leave a note in the comments.


How to propagate Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum) from pups


Hello there and welcome to another video from the 'Walking Talking Gardeners'. In this video horticulturist Simon will demonstrate how to propagate the Madagascan succulent Bryophyllum from pups. All you need is a modular seed tray, multipurpose compost and a small dibber or pencil.

Fortunately, propagating Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum) from pups is super easy but check out the above video for all the information you will need for success.

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Palheiro Gardens, Madeira, walk-through with horticultural commentary - Part 2


Welcome back to the 'Walking talking Gardeners' YouTube channel. We recently posted Part 1 of our visit to Palheiro Gardens in Madeira. Well hold on to your pants as we have part 2 ready for you. Join English Horticulturists Simon and Lorna as the continue their walk around Palheiro Gardens on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Palheiro gardens is open to the public and is one of the premier garden on the island next to Monte Palace Tropical Gardens and Madeira Botanical gardens. Once a private estate is now house a massive collection of plants from across the world planted in stunning Edwardian pleasure gardens.

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HOW TO STOP TREE FERNS FROM SHRINKING OR NARROWING AT THE CROWN


Tree ferns always looks fantastic when you come across some fresh stock at the local garden centre (sadly they tend to decline under the steward ship of the same garden centre staff), however once you have had them in the garden their quality can quickly begin to suffer. One of the biggest issues is as the crown rises with year on year growth it can also become narrower and the growth considerably weaker. Over time this will create a stunted plant, miles away from the handsome specimen it once was and really, with the right management, should still be. So how do you stop the crown of tree ferns from shrinking or narrowing at the crown?

English horticulturist takes a look at the problem and proposed a couple of ways of maintaining its original shape. Of course without the perfect growing conditions of its native habitat it will be extremely hard to maintain its original thick dense habit. However with good horticultural practice and a little trick up his sleeve, horticulturist Simon will give his tips to growing quality tre ferns in the above video.

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HOW TO GROW A COLD HARDY TROPICAL GARDEN IN SIX MONTHS


Yes it's true, you can grow a tropical garden in 6 months. However you will need to purchase the right plants at the right time and plant them in a position with conditions that will best suit their environmental needs. Ok, that can sound quite daunting but with the majority of cold hardy tropical plants require not much more that full sun and free draining soil. It is a lot easier than you might first think - there are of course some exceptions.

So welcome to English horticulturist Lorna's cold hardy tropical garden. Planted 6 months ago to when this video was taken, it is now a mature, lush corner of the garden filled with colour and architectural foliage. We have specifically chosen large-leaved specimens, brought in a few specimen plants from our old garden - just two in fact, the hardy banana Musa basjoo and the Tetrapanax 'Rex'. Most other plants are herbaceous plants we have propagated through division or late spring or summer flowering bulbs bought and stored from earlier on in the year.

We have added a few hardy palms -  Phoenix canariensis and Trachycarpus fortunei and Chamaerops humilis, along with ornamental grasses such as the black bamboo, variegated Arundo donax and rebra grass.

For new stock there is a good range of bulbs, Canna lilies, Dahlias, montbretia, Salvias and Coleus to capture that vibrant tropical palette

We like to try and stick to orange and red blooms to further enhance the tropical look. So why not join Lorna as she walks around this tropical effect border and explains some of the plants andr choices she has made.


Monte Palace Tropical Garden, Madeira, walk-through with horticultural c...


Hello and welcome to Part 2 of our walk around Monte Palace Tropical Garden on the Portuguese island of Madeira. If you have missed Part 1 then the link for that is below:


Monte Palace Tropical Gardens have been open to the public since 1991, and houses a huge exotic plant's collection, coming from around the world. It also includes one of the most important tile collections in Portugal originating from palaces, churches, chapels and private houses throughout the former Portuguese empire. The gardens are open everyday except for the 25th of December.

So why not join English horticulturists Simon and Lorna as the continue their walk around the gardens providing horticultural commentary on the stunning plants and landscaping they find.

Canna 'Cleopatra' Comin' Atcha! Plus description and cultivation.

 
Canna 'Cleopatra' is a gorgeous herbaceous plant which despite being introduced in 1895 has been seemingly missing from the plants beds of UK garden centres. Growing to approximately 1.2 metres tall, this bi-coloured ornamental specimen has the star quality to stand out amongst the regular collection of canna lilies. Its strange, haphazard chocolate/green leaf colourisation is due to it being an unstable colour hybrid. It is as though two distinctly different colour forms have been spliced together but rather than one dominating so that the hybrid reverts to just the one type, the variation is extremely stable! There is even a colour choice of red, yellow and even a mixture of the both. Remember to dead-head your spent booms to encourage more flowering.

Flowering from mid-summer to the autumn, it will perform best in organically rich, well drained soils. Canna 'Cleopatra' will tolerate a shady position but to get the best show of blooms position in full sun. However it will require watering during periods of drought. 

Regarding its cold tolerance, you can leave Cana 'Cleopatra' outside in the ground in zones 8-11, but for colder regions you would be best lifting the tubers after the first frost and potting them into a dry mulch to overwinter in an unheated frost-free environment.

As the buds begin to show in early spring you can lift and divide in order to produce new specimens. Canna 'Cleopatra' is relatively disease free although keep an eye out for Canna Leaf Roller and Canna Leaf Virus.

HOW TO WATER TREE FERNS - What the garden centres don't tell you!


With the effect of climate change affecting summer temperatures and rainfall in the UK, maintaining tree ferns in peak condition is becoming increasing difficult. The reason for this is simple. Tree ferns typically thrive in cloud forests, also called a water forest, characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover. The result of this is a something equivalent to 1 metres of rainfall per year. Now transfer this plant to the drought ridden summers of the United Kingdom and something has to give. You either need to provide your tree fern with the conditions it requires or you can watch it slowly disappear due to attrition!

In order to cope with the specialist conditions of the cloud forest tree ferns have evolved several ways to enhance these unique environmental conditions. The canopy has developed a funnel-shaped structure to drawn in as much moisture and rainfall to the crown,and the trunk itself is like a huge sponge full of woody, fibrous roots. To reduce the risk of the trunk drying out the old fronds remain on the tree but bend downwards to help retain moisture in the trunk. If you look careful you can even see an indented channel running along the centre of the fronds stipe to help direct water to the crown.

As you can imagine, watering tree ferns is a little more involved than simply watering the roots in the soil to check out the above video to find out exactly how you should be watering your tree ferns.














MONTE PALACE TROPICAL GARDENS: Review and walk-through with horticultural commentary - Part 1


Welcome to our very first garden walk-though video with English horticulturists Simon and Lorna. In this video we are discovering the delights of Monte Palace tropical gardens in the Portuguese island of Madeira. 

The story of Monte Palace gardens began in the 18th century when the English Consul Charles Murray, bought what was then  just farmland and transformed it into his private estate, then called 'Quinta do Prazer which is Portuguese for 'The Pleasure Estate'. 

In 1897, Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues purchased Quinta do Prazer and, inspired by the palaces that he had seen in Germany, built a palace-like residence which was later converted into a Hotel known as the Monte Palace Hotel.

In 1943, Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues passed away, leading to the closing of the hotel which, in the meantime, was taken over by a financial institution. Later, in 1987, it was sold on to entrepreneur José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo. He re-established the grounds to how you see them today.

So why not join English Horticulturists Simon and Lorna as they walk round for the first time pointing out the gorgeous and extraordinary plants and landscaping they find.

If you want to watch more on Monte Palace Tropical Gardens then why not check out Part 2 in the link below.


MADEIRA BOTANIC GARDENS: Review and walk-through with horticultural commentary - Part 1


Hello viewers and welcome to our review and walk-through of Madeira Botanic Gardens. Opened to the public in 1960. The area was previously part of an estate belonging to the family of William Reid, founder of Reid's Hotel. William Reid is arguably the islands most famous inhabitant after the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM.

The garden is divided into six areas which at the time of filming we were not aware of so there is good chance that we may have missed and important display. However, it is Lorna's philosophy that we do not research gardens beforehand so that we can give a genuine first-time reaction.

So why not join us as we ramble our way through Madeira Botanic Gardens commenting on anything that catches our eyes. If you have anything to add then please write to us in the comments. If you would like to see more of this kind of content then consider liking and subscribing.

We hope to see you again on one of our other garden visits.

WORLD'S LARGEST BOURGAINVILLIA PERGOLA (Probably) at Madeira Botanic Gar...


Most of us are familiar with the rich, bright blooms of Bougainvillea cultivars, but on our recent visit to Madeira Botanical gardens we were surprised to come across this hugely long pagoda thickly covered in a selection of well-established Bougainvilleas. Not only was it impressive simple due its size and length, it provided welcome respite form the summer sun.

So why not join myself and Lorna as we make our way through this gorgeous example of hard and soft landscaping and listen to our ramblings as we go.

For context, size records for bougainvillea spectabilis are not really kept for this species  however one of the largest known girths for the Bougainvillea is in Madeira at 1.35m. Unfortunately that specimen can be found at the Passio Publico do Lido. Funchal and not here in the Botanical Gardens. Be that as it may this is still the largest stretch of specimens we have ever seen

Palheiro Gardens, Madeira, walk-through with horticultural commentary - Part 1


Situated about a 20 minute drive from the centre of Funchal, Madeira, Palheiro gardens are one of three top class gardens to be found on the island. Utilising one of the larger sections of relatively flat land on this dormant Vulcanic rock, the 1st Count of Carvalhal found it perfect for laying out pleasure gardens on a grand scale. 

Currently owned by the Blandy family, it is an excellent example of an English influenced Edwardian pleasure garden with a superb collection of trees Camellias, specimen trees and a selection of well-maintained compartmentalised themed gardens within the overall site.

So join English horticulturists Simon and Lorna as they make their way around the garden for the first time, pointing out interesting plants that catch their eye and discuss the relevant landscaping as they pass through.

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Araucaria heterophylla and Araucaria bidwillii comparison


Hello and welcome to another episode of 'Walking Talking Gardeners'. This is a short and sweet video to two wonderful trees we came across in at  Palheiro Gardens, Madeira. Both are from the same family as the popular Monkey puzzle tree, but both are surprisingly different in habit and structure. That being said all three species are capable to reaching huge size.

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BISHOP'S PALACE GARDEN (Chichester Cathedral) WALK-THROUGH AND REVIEW


Hello and welcome to another episode of 'Walking Talking Gardeners' with English horticulturists Simon and Lorna. Join them as they discover the delights of the Bishops Palace garden, situated with the confines of Chichester Cathedral. The Palace itself is currently the residence of the Bishop of Chichester.

You can visit the garden at West Street, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1RP or approach by Canon Lane, which is through an archway half way up South Street on the west side.

You may be surprised to learn that construction began on the cathedral in 1076 making it one of the oldest in the land, however the garden is looks in part to be situated within Elizabethan architecture.

Since 1976, The Palace Gardens have been leased to the city council and are now a public park surrounded by the Roman city walls offering views of the Palace, Cathedral and Bell Tower. Within the park is a large area used for growing fruit and vegetables which is currently managed by local charity Grow Chichester. A large portion of the gardens have been retained for the private use of the occupants of The Palace

WELCOME TO OUR NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL - 'WALKING TALKING GARDENERS'

 

Hello and welcome to 'Walking Talking Gardeners' the new YouTube channel from the Garden of Eaden' featuring English Horticulturists Simon and Lorna. It is early days and improvements to the channel are on-going but we would love you to join us as we walk around gardens of note from the UK and the wider world. Let us know what you think or what you would like us to talk about in the comments and if you would like to see more content then click like or consider subscribing to the channel.

So why not join us now by clicking on the above image as we discover the delights of Jardim Municipal do Funchal in Madeira.


HOW TO POT ON AND GROW BARE ROOT BIRD OF PARADISE



Like many of us who holiday in tropical or Mediterranean climates it is easy to become tempted into buying bare root, plastic covered exotics at the airport as a souvenir of your travels.  Now depending on the country you are in, or from, the plant species you have purchased and the import laws relating to bring in unlicensed plants without the appropriate paperwork, you could inadvertently be breaking several laws. So it is always best check your governments relative websites for details before buying. For the UK check out the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/bringing-plants-and-wood-into-great-britain

How to pot on and grow bare root Bird of Paradise
However, assuming your paperwork is correct and you have managed to bring home a Bird of Paradise stem carefully wrapped in cellophane just what do you do with it? Well you need to act quickly as the longer the plant is without roots the risk of it drying out through desiccation increases. Remember that the roots have been cut back to the stem and your Bird of Paradise will need to grow new ones to prevent the stem from drying out and dying.

To begin with, remove the cellophane protecting the roots as soon as you get home. The roots are freshly cut and as such can be at risk from water borne fungal infections if condensation starts to build up inside the packaging. It would be wonderful of the suppliers gave the roots a dusting of anti-fungicidal powder but this doesn't seem to be the case.

Bird of Paradise plants grow a large root system and does not like it being disturbed, so when potting up use a much larger pot than you would usually choose. Fill with a good quality compost such as a 50:50 mix of John Innes No.3 and Multipurpose compost. Be careful when planting so as not to damage any new roots or side shoots, and try to match the pots soil-line to that of the Bird of Paradise. It won't be clear but do your best.

Water thoroughly and then move to a warm, shady spot out of direct sun. Do not put into a green house unless it is outside of high summer temperatures. Water again ONLY once the top couple of inches of soil has dried out and never tug on the plant to see if it has rooted! Under favourable conditions new roots will begin to form in a couple of weeks. 

Overwinter your Bird of Paradise plant in an unheated greenhouse or cool conservatory and harden off for 10-14 days before placing back outside in full sun once the threat of late frosts has past. Feed monthly during the growing season and if you are lucky you may get your first flower spike in 4-5 years. If you pot your Bird of Paradise into a larger pot DO NOT DISTURB THE ROOT SYSTEM! Potting on can also delay flowering by at least another year


HOW TO GROW NIGHT-SCENTED STOCKS


The night-scented stock - Matthiola longipetala is a hardy, bushy annual primarily grown for its ornamental blooms and fragrant, evening scent. Native to the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia, it is is low-growing and highly branched in habit with long narrow, grey-green leaves. It has single, four-petaled purple to white flowers, which are approximately 1 to 2 cm wide and carried on 45-60 cm spikes in July and August. The blooms open at night to reveal a delicious, heavy scent, reminiscent to some gardeners of vanilla, rose, spice and even cloves!

Night-scented stock will thrive in any good garden soil in a position of full sun, although they will also tolerate partial shade if necessary. However, to perform at their best the soil should be a slightly alkaline, fertile, medium loam. If the soil is poor then it may need to be enriched by digging in plenty of well-rotted farm manure or garden compost. Staking may be necessary for tall specimens and any leggy plants growing in the shade.

When purchasing packs of seedlings in the spring, only plant out the healthiest examples. Any which have been allowed to dry out or have suffered rot damage will produce premature and dwarfed flower-spikes. They can be grown in containers  or directly into the front of beds in areas where their scent will be enjoyed the most.

Later on in the spring once the plants have become established, apply a pinch of pre-packed dried blood fertilizer or some other fast acting, high nitrogen fertilizer around the base of each plant. This will improve both the plant and its flower size.

Water regularly, and when the flower buds appear provide a liquid soluble fertilizer every week or so encourage blooming. Remove flowerheads as soon as they begin to fade in order to encourage further blooms to develop.

FASCIATION ON KNIPHOPHIA

 

Fasciation on Kniphofia
Fasciatum on plants is not as uncommon as you might expect as it is generally overlooked or perhaps unseen within the overall density of a garden. One might say you can't see the wood for the trees! (Apologies).

Botanically speaking, fasciation is the  malformation of plant stems commonly manifested as enlargement and flattening as if several stems were fused. Any occurrence of fasciation may be due to several possible causes, including hormonal, genetic, bacterial, fungal, viral and environmental causes.

Fasciation is not contagious, but in those instances where bacteria have caused fasciation it can be spread from infected plants to others from contact with wounds on infected plants and from water that carries the bacteria to other plants.

This example of fasciation in the flower stem of a Kniphofia species is I believe the first I had seen and warranted an image being recorded for these who are interested in such things. I included a second stem from the same plant for comparison.You will notice that it is not just a fused stem on display but a huge increase in bloom density, a reduction in the overall size of each individual bloom and a higher production of the red pigment.

Image credit - Simon Eade 

For related articles click onto the following links:

HOW TO GROW MALUS 'RED SENTINEL'


How to grow Malus 'Red Sentinel'


Malus robusta 'Red Sentinel' is a hardy deciduous ornamental tree, valued for its attractive flowers and fruits. Growing to approximately 3-5 metres high and with a spread of 2.5-4 metres it has slightly arching branches with ovate, mid-green leaves. The single, white 2.5 cm wide blooms are produced in mid-May. Although attractive in its own right as a garden plant, Malus 'Red Sentinel' is also used as a pollinizer in commercial apple orchards. It is an excellent choice for exposed sites and being pollution tolerant makes it particularly suitable for urban areas.

The most notable feature of Malus 'Red Sentinel' are its large crops of glossy, bright scarlet apple-like fruits which can persist on the tree until March. They being as yellow fruits blushed with red however this deepens as the year goes on turning to a dark glossy scarlet by the winter.These fruits are edible but also extremely sour.

Although tolerant of exposed conditions they will perform far better in a sheltered, sunny position. They can be planted in any fertile, well drained soil, but prior to planting, dig in plenty of well-rotted farm manure or garden compost into the soil. They will require the support of a sturdy the stake for the first few year but avoid damaging the root ball.

 'Red Sentinel' gained The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Merit in 1959 and the Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW AN APPLE TREE FROM SEED
HOW TO PRUNE AN APPLE TREE
WHAT IS A CRABAPPLE
WHAT IS A 'PAPPLE' ?

HOW TO GROW AMELANCHIER OVALIS 'Edelweiss'

Amelanchier ovalis 'Edelweiss'

Amelanchier ovalis is one of the slower growing species within the genus but is notable as an ornamental garden plant for its gorgeous blooms, in particular the 'Edelweiss' cultivar. Native to Central and Southern Europe, North Africa and Western Asia Amelanchier ovalis was introduced to European gardens in 1596 and has since become one of the most popular of all available Amelanchier forms.

Amelanchier autumn colour

Under favourable conditions you can expect Amelanchier ovalis 'Edelweiss' to grow between 3-4 metres height. It has an upright habit with ovate leaves. The leaves emerge dark green in colour but are white and woolly underneath which gives them an overall silvery effect. As the leaves mature the woolly growth disappears. Come the autumn the leaves will often provide a good show of colour turning to shades of orange, red and yellow before leaf drop.

The large white flowers appear in April in clusters of 6 inch long panicles. Once pollinated small, red edible fruits will form from mid to late summer turning black as they ripen.

Amelanchier ovalis 'Edelweiss' can be grown in either full sun or light, dappled shade. It will perform well in any well drained, fertile soil and will even tolerate chalky soils. However, it will perform best in a moist, acidic or neutral soil.

In exposed areas support newly planted trees with a  stake to prevent wind rock. Amelanchier do not like to be in soils which are prone to drying out, so for the first year or two water during periods of drought. 

For related articles click onto the following links:
CAN YOU EAT SEA BUCKTHORN BERRIES?
HOW TO GROW AMELANCHIER


HOW TO GROW HEDERA COLCHICA 'Sulphur Heart'

How to Hedera colchica 'Sulphur Heart'


There are a number of excellent, large-leaved ornamental ivy's available for garden use, but Hedera colchica 'Sulphur Heart' is arguably one of the best. In fact it is my cultivar of choice of all hedera species and cultivars. The original species is native to the Near and Middle East, hence its common name of 'Persian Ivy'. However the 'Sulphur Heart' cultivar has several other pseudonyms (including 'Gold Leaf and 'Paddy's Pride') which can be a little misleading when purchasing stock.

It is a woody, evergreen climbing shrub, with large ovate leaves 20 cm in length which are marked by an irregular central splash of yellow, merging into pale-green and finally deep-green. In the spring the young growth is covered in a yellow down.

Insignificant yellow-green flowers appear from October to November, which are usually followed by clusters of small, black berries.

Hardier than the similarly ornamental Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo, Hedera colchica 'Sulphur Heart' is a vigorous, self-clinging plant that can be expected to an overall height of between 4-8 metres, and an approximate spread of 2.5-4 metres depending on conditions. It attaches itself to suitable surfaces by means of aerial rootlets with matted pads. It is both tough and adaptable, able to grow in a in a range of conditions. It will perform best in moist, well-drained or alkaline soils rich in nutrients and humus. When planting into their final position try and keep the roots in cool shade and with the main body of the plant in full sun.

Hedera colchica 'Sulphur Heart' has received two awards from the Royal Horticultural Society.

The Award of Merit after trials (AMT) in 1979
The Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1984

For related articles click onto the following links:

HOW TO GROW THE BURMESE BLUE BANANA 'Musa itinerans' FROM SEED

How to grow the Burmese blue banana from seed

Growing any banana plants from seed can be a little tricky if you are hoping to do so out of their native environment. However if you live somewhere with a more temperate climate (such as anywhere in Northern Europe), it is still possible if you get your timing right. The best way of course is to use an insulated heated propagator which makes germinating banana seeds an absolute breeze, but I will get to that later.

Musa itinerans seeds
If like many gardeners all you have is a greenhouse then it will be about timing. You will need to wait for over night temperatures of between 16-24 degrees Celsius, while maintaining day-time greenhouse temperatures of around 30-32 degrees Celsius. Automatic vents will probably be required to prevent accidentally cooking seeds and germinating seedlings. Anything over 40 degrees and you can expect plant death.

Before you commence soak your Burmese blue banana seeds seeds for a day or two in lukewarm water. An airing cupboard would be ideal for this. Next, using a large modular seed tray fill with a good quality, free draining seed compost. Sow the seeds on the compost at a rate of 1 seed per module 5 mm - 10 mm deep. Gently compress the soil surface then gently water in. Place in your greenhouse and keep the compost moist, perhaps cover the tray with a sheet of horticultural glass or clear perspex if the modular tray doesn't already come this a clear lid.

Burmese blue banana fruits

If you have produced your own insulated heated propagator then you can germinate your seeds indoors at any time of year assuming the overnight temperatures don't dip below 16 Degrees Celsius. You can make you own quite easily with a polystyrene box (these are often given away at local aquatic shops) a heat mat, a thermostat and a timer. See link below for more details.

Banana seeds will germinate irregularly, but your seedlings should begin to emerge after about three weeks and then can carry on for a further 2-3 months. Once the roots have established in their modules they can be carefully lifted and potted on into a larger sized pots. If you are planning on growing your Burmese Blue bananas outside then they will need to be hardened off for 10 days before being placed in their final position.

For related articles click onto the following links:

HOW DO YOU GROW MUSA ITINERANS 'Burmese Blue'?

How to grow Musa itinerans

Amongst banana growing aficionados, Musa Itinerans is a species that doesn't normally have its name bandied about in general conversation. However that should really change. Why? Well for two reasons, the first is that once established its hardiness is comparable to the bullet-proof Musa basjoo, and B because of the absolutely gorgeous colour of its juvenile fruits. 

Commonly known as the Burmese blue banana, its native habitat actually stretches from China to the assam region of India, including; Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. Its cold hardy prowess comes from its ecological niche of high altitude forests between 200 and up to 1800 meters above sea level. Known as an important staple for wild Asian elephants Musa itinerans is increasingly under threat due to its jungle habitat being cleared for commercial agriculture.

Musa itinerans 'Burmese Blue' fruits

Under favourable conditions the pseudo stems of Musa itinerans can reach a height of approximately 6 metres once mature with mid-green, paddle shaped leaves of approximately 2 metres long. Despite its tropical looks it is the small, purple blue bananas which are the real show stopper with this plant. t occasionally produces suckers 1-2 metres away from the parent plant unlike the typical tight cluster of suckers near to the base of the pseudo stem lie many other species.

So how do you grow Musa Itinerans? If planting outside choose a sheltered position in full sun in a moist free draining soil. Consider adding a humus rich and/or ericaceous compost to the ground before planting to help mimic the acidic conditions of its native woodland habitat. A handful or two of fish blood and bone (or something similar) wouldn't go amiss either. Just make sure it is well forked in before planting otherwise you can 'burn' the roots with a high concentration of fertiliser. water in well and then regularly during its first year, then only during periods of drough thereafter.

Musa itinerans is known for its frost hardiness but there is little anecdotal evidence on how it performs during a British winter. In the southern coastlines of the UK it will require little more than a dry mulch around the roots, the leaves removed back to the pseudostem and a wrapping of a couple of layers of horticultural fleece. Venture further north than Waltham forest and you may wish to consider growing your Musa as a container plant and bringing it under protection for the winter.Temperatures over 8 degrees Celsius should be suffice, just don't allow the compost to fully dry out.

For related articles click onto the following links:
BANANA PLANTS
HOW TO GROW MUSA BASJOO
HOW DO YOU OVERWINTER BEGONIA CORMS?