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March 2023

Dear Tanya,

I have a succulent in the garden that gets watered every day, because it is very hot in Northern Cape. It has now changed colour to off-grey and is not opening. Could it be because of the amount of water given?

Thank you, Carlene Fisher

Dear Carlene,

I am very concerned as it looks like there is a ‘white’ deposit on the leaves. Do you use borehole water? If so, this could be the issue as to why the leaves are looking so sad. Some borehole water is very high in certain minerals and salts which can cause damage to leaves.

I would advise that you water the soil around the plant and not the leaves at all. I would also suggest using a layer of organic material or pebbles as a mulch around the plants – this really helps to keep the soil cooler and protects the roots. Although this plant, an Aeonium is a succulent, if in a full day of permanent sun, it will burn. The plant should recover if this is only burn. Please do not water the plant daily – this will cause its roots to rot – rather a mulching and a good deep soil watering twice a week. I would also apply 2 teaspoons of Kyno Shrub, Flower & Fruit around the base of the plant before one of your weekly waterings.

The fertiliser will also provide the plants with important trace elements to help it cope with the extreme heat and stress. Re-apply every 4-6 weeks and in fact you can use it on any shrub, plant or fruit bearing plant for a good bit of vooma!

All the best and happy gardening, Tanya

I would just like to enquire if you are able to assist me in finding out what this mite is that is on my amazon lily and leopard plant and how do I get rid of them. I have tried various remedies and they always come back.

Thank you, regards Cathy

Hi Cathy,

You have a severe case of Mealybug. These little critters can cause much damage to foliage and fruit. They are sucking insects and are normally found alongside ants and in many cases a sooty looking black mould can also be seen on the plants as a result of this combo. They mainly accumulate along the main vein of the leaf as this is where they get the best juices!

My first action would be to wash the leaves of the affected plants. For light infestations you can remove the affected leaves and destroy them without compromising the plant. If the bug still persists then pop along to your local garden centre and ask them for a solution to get rid of mealybug, there are many treatments available. For more info search for mealybug on our website

Wishing you all the best!  Tanya

I live in Montana, Pretoria and am quite mixed up with the lunar guide’s planting times. Does one plant leafy vegetables two days before Full Moon or New Moon? I am confused, please help.

Garden greetings, Elaine Landman

Hi Elaine,

The general lunar garden rule is to plant leaf veg and herbs just after New Moon – so from New to the 1st Quarter moon. The Lunar Garden guide has the best days marked for these and the ‘background colour’ of the moon is either dark green or light green. If you miss those ideal days, you don’t have to wait an entire moon cycle! Leaf veg could also be planted up until Full Moon (even though the week between 1st Quarter and Full Moon is better suited for fruiting and flower veg).

Just make sure you plant on a day marked as ‘fertile or semi-fertile’.

The Lunar Garden guide selects the BEST possible days for all gardening activities. Space doesn’t allow every option on every day in all four phases. Hope you find this helpful. Happy Lunar Gardening, Tanya

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