ARS South Australia Newsletter – November 2017

  • Date: 12th November 2017
  • author: Bill Voigt

THE MONTH AHEAD

Here in the hills, October and November put on a great burst of colour with Rhodos, azaleas, camellias, flowering cherries and crab apples. There are additional shrubs that make a wonderful display at this time too, and two of these are Kolkwitzia, also known as the Chinese Beauty bush, and Weigela.

Weigelas come in white, pink, red and even variegated leaf forms. They need to be pruned once flowering has finished and as they grow older some of the old canes should be removed. They strike very readily from cuttings taken in the winter when they are leafless.

Some people are surprised when red blooms appear among their white, pink or yellow roses. This appearance is due to the stock on which the rose has been budded growing from the base of the plant. It should be removed as it can eventually become more vigorous than the rose budded on it.
Older established Rhodos were often grafted onto Ponticum stock which can send up suckers that will greatly affect the growth of the rhodo above. These Ponticum growths are easily identified by the flowers they produce. Dead heading of Rhodos is a useful exercise as it prevents the plant from wasting energy producing seed. Smaller plants can be easily dead headed by hand, but the spent flower head should be carefully removed so as not to damage the new shoots which are just beneath the flower spike.

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