Question time with Brian Kidd

Our horticultural hotshot delves into his inbox and postbag.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 2:55 pm
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 3:56 pm
Carnations in bloom. Picture: Shutterstock

Q: I was in a hurry to dig out my fuchsia plants last autumn. I haven't been well and they are still in my greenhouse but a neighbour has kept them moist. I am better now and want to prune them and get rid of all the dead leaves stem. How hard can I cut them back? DP, Cosham.

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A: Give them a really good shake to get rid of all the dead leaves before you cut them back as hard as you wish. The more they are pruned, the better they will grow – as long as they are fed and watered.

Q: Is it easy to grow the sort of carnations you see in wedding button holes? I would like to grow just a few in my lean-to conservatory. FC, Denmead.

A: Yes, and you’ll be pleased with the results. Greenhouse carnations were popular 50 years ago but not so much these days. I have sent you the address of a very good nurseryman who specialises in these gems.