The Q&A Archives: Container Gardening

Question: I have an extensive container garden with very happy roses, bougainvilla, and even gum trees in big pots, but my nightblooming jasmine keeps producing nice little leaves that just yellow and look ugly and curled amd my scarlett trumpet vine refuses to bloom, my two citrus trees - some sort of tangello-type lose their flowers - so almost no fruit.

Answer: Could be that your plants are responding to too little light and too much moisture. Container grown plants need extra attention because their roots are confined. It's important to keep them well-watered, but not overwatered. You can replant your plants this spring. Use a good commerical potting soil, rather than regular garden soil. Make sure each plant gets enough exposure to the sunshine, and feed with a diluted solution of liquid fertilizer to avoid burning the roots. Citrus trees like really moist soil, but don't like standing water, or waterlogged soils. Citrus appreciate full sunshine, too. If the blossoms are dropping off, they may not be pollinated. Take a cotton swab, or a fine camel's hair brush and "visit" each flower. By transferring pollen from one flower to another, you may convince it to set fruit.

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