my swan plant survive?
year I plant a small swan plant to provide amusement and education
for my grandchildren - and I love watching the monarch butterflies
and caterpillars myself. Most years they only last a few months
before the leaves are all eaten, but last summer the plant grew
to the size of a young tree. It was covered in caterpillars and
chrysalises, then the seed pods split and my lawn and garden were
covered with white fluff. What should I do? Cut down the tree and
plant another little swan plant next year or wait and see what happens?
on the severity of winter and how free-draining your soil is, the
swan plant may die off completely. So it's best to wait until warmer
spring weather has arrived then, if it has survived, prune it back
to encourage strong new growth.
You'll almost certainly
also find some of the seeds that were shed among the fluffy white
stuff you describe will germinate and you'll end up with young swan
plants coming up around the garden next spring. You can dig these
up and move them to a more appropriate place where or leave them
Gardener, Issue 176, 2005, Page 34
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.