Cared-for plant is set on death

Tibouchina is on its last days despite care from Helen Lang

I have mentioned my rather elderly Tibouchina several times, most recently to tell you it looked sickly. Now it is definitely ill, probably dying. Every day there are more yellow leaves, which, when picked off, leave the poor plant looking like some skinny, starving waif, just waiting to die.

It is fairly elderly, but has been well-treated, watered regularly, fertilized (irregularly), put outside in the summer, brought in each fall and put in a sunny window for the winter. But if it has made up its mind to die, die it will, and there is nothing I can do about it.

I should have known something was up when it produced a number of beautiful blooms this fall. This is often a farewell signal, I’ve found, but you always hope not! I am tempted to put it outside where it is much too cold for a house plant, to put it out of its misery, but … oh dear!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s talk about something more practical, such as hanging baskets, which, if they haven’t been brought inside, will surely perish in this icy weather. I watched a man a couple of weeks ago taking down his baskets, to put them in the greenhouse until spring, but most of us don’t have a greenhouse and, since most things will need to be replaced, why not empty them now and plant something else to look attractive during the winter? Mind you, you’ll need to make sure baskets are fastened to their hooks securely, so the winds won’t toss them 10 feet away, to be completely smashed.

Let’s think of plants that might look (fairly) happy when it gets cold. How about winter pansies, (yellow ones show up best) or primula, with small leafed veriegated ivies to trail over the sides. Plant crocus bulbs underneath, to pop out when the cold weather moderates.

Possibly the best idea is to bring them inside into a shed or the garage (unless your spouse strenuously objects) and forget them until next spring. One less thing to worry about when the winds howl around the corners of the house and the water in the pond turns to ice.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 25 years.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria was set for August

Sooke Country Market returns for 25th year

In person market to only feature farmers, opens June 6

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read