Gardening Q&A: how should I feed my agapanthus?

Horticultural advice from the experts at the RHS
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Question: I have agapanthus growing in my garden and typically they bloom well each year. However this year there is no sign of blooms. Should I feed them and if so with what? I also have a plum tree which I have had for a couple of years and has yet to yield any fruit, while a pear tree of similar vintage has a huge crop this year. Any advice would be grateful received.

Answer: The recent long cold winters have knocked back evergreen types of agapanthus. You may find it useful to protect the crowns of the plants with horticultural fleece in the coldest weather. The thinner leaved deciduous species tend to be better suited to British climates.

In late summer, the flower buds for the following year are formed, so make sure that the plants are well watered at this time in preparation. Finally, flowering may decline after around five years without being divided. April is the best time for this so that the plants have the growing season to recover. In April, apply a general purpose fertiliser such as Vitax Q4.

If your plum tree has only been in the ground for two years, it is may well be establishing itself. Fruit trees normally start cropping well after four years. Plum blossom is a herald of spring, but this rush to appear means that frosts can severely affect blossom. Another possible reason for the lack of crop is that but the plum may need a pollination partner so that the flowering time overlaps. Plums such as ‘Victoria’ and ‘Czar’ are self-fertile, so you just need one tree.

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