Frequently Asked Questions

Transplanting Advice

The best time to transplant larger plants like trees and palms is in Autumn, as soil temperatures are not as low and the plant has time to establish it's root system before the hot summer months where plants need to uptake high amounts of water to cope with high temperatures. The next best time is at the end of winter where again, soil temperatures are not too low and temperatures are not too high yet.

When digging out the plant, dig out as much of the root system as possible without disturbing the root ball. If the plant is being transplanted from a container or bag, tease the roots from top to bottom to aid in root establishment and avoid root curl.

It is best to have the new location hole ready, so you can go straight in to the new hole. If the plant is not going straight into a new hole, keep the root system damp.

Ensure the hole is wider than the root ball of the plant, and only as deep as the root ball of the plant.

Place the plant into the new hole and fill with soil. 

Compact the freshly filled in hole to help anchor the transplanted plant. If the root system was quite narrow and the plant is top heavy, you may need to stake the plant for a few months until the plant establishes itself.

Water the plant in very well.

Once the plant is watered, mulch to a thickness of 50mm to 100mm without mulch touching the stem of the plant. This will act as a weed suppressant and aid in water retention. 

Water the plant daily for the first 4-6 weeks to help establish the tree. 

Applying a solution of Seasol or Seachange weekly for the first few weeks will help reduce stress to the plant and aid in establishment. The benefit of using Seachange over Seasol, is that Seachange has a more complex mixture of rich nutrients including the Nitrogen, which Seasol does not contain. 

Some additional suggestions for your garden:

When planting, amend the existing soil with Active 8 soil improver to both enrich the soil with nutrients and to maintain moisture and nutrients in the existing sandy soil; as well as coir, up to maximum 20% of soil volume around plant, to maintain moisture and nutrients around plant

Fertilise existing plants with a combination of liquid Sea Change and water soluble Flower Power. This will improve plant health, appearance and promote a mass of flowers on flowering species and enrich colour on foliage plants. This is a very cost effective and very easy to apply fertiliser. This is an excellent fertiliser combination for all your plants on an ongoing basis and will help your gardens look their best. This solution can be applied fortnightly during flowering season, and as little as monthly or seasonally during non-flowering times. Being natural fertilisers, these can even be used on your herbs and vegetables.

* Sea Change 20ltr containers $132.00 - 5ltr containers $49.50 - 1ltr containers $18.65

* Flower power is available in small containers at $12.

Apply Diatomaceous Earth to the gardens before mulching or applying coir. A completely natural product that benefits your soil and plants increasing retention of water and nutrients, especially phosphorus, resulting in stronger root systems; the silica gives your plants a higher resistance to disease and plants are generally more robust. You will only need approximately 1 x 25kg bags to treat all your garden beds, and only needs doing twice a year. Also a fantastic product for lawns.

* Diatomaceous Earth is available in 25kg bags for $38.50.

Apply Dolomite to your gardens before mulching or applying coir. The benefits to your soil and plants are the addition of calcium and magnesium reducing acidity and restoring ph balance. Our soils become acidic over time as a result of the soils organic matter breaking down, and in high rainfall areas like the Sunshine Coast. It also improves fertiliser efficiency by helping plants uptake the nutrients in the soil. You will only need approximately 1 x 21kg bags to treat all your garden beds. This only needs to be applied twice a year.

* Dolomite is available in 21kg bags for $12.00.

Use coir on your gardens as a mulch and in the soil when planting in sandy soil. This will retain moisture around plants, as well as nutrients when applied as a liquid fertiliser. It will also assist plants by regulating soil temperature, and inhibit weeds. Coir is an extremely cost effective mulch, as one block will cover 3 square metres. Using coir will save you money as it will save you watering as much and retain more nutrients for your plants to use.

* Coir block are available at $8.80 per block. 10% off for 10 blocks or more.

 

Pandanus

Anne

I have been advised to email you regarding our pandanus which appears to be unhealthy. We have noticed all the new growth appears to be dying and would appreciate some expert advice on the possible cause of the problem. We are located at Peregian Beach and the pandanus is next to our swimming pool. Many thanks for your time.

Your palm could be suffering from a severe case of Leaf Hopper infestation. I can't see too well from the images, but if you inspect the affected areas closely and notice a black sooty mould and slight white dusting, then that will confirm the pest infection. The three heads shown in the photos are heavily rotted and the browned off foliage will need to be removed. It is possible for the Pandanus to produce new shoots where the head has rotted away, though this is not always the case. Treatment - Using a pump up 5-15lt spray pack, spray foliage and root system with Surefire 'Spectrum 200SC' combined with seaweed solution Seachange. Dosage will depend on spray pack size. Both these products are available for purchase at ePlants. For more information on Pandnaus, please visit our Pandanus Care page.

 

 

 

Dayle

I have a customer with a sick pandanus after looking at your web site I think it needs some attention. 2/3 of the plant is healthy and heavily fruited it's just a couple of branches that have die back, and it looks like a black soot or fungus at the base of some leaves. Some leaves have orange spots that I think might be bugs, your advise would be appreciated. Dayle.

Thank you for your enquiry. The Pandanus looks like a really nice mature specimen, though as you say there does appear to be signs of a bug present. The yellow/orange spots and black sooty mould are consistent with Pandanus Leaf-Hopper or Jamella Australiae. Treat with an application of Imidacloprid, ePlants recommends Surefire SPECTRUM 200SC, combined with a seaweed solution such as Seachange. Apply using a pump up spray pack, spray all foliage and the root zone. Both these products are available for purchase at ePlants. For more information view our Pandanus Care page.

 

 

 

Emma

Hoping you can help provide some assistance and advice on how to save our beloved Pandanus tree. We discovered that we had the leaf hopper bug a few weeks back and had to remove a major limb. We had confidor injections carried out as well as conducting a confidor spray. We had hoped that this may protect the rest of the tree. It now appears as per my photo that main head of the tree is now struggling dueto this pest. I look forward to hearing from you as to what the next course of action may be.

 

Unfortunately Confidor applications are the best measure to treat this pest and I can only suggest another application. We do have a product available called Superway Imidacloprid (1lt $88). It is 4 times stronger than Confidor and may prove more effective. Other than another chemical application, I can suggest removing the browning, discoloured foliage where possible. I hope you find this information helpful. For more information please visit our Pandanus Care page.

Cycads

Daniel

I have this problem with all the cycads in this particular garden. New growth starts out clean but slowly turns bad. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

 

Thank you for your enquiry. There doesn't appear to be any pest or disease present after viewing the photos. Perhaps a little scale, but nothing that can cause that damage. Cut back all foliage and apply a slow release fertiliser to treat any possible nutrient deficiency. The slight yellowing of the foliage is consistent with nitrogen and phosphate deficiency. Also check the drainage of the soil (the heavy leaf litter may be hindering the drainage), as cycads thrive in well draining soil, and do not enjoy heavy soils or wet feet. (Foliage will brown off and dead patches will appear from root rot). If you're happy with the soil, clear away the leaf litter to further improve drainage. If the soil is heavy and drainage is poor, re-plant cycad with fresh potting mix laid in hole for improved soil drainage. 

Jordan

Hi can you please help me fix the problem I have with my Cycads. I have been spraying with the eco-oil I bought from you but these just keep eating all of the foliage.

 

Thank you for your enquiry. The grub you have on your cycad foliage is the larvae of the purple moths you may have seen flying around your cycads in recent weeks. Once hatched these larvae can do considerable damage in a short period of time, spraying with Confidor and eco-oil will eventually get rid of them, but they will still chew through the foliage before they ingest the chemical. The only way to stop this from occurring is by spraying the moth with bug spray when it appears. Moths do not ingest anything, so usual plant chemical sprays are ineffective. I hope you find this information helpful.

Fungal

Chris

Could you please help! We have a tall bamboo palm in a pot inside. Over the last several months it has been dropping a fine sticky substance on the floor beneath it. Also the fronds are sticky. I read online that it is most likely scale and very hard to get rid of. Could you please advise if that’s what you think it might be and what is the best chemical to use on it. Systemic would be good as I can’t see any evidence of bugs. The plant just about touches the ceiling and has been with us for a long while. There does not appear to be any other evidence of bugs, no lumps or bumps on the leaves or discolouration, but I notice that I have needed to cut off more yellowing fronds that I remember doing in the past. I was hoping that is just due to winter. Thank you for your help.

 

Going off what you've told me, it could be number of bugs causing this sticky substance and all can be treated with regular spraying of Confidor. Apply with a pump up spray pack, making sure to spray the top and underside of the foliage. ePlants has soluble Confidor available for $27.50. It is also possible that your palm could be infested with the Bora grub, in which case you will need to immediately remove the damaged trunks to avoid further infestation to your plant. I hope you find this information helpful.

Caroline

We spoke to you this morning about some of our palms which have died very quickly in the last few weeks. The problem started in a triple Alexander palm and is now progressing to several of the Golden Canes around it which are touched by the dying palm. John found a large caterpillar on one of the fronds of the Golden Canes, but we are not sure if it is the cause of the problem. We are having the dead ones removed and taken away tomorrow but are worried that the problem will continue through the rest of the palms. Have you seen anything like this before? Is there anything else you can recommend we do?

I cannot be certain without inspecting the site in person, though it appears your palms may be suffering severely from a Bora infection. Bora is a pest, that can target large trees or palms. It lays its eggs in the trunk, and the hatched grab will feed on the trunk from the inside. Bora can also trigger fungal disease in the plants, which can cause rotting and in your case completely killing the plant. Removal of the dead palms and trunks is definitely the best approach. To ensure the surrounding plants are protected as well you must spray all the foliage and ground with a strong insecticide. ePlants recommends using SUPERWAY IMIDACLOPRID in a pump up spray pack, as this product is much stronger than other Imidacloprid products such as Confidor or Conguard. These products are available for purchase at ePlants. I hope you find this information helpful.

 

 

 

Stuart

Hi guys I have got this popping up in a garden we did and I have no idea what it is. Not sure if it's the mulch or it's something else. HELP HELP HELP HELP

 

This is a very cool looking mould called, 'Dog Vomit Slime Mould'. Common in moist organic mulches, but don't be alarmed, it isn't harmful to the plants. There are ways to eradicate it chemically, though the best solution is removing it with a shovel and raking out the area where it popped up. I hope this information is helpful.   

Colin

I was just speaking with your office today who asked me to forward some pictures of our Bamboo – see five pictures attached. As you can see, the bamboo is not well! It has black coloring around the trunk, with stalks where leaves should be. This bamboo is watered 3 times a week from an underground water bore (for about 5 minutes). All the other plants on this water system are thriving. We have other bamboo at our place (Kawana, Sunshine Coast) that is growing really well – it is green and thick and looks really healthy. If you have any thoughts as to the problems with this particular bamboo we would be grateful.

Thank you for your enquiry and the images. Based on what I can see, it appears the bamboo are suffering from a fungal disease. Best treatment would be to first remove the affected foliage by pruning the diseased shoots at the base. Once these shoots are removed, using a pump up sprayer, apply a fungicide such as Wettable Sulphur or Mancozeb, using recommended dosage. It is always beneficial to include liquid nutrition in these applications, such as Seachange or Seasol. All products are available for purchase at ePlants. New shoots should come through in the following weeks after treatment. If Fungal disease persists, it may be the that the soil is contaminated and you may need to condition the garden bed. I hope you find this information helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leanne

Hi. I'm hoping you would be able to provide some advice on a pandanus at our place at Peregian. A section of the trunk has lost its bark and is very soft. Other parts of the trunk are also very soft to touch. I've attached some photos.

Thank you for your enquiry. It appears from the photos you've sent through that we're dealing with a Dracaena, not a Pandanus. The Dracaena looks to be suffering from a fungal disease, causing extensive rotting throughout the trunk. Unfortunately the trunk/branch that is showing the signs of rotting will have to be removed. The damage is too extensive and this part of the plant will not recover. Cut off the trunk/branch from the base of the plant. Check the remaining branches for signs of rotting or disease. If they are present, cut the branch below the point of rotting. Apply Blood and Bone to the the soil surrounding the plant. Dracaena's do not require much nutrition, though they respond well to organic fertilising, especially after pruning. I hope you find this information helpful.

 

 

 

Glen

Hi, can you please tell me what the black spot is on our Yucca's and how we can get rid of it????

 

The black spot on your Yucca's is a fungal disease common among the species in our area, as a result of our high humidity. It can be treated with a copper based fungicide such as, Mancozeb or Wettable Sulphur. Unfortunately it will continue to occur unless the application of fungicide is consistently regular. The easiest solution will be to simply strip away the old, marked foliaged, from the trunk. This will remove the black spot and give your plant a much cleaner, healthier appearance. I hope you find this information helpful.

Nutrition

Merope

Hi, I have Gardenia's dropping leaves and yellowing off, see photos. Can you please tell me what the problem may be? Much appreciated.

Your gardenias could be suffering from one or two things. Firstly the yellowing and browning of the foliage is consistent with a nutrient deficiency, particularly Phosphate and Nitrogen. To treat this, apply a small handful of ePlants 'The Secret' all purpose fertiliser and with a watering can, water in an application of Seachange and soluble 'Instant Greener' fertiliser. For best results continue the watering can application of Seachange and Instant Greener on a fortnightly basis. It could also be that your soil is too alkaline for the Gardenias. Test your soil pH with an easy to use Soil Test Kit, and if it is above 6 pH add some powdered sulphate to increase acidity. It is also worth mentioning that during this spring period, Gardenias put out a lot of their energy into flowering, often to the detriment of the foliage. You may find that with a light prune after flowering, your Gardenias will come back with new lush foliage. Please visit our pages on Deficiencies for more information. hope this information is helpful.

 

 

 

Libby
Hi, I am a local Doonan resident and I have a sickly Foxtail palm that I was hoping you could direct me with.  I have four of the same aged palms in a row, yet the other three seem to be all fine. I have attached photos for your viewing and I'm hoping you could let me know how to correctly treat this one palm. It is still growing, just very slowly. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Hi Libby, thank you for your enquiry. Fortunately this doesn't appear to be a pest or disease problem, simply a matter of nutrition.  All four palms are looking malnourished, with the last/smallest being the worst affected. They're planted directly into turf, which could be a cause to the lack of nutrients available to the palms. I would suggest digging out the turf around the base of each palm,  perhaps 30cm out from the trunk. Then a handful of Blood and Bone with Dolomite spread evenly around the trunk. Mulch with Coir and combine this with a fortnightly liquid feeding of Seachange. It is not the best time of year for fertilising, as plants find it difficult to properly receive nutrients in cooler temperatures. Once the weather warms up closer to Spring you should have some much healthier palms in your garden.

All Products suggested are available for purchase at ePlants. I hope you find this information helpful.

 

 

 

 

Robert
Our fern has lost it's size and the foliage isn't staying upright. What can we do to get it back to full health?

 

The plant is called a Silver Lady Fern, Blechnum Gibbum. It does appear to be looking deteriorated and unhappy, don't be alarmed as this plant should easily recover. Trim away the wilted outer foliage, leaving the middle new foliage. It looks very dry, you will need to water once daily until it establishes it's root system and can handle dry periods. To really ensure this plant thrives, dig it out and replant with some garden soil or potting mix. The soil it's in looks very sandy and would hold no nutrient or water. Coir mulch and manure is an excellent combination for sandy soils. I hope you find this information helpful.

Chris

This plant is less than a year old and this is really it's first summer. As soon as the leaves come out they fade and go yellow. There doesn't appear to be any rust or mites on the leaves. They are just fading and finish up as you can see. It gets about 4 hours of direct sun I think. Can you help? Thanks so much.

The Yellowing/discolouring of the foliage is consistent with a nutrient deficiency, possibly Iron or Magnesium. I would suggest applying an all purpose granular fertiliser, mixed with some organic matter such as, Blood and Bone or Manure. It may also help to move this plant into more direct sunlight, as they are a full sun variety. I hope you find this information helpful.

 

 

 

Michael

I've noticed leaf curling with browning/yellowing tips on my large bromeliad, is it dying?

Thank you for your enquiry and for sending through the images. The Brom looks to be in good health and looks fantastic in the big pot. The leaf curling is nothing to be alarmed about, and is fairly normal in a plant of this maturity. I've noticed that the planting mix is damp. These large Bromeliads like a dry coarse mix of soil with plenty of aeration. Refrain from watering the soil in the pot. The Brom should only need a good drink in the centre throat once a week. If you do see a rapid decline in health, I would suggest replanting the Brom with some large bark mix, mixed in with the soil. This will provide much needed aeration for the roots, and let any moisture drain away.

 

 

 

Matthew

As discussed earlier on the phone please see attached photos of the plant that is dying. I believe it is a westringia. It is approximately 5 years old and this type of plant seems to be dying in various places within the complex and right next door to healthy versions! Can you please give me some advice on what can be done to bring them back or do they just have a life span and die?

It is difficult to say what the issue is without viewing the plant closely, it does appear to be a Westringia though. I cannot see any sign of pest or disease on the plant, so I am unable provide a solution for that. Other possibilities are poor soil, the plant may have been malnourished. The heavy rain we received may have also been a factor as these plants do not enjoy wet feet. Drainage may have been slow and the plant could have suffered from root rot. It is highly unlikely this plant will be able to be brought back to a healthy specimen. The best solution I can offer will be complete removal of the plant/roots, and re-planting the same or another species of your choice.