Gardening Magazine

Livening-up the Libertia

By Mwillis
I wrote on Tuesday about jobs to do in the garden at this time of year. If you are the owner of a Libertia (or some Libertias), here's yet another task for you - removing the dead leaves.
This is Libertia, which flowers in May, bearing clusters of delicate white flowers on long arching stems:
Livening-up the Libertia
My Libertia bush is slowly but surely getting bigger.
Livening-up the Libertia
Although the foliage is nice enough (and remains green even in Winter), the plant needs a bit of maintenance to retain its vigour. I discovered via a process of Trial and Error that you need to remove the old foliage if you want to get a decent amount of flowers. I reckon "a decent amount" for this plant of mine is now approximately 25 - 30 flower stems.
If you hold back the top (green) foliage you will see that down below there are lots of last year's leaves and flower-stems which have dried up and gone brown. These are the ones that need to be removed.
Livening-up the Libertia
Fortunately removing them is an easy enough task. Grasp each leaf (one at a time, or else it won't work) well down towards its base and tug sharply. It will come out easily.
Livening-up the Libertia
It's not vital to remove every single brown leaf, but getting rid of most of them is desirable.
As a nod to environmental friendliness, I leave a big handful of the dead leaves in a corner of the garden, where birds can take them to use for nesting material.
By the way, it looks as if we may have a pair of Bluetits nesting in the box I made the other day. Certainly they have been going in and out of it, so let's hope they move in permanently!

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