Giant granadilla produces edible fruit
What is this plant and is it edible?
This plant is commonly known as the giant granadilla. Its botanical name is passiflora quadrangularis and it produces large fruit. Like other kinds of passion fruit, each fruit contains numerous seeds surrounded by a thin layer of pulp and can be eaten or turned into a beverage. The skin of the unripe fruit can be thick and tastes bland, but it can be steamed, boiled or stewed in soups or curries.
Wilting lime plant may have unhealthy roots
My lime plant has been healthy for the past few years, but its leaves recently curled up. No new leaves are growing. What is wrong?
Leong Tuck Sum
Is your lime plant grown in a windy area? Constant winds, such as those experienced in a high-rise apartment, can dry a plant out even with regular watering. Grow your lime plant in a protected spot where it will not be as affected by wind, but can still receive the direct sunlight it needs to thrive.
Another reason for the wilting could be an issue with the roots.
Lime plants in general do not grow well in heavy, compacted soils that have poor drainage and aeration. This can cause the roots to develop poorly or die due to constant wet feet.
They thrive in a more “open” growing mix that contains compost and gritty materials such as pumice and fine expanded clay pellets.
Shrub is the gardenia plant
My plant, which has fragrant white flowers, has many buds but sheds them before opening. What is the name of the plant and what is wrong with it?
The plant is a species or cultivar of gardenia, which grows as a shrub that produces scented white flowers and does best in a sunny location. The buds may have been aborted due to a water issue. Ensure that your plant is grown in a well-drained site and that its roots are kept moist at all times. Wet feet or excessive drying of the plant can cause the plant to abort its buds.
Fiddle-leaf fig needs sunlight
My plant is shedding leaves on a daily basis. What is wrong? I keep it indoors.
The fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is generally not a shade-tolerant plant. It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight a day, which is why large specimens of this plant are often grown in parks and gardens outdoors.
It can adapt to filtered sunlight, but will decline if it is grown in deep indoor shade. Under low light, plants tend to grow very slowly, become more prone to pests and diseases, and shed their leaves.
If your plant is still alive, move it to a sunny spot such as your balcony or corridor.
Custard apple suffering from nutrient deficiency
I grew this custard apple tree from the seed of a large fruit bought from the supermarket . It is probably two or three years old, but has not fruited and its leaves are yellowing. What is wrong?
Ng Lee Beng
The older leaves are chlorotic in appearance, which is a sign that the tree is deficient in nutrients such as nitrogen, magnesium or both.
Ensure that your soil is well-drained and aerated for the development of a healthy root system. Mulch the base with good-quality compost or leaf litter. You may want to test your soil pH level, which should be slightly acidic – from about six to seven – in order for the tree to thrive.
Feed the tree with a chemical fertiliser with water-soluble nitrogen and magnesium to ensure its nutritional needs are met. Do not over-fertilise it with a flowering fertiliser, as these tend to contain more potassium, which can interfere with magnesium intake.
- Answers by Dr Wilson Wong, an NParks-certified practising horticulturist, parks manager and ISA-certified arborist. He is the founder of Green Culture Singapore and an adjunct assistant professor (Food Science & Technology) at the National University of Singapore.
- Have a gardening query? E-mail it with clear, high-resolution pictures of at least 1MB, if any, and your full name to stlife@ sph.com.sg. We reserve the right to edit and reject questions.