Down to Earth - Dr Satish Narula

Perennials such as gerbera are valued for their single and multiple floret blooms and the colour range at hand is absolutely amazing. Gerbera is not difficult to grow, except for its sensitivity to standing water. Excess moisture at any stage may damage the plant beyond repair. Also, keep a watch on the colour of foliage. If you find the plant too short, compared to all others in the bed, replace it. If the plant is of the same height but with yellowing leaves, add some superphosphate. Get going if you want to be part of the flower shows.

There are tiny, black insects in my chrysanthemum blooms. What are these insects and what should I do to kill these?

Sunil Kumar, Chandigarh

The insects in the chrysanthemum blooms are black aphids. You can use rogor or metasystox — one millilitre dissolved every one litre of water. Repeat the spray after seven days.

I have seen different shapes and sizes of chrysanthemum flowers, but the plant seems to be alike in all cases. What is the reason?

Maninder Kaur, Mohali

All those different chrysanthemum blooms that you have seen belong to different class and varieties. If you observe closely, you will see that there is a difference in foliage among them.

Can different kinds of roses be grafted on one plant? What is the process and how can I learn it? What is the best time to do this?

Savita, Panchkula

The grafting can be done by "T" budding method, which most gardeners are familiar with, and this is the best time for it. But if you want to do this on your own, you may visit my office on any working day after an appointment. It is located on the third floor, Paryavaran Bhawan, Sector 19, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh.

I want to plant geranium in my garden this year. How can it be planted, by seed or cutting?

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