Thursday 26 February 2015

Livening-up the Libertia

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:

My Libertia bush is slowly but surely getting bigger.

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.

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.

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!


  1. This isn't a plant that I haven't cine across

  2. Good news about the bird box, they can be a little picky at first I believe. The foliage is lovely on your plant as are the flowers.

  3. I don't have libertia but my crocosmia needs the same treatment at the moment. Its new leaves are starting to grow so I need to clear away the old dead ones. Brilliant news about your bird box, fingers crossed that they take up residence. I've had a bird box in the garden for ages, so long in fact that it's recently fallen apart, yet it never had one taker. I've recently bought a new one so I shall think of a new place to site it and hope for the best with this one.

  4. Libertia are a lovely genus, have you seen the gold leaved varieties? Great news about the bird box, fingers crossed, the birds are certainly singing earlier and earlier in the mornings up here.


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