About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Winter Plant Report with Eugene

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

After the harsh winter months a lot of our gardens are looking a bit worse for wear.

Never fear! Eugene Higgins is on hand with his plant report and diagnosis!

Plants that did badly this year

1. Cordylines

Diagnosis: There are thousands looking very sad around Ireland but most should survive.

2. Acacia

Diagnosis: This evergreen tree is looking very sad and most are probably dead

3. Geraniums

Diagnosis: All dead

Plants that are doing badly but will be fine

1. Jasmines

Diagnosis: They are not happy so we will be cutting them back to see how they do. Although they're doing badly after this they should be fine.

2. Escallonia

Diagnosis: A popular hedging plant, the majority of these should be ok.

Plants that are doing well

1. Lavenders

Diagnosis: Looking happy and smart

2. Pittosporum Irene Patterson

Diagnosis: doing surprisingly well, an excellent evergreen that did not get damaged.

Eugene's Tips:

1. It's still too early to assess what's dead, usually by this time of the year we have warmer weather. Carefully scratch the stem of your plant to see if there is life. If it is green under the skin then it should be ok. If there is no sap (i.e. not green) and it is brown this is not a good sign, but work your way down to base just in case.

2. It's not just the frost but the combination of this with the wet ground that can do further damage.

3. Plant Sensitivity - Plants will be helped by planting close to sheltered areas like a wall.

4. Place a frost proof pot over sensitive plants when severe frost is due, but take it off again when the frost has passed as it could cause mildew (plant virus).

5. Old net curtains are great for covering plants during frost.

6. A Max / Min Temp Gauge for the garden will save you lots of money as the temperature varies so much from area to area.

For more information on Eugene:


Blackbanks, 754 Howth Road, Blackbanks, Co. Dublin - 01 832 7047

Hackett Garden Shop, 4 Capel Street, Dublin - 01 873 4911