Q &A








What are adventitious roots? Roots that grow from parts of a plant that are not actual root tissue — often a stem (including underground stems such as rhizomes), and sometimes a leaf. This gives the plant an edge on those with only traditional root systems, increasing its chances of survival because it can be propagated in more than one way. The roots produced by cuttings are adventitious, likewise the tiny plantlets that grow on the fleshy leaves of some succulents. Other examples of plants with adventitious roots include strawberry runners, irises, ivy, orchids and philodendrons. Do violets benefit from fertiliser? Sometimes. They do best grown in partial shade in rich, slightly acidic soil, and once established need little attention apart from a weak dose of liquid fertiliser when plants are flowering. Every few years it’s a good idea to lift, divide and replant violets in compost-enriched soil; once established they can take a frost. The flowers are edible in small quantities, and along with the leaves have medicinal uses. But don’t confuse them with African violets (Streptocarpus) which are not violets at all and shouldn’t be eaten. If you have a gardening question, email Glenys at glenyswoollard@icloud.com