Monty Don gives Gardeners’ World viewers warning about plant ‘Wrap them!’

Gardeners' World: Monty warns of 'covering roots' with Knautia

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Popular horticulturist and star of Gardeners’ World, Monty Don is admired by viewers for his expert tips on growing all kinds of plants. The guru on all things outdoors has BBC staple since 2003. He has built up a strong fan base of both seasoned and novice gardeners who look to the nature guru for tips on how to keep their garden thriving. He took over the popular show from broadcaster and gardener Alan Titchmarsh and has been a firm favourite with viewers ever since. In Friday’s episode, the 66-year-old talked viewers through planting Knautia, but made it clear that despite being strong, the flowers had to be wrapped.

Although September is approaching, Monty wanted to show gardeners how they can prepare for next spring now by taking parts of their favourite flowers.

He provided a step-by-step guide using Knautia, explaining: “I want to divide this up into as many pieces I can.”

The writer continued: “And then I will pot them up, grow them on and plant them out next spring. And this time of year is perfect, there’s warmth in air, and there’s still a chance for the roots to get established once you’ve divided it.

“Now, the first thing to do is cut off all the top growth.”

Monty demonstrated the easiest way to do this, adding: “That goes on the compost.”

He showed those watching at home how vegetation which had become tangled can be separated to form separate flowers.

“The roots are entwined,” he detailed. “So if I get my knife out and cut that, I can make two plants out of this.”

He continued: “I’ve now got two good plants, an you can see these finer roots are the ones that I want to carefully preserve.”

Next came an important warning for those not familiar with the plant to take on board.

“It’s worth pointing out that although Knautia is very tough, as a rule, you do not want to let these dry out.

“And if you’ve got to delay in planting them, cover them.

“Wrap them in hessian or a piece of newspaper or plastic or whatever you’ve got.

“But get on with it, is the best plan,” Monty instructed those watching on the best way to secure their Knautia.”

The lead Gardeners’ World presenter went on: “This is a compost mix actually, with added grit because Knautia likes really good drainage.

“Well you get the idea, take a plant that is doing really well in your garden, and gives you a lot of pleasure, lift it now and then divide it up as best you can.

“Now, obviously with Knautia, these are fleshy roots, and if you’re going to divide it you’re going to have to cut it.

“And then they will regrow next year, and come March, you’ll see signs of growth, and there will be good root ready to plant out in April or May.

“And that way, you can really increase the number of your favourite plants that you know are going to thrive in your garden, and it’s also very satisfying.”

Elsewhere in the episode, fans of the show were able to give a tour of their own gardens after last year’s Gardeners’ World Live was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Viewers were able to show off their own garden paradise while providing inspiration for others.

Gardeners’ World airs on Fridays at 8pm on BBC Two.

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