Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need special fertilisers for native plants?

Native plants require a low phosphorus level, naturally in the environment in Australia Phosphorus is lacking, if you apply a normal feed to native plants, especially in spring, summer or autumn it is likely that this could kill or harm the plant. There are special native fertilisers that we have in stock and if unsure always consult the label, fertilisers that do not state they are safe on natives should not be used.

2. Do I need to use wetting agents?


Wetting agents will increase the water holding capacity of your soils. They will also help with re-wetting of dry soil and reduce or stop runoff during hot weather. 

Wetting agents can be applied in granular form or as a liquid. Liquids are best for established gardens as they will penetrate soils deeper than granular agents. We recommend using granular wetting agents on lawns, in pots and when planting new plants. 

We have a range of organic and inorganic wetting agents in our stores. 

3. Do palms need a special fertiliser?

Palms require low level feeds, a special palm blend is best to avoiding burning or damaging root systems. If too much feed is applied to palm they have been known to die back. Little and often is best. We stock palm feeds and palm suitable feeds in all our stores.

4. Do Waldecks offer a plant guarantee?

Of course, we grow a large number of our own plants here in Perth and believe that all our stock is of a very high standard. If for any reason your plant fails within the first 12 months of its life bring it and the receipt into your nearest store and we will happily replace it free of charge.

5. Do you deliver?

We offer delivery to all metro areas, delivery costs vary depending on items and distance, delivery cost is available in store once items to be delivered are selected usually $50-$70. Heavy items require two people and will incur an extra charge. Delivery to outside of metro area is available but at an extra cost. Delivery is done through a third party on most occasions.

6. How do I compost?

Composting is the best way to recycle and re-use all of the wonderful nutrients that your plants give you once they have finished fruiting and flowering.

  • Start by using an old bin, tub or barrel making sure one end can be accessed easily whilst ensuring the other end has air holes so that your compost can breath
  • Now add a mixture of waste to your compost bin - it is important to not just chuck grass cuttings into your composter - these won't break down on their own. A mix of soft cuttings (like grass) and stick/woody (small) cuttings about 60/40 will do. This will allow air to move between the garden waste and an aerobic environment to be created. 
  • Keep your compost damp - not WET! You want life to live not be drowned, a bucket of water once a week in summer will be more than enough. 
  • Turn your compost every 2-3 months with a fork, this will pull the top layer down to the worms, insects and bacteria. 
  • Once a year empty your composter out and spread the beautiful dark soil around your garden or veggie patch. 

7. How do I control blackfly on plants?

Blackfly are a common problem, particularly during autumn, spring and summer. They can take over a whole plant in a matter of days if conditions are right. There are ways of avoiding plagues of these sap sucking insects, always avoid applying large volumes of nitrogen rich fertilisers. Plants that have been fed a lot of nitrogen secrete sugars that attract sucking insects. If you have an infestation there are organic and inorganic ways of treating them with simple spray on pesticides. Pop in store and a member of staff will tell you more about the products we have on offer.

8. How do I control greenfly on plants?

Greenfly are a common problem, particularly during autumn, spring and summer. They can take over a whole plant in a matter of days if conditions are right. There are ways of avoiding plagues of these sap sucking insects, always avoid applying large volumes of nitrogen rich fertilisers. Plants that have been fed a lot of nitrogen secrete sugars that attract sucking insects. If you have an infestation there are organic and inorganic ways of treating them with simple spray on pesticides. Pop in store and a member of staff will tell you more about the products we have on offer.

9. How do I control scale?

Scale can be a real problem on certain plants, it can smother braches and leaves and take over a whole plant in a few weeks. It is unsightly and often hard to get rid of once set in, applying a good insecticide up to 3 times a week during the worst of an infection is the best remedy. Cutting off really invasive infections can also prove useful in the fight against scale. We stock a range of products aimed at killing off scale, please ask a member of staff for advice on which product to choose.

10. How do I grow great Tomatoes?

  • Soil preparation is key - add a good soil conditioner and plenty of well rotted manure to the ground before planting
  • Space - Space your plants well - allow at least 1m x 1m of space between plants to allow for maximum light and air exposure
  • Feed - Tomato plants are hungry, feed regularly and add a liquid or granular potash every fortnight once flowering starts
  • Water - Water your plants at least twice a week - water the roots only, deep slow watering is best - tomatoes hate having wet leaves
  • Train - grow your tomatoes up canes and prune out young shoots that emerge from nodes along the stem - doing this allows light in and air to move around freely

11. How do you care for a decorative screen?

Our decorative and privacy screens require seasonal maintenance, we recommend that twice a year they are oiled using cabbotts Aqua Deck oil. The screens will need to be rubbed down prior to application, as many as 3 coats of oil will be required to protect the wood from the elements. If you can it is recommended that you remove the screens from your wall or fence and lay them flat in the oil so that it can soak in over a night. Failure to re-oil screens will lead to fading and eventually damage to the wood.

12. How easy is it to install a vertical garden?

Vertical gardening is taking off, houses have less room that every before around them and up is the way to go! Vertical gardening is very simple, we sell a number of different modules and systems to suit different tastes. Some of the systems are very simple to install and maintain whilst others require a little more structural and irrigation planning. If you have a wall then you can have a wall garden, we do kits that are as simple as just add plants and go. We can make wall garden units to suit certain spaces and have been involved in a number of projects around Perth in display homes and private homes. Please see in store for products and more information on getting your very own wall garden.

13. How often should I water my plants?

During the growing season which runs from September through to May there is a weekly watering limit of just twice a week. For established plants this will be more than adequate, for younger plants you will need other measures in place to ensure survival. Soil improvement is the biggest must before any planting takes place, if you get this right your plants will grow through the summer months no trouble at all. In addition, hand watering through the hotter months in late evening will be most effective, especially for annual plants, vegetables and herbs. Avoiding adding too much feed over the summer months, lots of new, soft growth will increase water uptake and increase stress to your plants.

14. I have fruit fly in my oranges, is there anything to stop them?

Fruit fly can be a real problem pest and outbreaks of them often effect fruits in Perth. It is always best to act early with fruit fly, as soon as your tree has finished flowering and the fruits have begun to set is it worth putting up an eco-fruit fly trap. These traps have a pheromone that attracts female fruit flies, as soon as you notice fruit flies appearing on this you will need to hang up a product call Eco-Natralure. This product is pheromone based and will attract all female fruit flies to it, they fall into the trap and drown in the sticky liquid. This stops them from laying eggs in fruits on your trees and will result in less of a fruit loss.

15. I have plants with holes in the leaves, what is doing this and can I treat it?

Holes in the leaves of plant usually indicates a chewing insect like caterpillars, we have a number of pesticides that are systemic and can also be used as a foliar spray to kill chewing insects. Be sure to have a good look under leaves when holes appear and in dark places, caterpillars tend to stay close to their food source.

16. I want to use organic and environmentally friendly products in my garden, do you stock these?

We pride ourselves in offering a large range of certified organic and environmentally sustainable products. To see our range please visit one of our stores and speak to a member of staff.

17. Is mulching important? Why?

Mulching is extremely important, our summers are not very forgiving with temperatures in the mid 30’s for months at a time. Mulching protects your soils from damaging UV rays, winds and most importantly slows the drying process, which in turn saves you water. Mulching also provides a habitat for fungi, bacteria and insects and over time rots down to form a humus rich surface layer.

18. Is pot size important?

Yes - in short getting a pot big enough to give your plant a reservoir of water and nutrients is vital to it's success. Always select a pot that is at least twice the size of the pot your plant came in - pot into a premium potting mix (remember your plant is not in the ground so it needs everything to grow in the potting mix). Keep your plant well watered and feed during the growing season. 

19. Is there a permanent fix for sandy soil?

Sandy soils require a large carbon input, clay and many other minerals. To fix a sandy soil we would recommend soil solver with a wetting agent that is unlikely to run through the soil, with this a crushed carbon (coal dust) or a good organic granular feed such as Eco Prime Garden. In addition adding a fine mulch or compost will give added organic matter and water holding capacity to your soil. Over time there will always be a loss of matter from the soils as plants grow and use up available nutrients and humus. Remember to add to your soil after every crop rotation.

20. My plants have leaves with green veins and yellow leaves what’s wrong?

The plant is most probably suffering from an Iron deficiency, this is common in Perth’s sandy soils. Symptoms usually include veins that haven’t faded from green to yellow with the rest of the leaf turning yellow. In more unusual cases leaves have been known to turn white and drop. Iron deficiency affects a wide range of plants including roses, camellias, gardenias, jasmine, hibiscus, citrus and fruiting trees such as mangos and avocados. Treat Iron deficiency with a good trace element mix or Iron Chelates. Always read the label for correct dosage instructions.

21. My soil is very sandy what can I do to make it hold more water?

Perth’s soils hold very little water and are often hydrophobic (meaning they repel water) which can be a real problem when trying to get water deep to your plants roots. We would recommend that soil preparation take place before any planting. There is a product called soil solver, it is clay based with a mixed mineral and volcanic content, this product offers a one off application…you never have to apply it again! The product acts by giving water a surface to cling to, by doing so you remove hydrophobic conditions and allow water to get down to your plants roots. This saves water and reducing the need for frequent watering.

22. What are the best trees for a small garden?

Trees that are best suited to small garden tend to be grown on dwarfing root stocks, this will stop what would otherwise be very aggressive trees from growing out of control. Looking for trees that have a conical shape (narrow and pointed) will also give you plenty of room to plant around and underneath. Smaller bush like trees will normally give you enough height and width to look like a larger tree without the invasive roots and annual growth you would expect from a large tree. Please ask a member of staff in store to show you the different options we have in stock.

23. What are your opening hours?

We are open 8.30 – 5.00 pm 7 days a week during the winter and 8.30 – 5.00 pm during the summer. We are not open Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Public holidays vary throughout the year, please ring for hours.

24. What can I put in my composter?

Please see our fact sheet about composting for a comprehensive list of what to and not to put in your composter for best results in the learn section of the website.

25. What do Waldecks have to offer that other retailers don’t?

Waldecks know gardens best, we have a team of knowledgeable staff that are enthusiastic about gardening and plants. Local knowledge is key. We offer a free carry out service to your car and can give advice and guidance on garden planning and planting, soil preparation and disease and pest control. Why not pay us a visit!

26. What fruiting plants do best in Perth?

Where do we start, there are loads of different fruiting plants that suit Perth’s climate; Figs, grapes, olives, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, avocadoes, mangos, passionfruit, strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, water melons, melons, pineapples, nectarines, plums, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, pomegranates. Please see in store for seasonal availability.

27. What plants are best for my pond?

Ponds, like gardens have different planting levels. Plants like lilies need a fairly deep position where they get full sun and little water movement, whilst a penny wort only need to have wet feet in a marginal environment to do well. We stock a large range of aquatic plants at our Stirling store and would recommend viewing the plants and depth ranges in store.

28. What plants are best suited to an indoor environment?

Always look for dark foliage when it comes around to indoor plants, the darker the foliage in general the less light that plant will require. Some of the best indoor plants are aspidistra (also known as Cast Iron Plant), Philodendrons like Rojo Congo, Congo and Xanadu, Radermachera (china Doll), Dracaena, Ficus including Ficus Lyrata, Spathiphyllum, Cholrophytum (spider plant) and Zamioclucas (zz plant). Remember that all indoor plants require very little water over winter months, and it’s better to be on the dry side rather than wet. If plants are left to sit on water whether in a saucer on in wet soil they can lose leaves and in some cases leaves will turn brown or black spots may form.

29. What plants are best suited to vertical gardens?

Vertical gardening is a little different to the gardening most people know and understand. The main constraint is the size of the pot you are planting into, this must always be taken into account when installing a vertical wall garden. The plants you plant in your wall garden must be fed more regularly than those in your garden, a regular supply of water must be available all year round. The position of the wall garden will effect what plants you can have in it. If you have a wall garden on a South facing wall you could consider planting with softer leaved plants like ferns, herbs, vegetables, flowers and annuals. If you have a North facing wall then succulents and cacti are the safest option and will give the best results. East and West facing walls can have a broader mix of planting as they will receive morning or afternoon sun and not both. Please ask a member of staff for further advice on your wall garden and planting.

30. What plants are suitable for shaded areas?

A number of plants grow well under shaded areas and trees, the main factors to remember are a lack of light and competition from roots. Some plants that are suitable for shade are; Philodondron Xanadu, Lomandras, ivy, sanseveria, grevilleas, coprosma, native violets, succulents, cacti, azaleas and camellias, nandina and star jasmine.

31. What plants best suit Perth?

Perth is spoilt for choice when it comes around to trees, being a temperate Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers a good mix of deciduous and sub-tropical trees can be grown successfully in our soils. Please ask a member of staff in store for specific trees in specific locations as all trees require different conditions.

Some plants that are appropriate for the Perth climate are:

  1. Frangipani
  2. Crepe Myrtle
  3. All Natives
  4. Jacaranda
  5. Willow Myrtle
  6. Ficus Lyrata
  7. Ficus (all)
  8. Green pencil pine
  9. Blue pencil pine
  10. Leyland cypress
  11. Dragon tree
  12. Juniper
  13. Yucca
  14. Mango
  15. Avocado
  16. Prunus (limited varieties)
  17. Bay leaf
  18. Evergreen ash
  19. Golden flame
  20. Pride of Bolivia
  21. London plane tree
  22. Viburnum (most)
  23. Olives
  24. Citrus (all)
  25. Figs
  26. Guava
  27. PawPaw

32. What veg at what time of year?

Vegetables grow well at different times of the year, cabbage does well in winter whilst tomatoes do well in the summer. For a full list of planting times and seasons see a member of staff in store.

33. When is the best time to apply feed to my plants?

Fertilisers should only really be applied to support peak growth periods, this tends to be early spring for most plants when the days get longer and the sun intensifies. Again autumn is often a big growing point for many plants. A number of plants will respond well to smaller, regular feeds throughout the year, plants like roses, vegetables and herbs do well when fed small, regular doses. Remember, feeding during the hotter months will increase water demand and increase stress on plants, even reducing fruiting.

34. When should I prune my citrus trees?

Pruning citrus trees has always been a contested requirement, many argue that it is never needed and indeed if you never prune you citrus tree you will still receive plenty of fruit annually, however you may find your tree is too big to reach the best looking fruits. So the best time to prune a citrus tree is during late winter and into early spring, immediately after harvest and before new flowering and fruiting begins. Doing any pruning at this time is best because during late spring your citrus tree will be flowering and producing next season’s crop. Always be sure to take no more off that is needed, pruning a citrus tree back hard is not good for growth or fruit and in some rare cases can actually lead to the death of the tree. A light prune every spring is recommend until you get to the desired shape and form you want your tree to be.

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