Suggestions for nurturing New Zealand herbs in the UK

It’s been hot, it’s been cold and our plants have been up and down and in and out... It’s not been easy keeping to a schedule on the farm. I still can’t get my head around how slowly things get going and start to grow at Pippettes Farm in Suffolk compared with our farm in Auckland NZ and I am afraid to say I think it’s getting the better of me.

I need help. It’s my precious Kawa Kawa.
They were not the best specimens when I got them but my brilliant expert organic gardener Lyzz Robinson nurtured them back to life and all was looking good. I put them in the poly tunnel a few weeks ago and they looked very comfortable. But not for long...

The cold then hot and humidity of the poly tunnel plus the lack of airflow started to take their toll and first aid is now back on track with Lyzz at the helm.

Kawa Kawa is a native NZ shrub that likes shade from the NZ bush canopy, warmth, and good air flow but doesn’t like direct sun, cold, wet roots and wind; so obviously not the best for the UK. But I love its therapeutic propertiesUsed internally it can help inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract, as well as joint inflammation or arthritis. Used topically, it can reduce the inflammation of common skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and skin rashes.

Lyzz has suggested digging them up. She checked the roots and established it was most likely a fungal infection on the upper parts. I put them in pots in a light soil and removed some of the irksome brown leaves. We have discussed taking off the upper parts to see if the shoots will grow through more vigorously, but for the next few days we are giving them a rest.
NZ Hebs Kawa kawa repotted

They are nicely moist, in the warmish shade, off the ground, away from ants and now with excellent air flow around them.

We have said a prayer under our breaths and crossed’s hoping they survive. We have a variety of natural anti fungal sprays to hand and biodynamic preps.

So, before we do anything else - have you grown Kawa Kawa in the UK or do you know any useful tips on how to grow Kawa Kawa in UK climate? Please let me know. I’m new to using a polytunnel too.

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