Avoid win­ter gar­den­ing woes

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - WALLY RICHARDS

Win­ter can give many plants a hard time.

Too of­ten, plants are placed in un­suit­able sit­u­a­tions. If soil, drainage, sun and shade con­di­tions are not ideal, they won’t thrive, will be­come poorly and per­haps die.

How­ever, you can grow some­thing suc­cess­fully in the spot you want to grow it, if you cre­ate a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for it.

Citrus trees, for in­stance, re­sent wet feet and should be grown in an area that is free-drain­ing and sunny.

To stop citrus and other plants get­ting waterlogged roots, dig a spade blade-deep trench around ex­ist­ing gar­dens, or with citrus, just be­yond the drip line. Sur­plus water drains into the trench where wind and sun will help evap­o­rate it.

A monthly spray of Perk­fec­tion Supa will help build up plant im­mune sys­tems and pre­vent wet root dis­eases.

Frost ten­der plants should be pro­tected with a spray of Va­por­gard, or cov­ered with frost cloth.

Pop­u­lar win­ter flow­er­ing Cy­cla­men are plants that love the cold and re­quire am­ple bright light. They hate it too warm and also de­test wet feet.

In­doors, they should sit on a win­dowsill in as much light as pos­si­ble. Ev­ery few days turn the plant 180 de­grees so that the room side gets its share of good light for a while and stops the plant be­com­ing un­bal­anced.

To water, wait till the fo­liage or flow­ers droop a bit through lack of mois­ture then give it a rea­son­able drink of cold water or even bet­ter, plunge it into a bucket of water, wait till it stops bub­bling and then place it out­side on a sun­lit porch or pa­tio for a cou­ple of days be­fore re­turn­ing it to the win­dowsill.

A bit of a liq­uid plant food in the water also helps the bulb.

At night the cy­cla­men should be in the cool area be­tween the win­dow and the cur­tain away from too much room heat.

All in­door house­plants need to be near win­dows es­pe­cially when day­light hours are short.

In win­ter, pot plants don’t need much water and over-wa­ter­ing can be fa­tal. A wet mix makes for colder roots, and when the heat­ing goes off, can lead to root rots. Ide­ally, wait till the mix is just about bone dry and the plant’s leaves start to droop be­fore giv­ing them a small drink to moisten the mix a lit­tle. In heated rooms the dry air sucks mois­ture out of the plant’s fo­liage, which can cause the leaf tips and some­times the whole leaf to go brown.

Place a shal­low dish of water above or near the heat source, or try dry­ing wash­ing in the room – the plants will en­joy the mois­ture

As­sist in­door plants by sup­ply­ing a lit­tle Wally Fruit and Flower Power ev­ery month. The potas­sium and mag­ne­sium keeps the fo­liage from yel­low­ing and hard­ens up the growth mak­ing plants more cold re­sis­tant.

Look af­ter your plants now and you should still have them with you later in the year.

Prob­lems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmer­ston North 357 0606) Email wal­lyjr@gar­de­news.co.nz Web site www.gar­de­news.co.nz

Cy­cla­men pro­vide glorious win­ter colour ga­lore, but need a bit of su­per­vi­sion and care if they are to be at their best in­doors. Photo: FAIR­FAX NZ

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.