Pretty Primulas

We’re planting …

Primula obconica original that has all the flower power of fairy primulas but with bigger flowers in strong, bright colours and on thick, firm flower stems, good for picking and long-lasting in the garden. Plants are available in single colours of blue, violet, deep orange, pink, red and white as well as a mix. True to the primula nature, this variety flowers abundantly, has lush green leaves and grows robustly, 20cm high and wide. A standout flower for semi-shade or morning sun that also works well as a patio plant in 17cm pots.

Details: ballstraathof.co.za

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Indoor plant of the month

Monstera adansonii – also known as monkey mask – is a smaller, and slower-growing version of the traditional delicious monster (Monstera deliciosa). The unusually lobed leaves gave rise to its common name and, although smaller in size, it certainly makes a big impact. It trails or climbs, being suitable for hanging baskets, to fill a corner or cascade down from a shelf. Being a tropical plant, it needs a warm, humid room, and bright indirect light but not sun on its leaves. Place it a metre or so from a north or east-facing window. Water once a week, don’t let the soil dry out but keep it slightly moist. A drench and drain once a week will flush out any salts that build up. Feed with a liquid fertiliser at half strength once a month in Spring and Summer to maintain the bright green, healthy leaves. Yellowing leaves is a sign that the plant lacks nutrients. Details: lvgplants.co.za

Veggie of the month

Kale Storm is a Winter superfood that is rich in vitamin C and iron. A colourful mix of three different kale varieties with purple, green and blue leaves, each with different textures, it really is almost too pretty to eat. The ready-to-eat mix comes in a 17cm pot and doesn’t need to be planted out. Simply keep the kale in its pot, place it in a position that receives at least four hours of sun a day, water daily and feed with a nitrogen-rich liquid fertiliser at half strength every two weeks. Plants grow up to 60cm and can be treated like spinach by harvesting the outer leaves. Kale ‘Storm’ lasts longer in your patio planter than lettuce and it won’t bolt, and can also be planted in the ground for all-season harvesting. To prepare kale for cooking, cut out the midrib, shred the leaves and cook like spinach. Details: ballstraathof.co.za

Garden tasks for June

  • Feed Winter flowering annuals with liquid fertiliser. • Remove dead blooms of calendulas, sweet peas, pansies, and Iceland poppies to encourage new flowers.
  • Tidy up perennials, shrubs, and trees by removing dead leaves and old flowers.
  • Do not let daffodils and other Spring-flowering bulbs or shrubs, like azaleas, camellias or magnolias dry out otherwise they will not flower.
  • Water Winter pot plants like cyclamen, pot primulas, cineraria, and spring bulbs every two to three days and feed with a liquid fertiliser.
  • This is the best month for transplanting roses, other perennials, shrubs and even trees that are in the wrong position.
  • Use all your garden waste to make compost
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