Our indoor plant of the month is the sweetly fragrant pot hyacinth
A cluster of these lovely flowers fill a room with their delicate, fresh scent. When grown indoors, pot hyacinths like bright indirect light, not direct sunlight and they need moist, but not wet, soil. Each pot plant has a number of flower spikes that open and remain attractive for several weeks if the plant is kept in a cool but well-lit room. Remove flower spikes that are over. Once the plant has finished flowering, keep it in a cool room with moist soil and plant it out in spring, for flowering the following spring. Alternatively, the hyacinth can stay in its pot. The foliage will die down, but it will come up the following year if it is watered from next April onwards. Details: plantimex.co.za
Is it a pansy? Is it a viola?
Pansy Panola is for gardeners who can’t decide which they love more … pansies or violas! This pansy is a mix of both. It has the flower power of a viola but with pansy-like blooms, that are bigger than violas but not as big as the extra-large pansies. The plants are compact (growing to 20cm high and 25cm wide) so they fit in anywhere and everywhere … garden beds, borders, sunny corners, patio pots and window boxes. You can even plant them in the vegetable garden because the blooms are edible. Make sure you plant them in full sun in winter, and remember they need well composted soil. With regular watering and feeding, these Panola pansies will keep on flowering into summer, and with less stretch than regular pansies in warm climates. Details: ballstraathof.co.za
Did you know that planting a rose now allows it to settle in over winter, ready to flower in October? Ludwig’s pick is Winter Sun KORbatam (N) because it flowers deep into winter, with fragrant classically shaped pale-yellow blooms, like a winter sun. It grows into a neat, shoulder high hybrid tea rose, covered in glossy green leaves that are very resistant to black spot. It’s a low maintenance rose for today’s no-fuss gardens. Details: ludwigsroses.co.za
Together we Bloom
Look out for the Together we Bloom label on cut flowers, as well as indoor and outdoor plants. It means R2.27 has already been donated for hunger relief, and you can pay it forward by buying the plant. This is a campaign initiated by the horticultural industry and is being driven by the NPO Together we Bloom. Funds raised will be disbursed to churches and NGOs working with communities in need. Follow Together We Bloom on Facebook.
Garden tasks for June
Transplant roses that are planted in too much shade or in the wrong position. (see Ludwig’s Roses on You Tube via ludwigsroses.co.za)
Rake up all fallen leaves and add them to the compost heap or store in bags to make rich leaf compost.
Remember to water flowers and vegetables as early as possible in the morning so the leaves are dry by evening.
Protect tender leafy vegetables with frost cloth if very cold weather or frost is predicted.
Plant winter colour in sunny beds … pansies, violas, petunias (in dry winter areas), poppies and calendulas. For shade or semi-shade areas, plant primulas.
Feed winter leafy vegetables with a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer.
Stake broad beans and Brussels sprouts.
Text: KYM ARGO and Alice Coetzee