Brugsmansia Buckinghamia celsissima
Datura Purple Queen Delonix regia
Fiddlewood Tree B
Lagerstroemia indica BN
Odontonema Otacanthus Pachypodium Peltophorum africanum Plumeria rubra Plumeria stenophylla Roses Stachytarpheta
Tesselated Gums B
B = European Bees
N = Native Bees
Euphorbia ‘diamond frost’
Pentas Perilla Petunia
Snake Plant Streptocarpus
Mandevilla (Dipladenia) Maurandya
Curcuma (Cape lily) Dahlias
Habranthus (Rain lilies)
Bee Hive Ginger
WHAT IS FEATURING IN THE GARDEN IN JANUARY:
Happy New Year to everyone and may 2019 be a great year for you and your gardening adventures.
What a great start to summer, after a wet late spring. December has bought us some rain which has topped up the tanks and kept the mulch and soil moist.
The autumn and winter flowering Salvias have put on a huge growth spurt, so rather than cut them back (as you may miss the flowers) I stake mine back. I put two stakes about 1 metre apart with a piece of baling twine tied from one stake to the other as high as the Salvias need to be retained.
Calatheas and Marantas are wonderful tropical plants grown for their beautiful leaves and our summer humid weather is just what they love. These plants are often called peacock, snake or zebra plants as their leaves have wonderful markings mimicking these creatures. Summer rain will encourage them to send up new shoots. Cut back any stems that flowered last year and mulch so that the lovely new leaves can be seen. They do like shade and are happy as under-story plants.
A water loving relative also from the Marantaceae family is Thalia geniculata which does like its feet in water and will die back in winter and can be cut back severely in autumn. The stems are a lovely red and the flowers which are on stalks taller than the leaves hang down like fairy fishing rods. Thalia enjoys full sun.
The Heliconias and Gingers are also in their element at this time of year with the hot humid conditions. Although they are a big plant they need to be in the front so that their beautiful bracts can be seen and they do like stronger light.
Zingiber spectabile or Beehive gingers come in yellow and reds and keep their knee-high beehives for several months.
Heliconia rostrata or parrots beak has inflorescences of both yellow and red, which are very showy and the stems hang down.
Heliconia bihai grows to about 2 metres in height and can be used as a screen, it has wonderful showy red bracts which stand upright.
Costus is a very close relative of the gingers and usually have their flowers at the top of the stalks, which grow to about a metre. They differ to the gingers in that their stalks spiral at the top and are often called spiral ginger.
Costus barbatus or Red tower ginger is Red with yellow flowers and keeps its cones for most of the spring and summer. Mulch them all well to keep the soil moist as they do expect a wet summer.
Costus Malortieanus is a lovely smaller Costus but does not like our cold winter so it needs to be kept in a sheltered spot where it does not get below 10 deg Celsius in winter. Like all Costus they do prefer a little more shade and are happy with morning sun.
Another tropical is the snake plant or Amorphophallus bulbifer which has stems that resemble snake skins. It is from the Araceae family. It disappears over winter and re-emerges at this time. I keep mine in the tropical house as it doesn’t like to get below 10 degrees Celsius in winter. The leaves are only on the top of the plant where eventually it will form bulbils. These bulbils will form new plants if they are put on top of a pot with soil in it. It flowers rarely and when it does it is at the base of the plant and doesn’t have the bad smell that a lot of its relatives do.
Take cuttings of Perennial Cleome, Euryops, Azaleas, Salvias and Gardenias, put them in a good potting mix in the bush house and keep them well watered.
Look out for seeds from the Agapanthus, Habranthus and Day Lilies and sow them into pots or boxes also in the bush house.
Divide and spread plants such as Coreopsis, Geranium, Pelagonium, Limonium (Statice), Zephranthes, Autumn Crocus, Gingers, Cannas and Dahlias, and keep them well watered until established.
The Dendrobium beetle can decimate flowers and new leaves. These can be simply squashed between your fingers and inspect for the grubs that will hatch in the flowers as they do as much if not more damage.
Stanhopeas are unusual orchids that flower below their pseudo bulbs, therefore you need to hang them in a basket so that their flowers can push through the bottom of the basket.
IN THE GARDEN