Create A Green Haven Indoors

Indoor gardening has become a popular trend, and no matter the style or size of your home, there’s an ideal pot plant for you. Chrysanthemums and orchids complement a classic interior, and pots of ferns and impatiens go with a country-cottage look. For year-round colour, choose crotons, caladiums or paintedleaf begonia. Ask your local garden centre to help you find the perfect pop of greenery.

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Position, position, position: Some plants like bright light and a few hours of sunshine; some prefer partial shade. Find out what works for the plants you choose. Well contained: To provide the right nutrients, buy a ready-prepared potting mix high in organic matter and specially formulated for house plants. Also add water-retaining granules and mulch to the mix.

Now choose your container: A toosmall pot makes a plant look cramped. A too-large container will make your plant look unloved. Whether you plant directly into the container or use it as a decorative sleeve, choose one no more than 5cm wider than the nursery pot. Give them TLC: Fertilise at least once a month during growing season. Use regular garden granular or liquid fertiliser, or indoor plant powder. Water well after fertilising. Remember that azaleas and cymbidium like to be moist. Others need to dry out between waterings. But no plant likes soggy roots! For good drainage, place pebbles at the bottom of the container.

(Gauteng, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo) Plant agapanthus hybrids, angelonias, cupheas, gauras and lavenders. And to attract butterflies and birds, plant wild dagga and September bush. Feed hydrangeas, gardenias and fuchsias with an acidic foliar feed and mulch around the base with bark chips. Check for whitefly and, when spraying, take care to reach underneath the leaves, where the flies sit. Flower-devouring yellow-and-black beetles are the CMR beetle or fruit chafer. Get advice from a GCA garden centre for a remedy. Before you leave on holiday, check your irrigation system, weed all beds, feed with fertiliser, water well and mulch.

(Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) Plant sweet peppers. If they’re well looked after, they’ll produce fruit for up to six months. If grown in pots, keep them in morning sun and afternoon shade. Snails don’t like parsley, so plant a border of this herb around green beans, lettuce and Swiss chard. Fertilise your lawn, and water (depending on the restrictions in your area) and mow regularly. Scatter water-retaining granules in flowerbeds for young summer annuals like salvias, vincas and celosias. Follow up on fruit tree spraying if the fruits are still small and green to stop fruit fly damage. Watch out for powdery mildew on the pumpkin family. Put out bait for pumpkin fly.

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