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In The Garden: January

Feed gardenias. 
Gardenias are hungry plants and flourish when given an appropiate feed at the start of every season (except winter). Add a monthly dose of seaweed solution too.

Keep an eye on the weather forecasts. When extreme heat is expected, water fragile plants deeply the night before. Hanging baskets and small pots dry out fast. Saturate them by dunking in tubs of water until the bubbles stop rising. Be aware that annuals such as petunias may need daily watering.

For holiday care, place delicate potted plants in the shade and fill pot saucers with water. Indoor plants should be placed on wet towels in the bathtub so water can be sucked up by the roots.

Remove the spent flowers on young flowering gums so they don’t put all their energy into developing big gum nuts, and instead grow a bushier plant.

You don’t need a pond to grow waterlilies, any container with 100L capacity will do. Once filled it will be too heavy to move so make sure it’s in the right spot first before filling and planting.

Strike cuttings of queen of the night cactus to share with friends. Keep the mix just wet, and elevate the pot so that any rain can get away quickly and not rot the cuttings. Roots will take about eight weeks to develop.

Keep a sharp eye out for rust on frangipani leaves. Remove affected leaves immediately and bin, or start spraying with eco-fungicide or Yates Rose Shield before the infection takes hold.

Layer grass clippings into the compost pile alternating thin layers of clippings with dry brown material or shredded paper and a handful of blood and bone to prevent them compacting.