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It's time to: December

All areas:

ORCHIDS should be placed in shade until autumn.

PRUNE roses after flowering to bring on another flush. As the petals fade cut between the finished flower and a pair of leaves. This way the plant won’t lose energy and new buds will form.

BEARDED IRIS can be divided before Christmas. This won’t interrupt their flowering cycle. Keep them dry over summer as they tend to go dormant.


Cold climates

PLANT out summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, beans, eggplant and capsicum.


Temperate climates

HANGING BASKETS dry out quickly so should only be planted up if you are holidaying at home this year.


Subtropical climates

BANANA suckers should be kept contained so they can produce even bigger bananas. Remove the flower bell from fruiting stems after the last hand of bananas has set, then cover the entire fruit with a plastic sleeve to protect against parrots.


Tropical climates

CONTROL hibiscus beetle with Confidor.

COVER developing pawpaw fruit to protect against bats, possums and parrots.


When you have one hour

Lightly prune spring-flowering shrubs such as weigela, philadelphus, may bush and abelia, and cut the older canes right back to ground-level to make room for future canes. Lightly prune spring-flowering natives such as emu bush, eriostemon, melaleuca and grevillea to keep them compact and extend their lifespan.



Text: Linda Ross 

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Author: Linda Ross