How to grow It's time to: February

It's time to: February

Admire

Shasta daisies are drought-hardy and tough and look gorgeous poking through a picket fence with hydrangeas. Picking for posies will guarantee more flowers.

Cape chestnut (Calodendrum capense) is a stunning flowering tree from South Africa with pink, orchid-like, scented flowers. Buy a grafted tree to guarantee good colour and earlier flowering.

Prune

Trim agapanthus seed heads and finished lavender flowers.

Daisies, fuchsia and geraniums should be trimmed as they become woody. New growth means more flowers. Make extra plants with the prunings.

Trim and shape Chinese star jasmine.

Think spring!

Order spring-flowering bulbs for planting from April. Try Dutch iris, babiana and ixia for best results, though it’s hard to resist the wow factor of one-hit wonder tulips.

Watch out

Unsightly pimples on lillypilly leaves are caused by sap-sucking psyllids. Control with Eco Oil or by sprinkling a granular insecticide, such as Bug Killa, around roots.

Strike

It’s time to take cuttings of fuchsia, camellia, gardenia and azalea. On any shrub with stems changing from green to brown, take short 10cm cuttings in the early morning. Strip lower leaves, dip in hormone gel and plant. Keep shaded until established.

Feed

Hibiscus, passionfruit and rhubarb will respond to a mix of cow manure, blood and bone and potash.

Last chance

Prune roses for a good autumn flush. Continue feeding every six weeks with a specialised rose fertiliser. Deep water with added seaweed for extra strength. 

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About this article

Author: Linda Ross