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It's time to: January



Fragrant gardenia casts a magic spell over gardens. Pick for the bathroom.

Waxflower (Hoya sp) can be grown inside or out but prefers shade. Grow in small pots and keep on the dry side for a flowery reward every year.


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.


Bearded iris can be divided after flowering. Discard the old central rhizome and trim leaves by 60 per cent. Replant the new rhizome on top of mounded soil in full sun. Remember: iris will not thrive near camellias, azaleas and gardenias.


Princess lilies (Alstromeria) add splashes of tropical flower colour. Match with tropical foliages such as cordyline, Persian shield, canna lily, acalypha and the hand-shaped leaves of Philodendron ‘Xanadu’.

Wormwood (Artemsia) repels flies, fleas, and moths. Pick and dry the leaves, mix with lavender for fragrance, and place in fabric bags. Slip into drawers and closets to deter moths.


Trim roses as they finish and keep picking for bunces for indoor enjoyment. This encourages more flowers.


Many soft-bodied insects, such as thrips, white fly and mealy bug, can be killed by suffocation with soapy water. Make your own or use Natrasoap.

Last chance

Sow zinnias, cosmos and cleome for bright, bold colour. Sow into cultivated areas in the garden or into pots.

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Author: Linda Ross