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It's time to: September


Jasmine is a scented cascade of spring bubbles that disappears all too quickly.

Foxglove spires are drop-dead gorgeous in dappled shade.

‘Unchained Melody’ is a coelogyne orchid with sprays of wonderful white flowers spilling over the pot. It’s a great find for collectors.


Late-winter and early-spring flowering plants such as diosma, flowering quince and May bush (Spirea) should be pruned as soon as they’ve finished.

Prune one-third of the passionfruit vine to suppress its size and allow it to fruit on this year’s growth


Pick weeds out as you see them and cover bare soil with mulch.

Pick posies of sweet peas to scent the bedroom and keep the flowers coming.


Liquid feed spring-flowering bulbs as they flower and again when they yellow-off to add energy for next year’s blooms.

Apply organic fertiliser to all beds. This does more than feed the plants, it nourishes the soil by encouraging microbial activity.

Feed roses every six weeks to increase the blooms, and to bolster the plant’s disease resistance.

Feed and aerate lawns.


If you haven’t done so in the last three years, re-pot cymbidium orchids when they have finished flowering.

Watch out

Be vigilant against the hungry hawk moth caterpillar, which finds clivia leaves delicious. Zap with Success.


Plant out summer vegetables after the last frost. Try eggplant; capsicum; tomatoes; cucumbers; zucchini; chilli; green beans; beetroot and carrot.

Dahlia tubers are unbeatable for late-summer and autumn colour. The single-petalled dwarfs are loveable, and the gi-normous sunflower, pinwheel and pompom types are just as easy to grow and come back year after year.

Avoid planting big trees and shrubs at this time; the dry weather makes it more difficult to get them well established.

Last chance

Prune and shape hibiscus hard before the spring weather pushes them into new growth.

About this article

Author: Linda Ross