Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Winter Wonders in Bloom; Ideal Time to Make Quite a Show with Geraniums

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Winter Wonders in Bloom; Ideal Time to Make Quite a Show with Geraniums

Article excerpt

Byline: Valerie and Gerry Zwart

ISN'T this a very pleasant time of year to be pottering or doing some real work in our gardens.

Our lovely warm days and cool nights are ideal for getting some of those colourful plants going that make a good display at this time of year.

And it's wonderful how easy it is to take cuttings from some of your mature plants to "make babies", and be able to share them with friends and neighbours.

At present we have several flowering geraniums that are cuttings of others we've grown over the years, and you never quite know what colours will emerge from your new plants. It makes a nice waiting game.

I'm enjoying the pictured one, and we're currently planning where to plant a couple out in the garden where they'll make a great display all-year round.

Another easy-to-grow and share plant is the zygocactus (Schlumbergera truncata), also known as crab cactus, that is usually found in garden centres around Christmas, but actually flowers naturally about now and through winter, providing some lovely colours.

There are some lovely specimens tempting us to buy more in the nurseries at the moment.

An easy way to create new plants is to cut stems at the joint containing at least two to three segments, let them to dry out for several days, then insert about three of these into good potting mix, allowing the cuttings to hang over the side of the pot where they'll root quickly.

They make excellent basket features, adding colour to the patio, veranda and even indoors.

Just avoid having them in full-sun situations for long periods.

Planting gel

WHETHER you're planting or transplanting in your garden, Seasol Planting Gel is an excellent way to get plants growing.

This gel is a blend of semi-hydrated water crystals that are boosted with Seasol and essential nutrients, so it stores water and nutrients at the root zone where the plants need it most.

The gel absorbs, retains and delivers water for up to five years, which promotes good root development and plant performance. …

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