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Hydrangeas are stunning show-stoppers when in flower. New gorgeous varieties of hydrangeas are being released regularly and flower colours include the traditional brilliant blue, white and bright pink, as well as ruby red, lime green and multi toned and lacecap flower heads.
With summer just around the corner, it’s hydrangea flowering season now.
Here are a few tips to help keep your hydrangeas healthy, in preparation for their exuberant flowers:
Most hydrangeas prefer growing in a position that is protected from harsh sun. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal or dappled sun all day.
Keep hydrangeas well-watered, as the large leaves can rapidly lose moisture and wilt (pictured). Hydrangea foliage can also be susceptible to sunburn during hot dry weather. Move potted hydrangeas into a more sheltered location. Apply Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic around the root zone of hydrangeas to help them cope with heat and drought stress.
Feed hydrangeas regularly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. It contains a rich blend of chicken manure, blood & bone, fish meal and seaweed and provides slow release organic nutrients to hydrangeas and improves the quality of the soil. Scatter Dynamic Lifter® around the root zone of hydrangeas and water in well.
Watch for white talcum powder looking spots on leaves which could indicate the damaging disease powdery mildew. Regular sprays of Yates Rose Gun Spray Ready to Use will keep powdery mildew under control.
If the idea of a beautiful vintage garden border overflowing with flowers sounds wonderful, then Yates Village Green Vintage Border Mix is for you! It embraces the iconic gardening style of yesteryear, with an informal and romantic blend of more than 43 varieties of flowers. It will radiate old fashioned charm with a rainbow of vibrant colours and will help attract bees and butterflies into your garden.
Yates® Village Green Vintage Border Mix contains gorgeous flowers including campanula, cherianthus, chrysanthemum, cornflower, cosmos, dahlia, delphinium, dianthus, digitalis, godetia, gypsophila, hollyhock, larkspur, lupin, matthiola, nemophila, nigella and poppy. It can be sown all year round and the result will vary depending on the climate and time of year.
This blend is best suited to a garden bed or border that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. It’s easy to sow this mix by scattering seeds thinly direct where they are to grow onto bare soil and rake lightly into the soil surface. Firm down, keep moist and seedlings will start to emerge in 7 – 21 days.
To promote lots of gorgeous colour, feed the flower bed each week with Yates Thrive Flower Fruit Soluble Fertiliser, which provides a complete and balanced diet of nutrients as well as being boosted with additional potassium to encourage flowering. Keep the soil moist and regularly trim spent flowers to help prolong the flower show.
Growing tip: control any weeds in your flower bed with Yates Nature’s Way Organic Weed Gun Ready to Use two weeks before sowing seed, as weeds will compete with your new flower seedlings.
Hibiscus bring a colourful, tropical feel to gardens with big, showy flowers in a range of extravagant colours.
During Summer, when night time temperatures are above 12 deg C, HibisQs® can be planted outdoors in a warm sunny garden bed with well-drained soil or grown in a decorative pot and displayed in a courtyard, balcony or terrace.
In cool areas where there’s frost and the temperature drops below 12 deg C, potted HibisQs® can be brought indoors in a brightly lit spot, bringing a lovely summery feel. Each flower has an extended shelf life of up to three days, with new flowers emerging each week. The exotic blooms can also be cut and displayed in a shallow bowl of water.
They’re available in a range of vibrant colours including:
Apollo – eye catching yellow and orange two toned flowers
Adonis Red – vibrant rich red flowers.
Boreas Yellow – bright sunshine yellow flowers with a red centre.
Adonis Dark Pink (pictured) – showy pretty pink flowers
Keep the soil or potting mix moist. And to help keep hibiscus looking great and promote lots of gorgeous flowers, give them a light trim in late winter or early Spring and feed each week from Spring to Autumn with Yates Thrive Roses Flowers Liquid Plant Food. It’s as simple as mixing 1 – 2 capfuls in a 9L watering can and applying over the plant and root zone.
Pest watch: Hibiscus can be prone to aphids, which feast on the sugary sap. Control aphids with regular sprays of Yates Rose Gun Spray Ready to Use.
HibisQs® images and information courtesy of Rainbow Park Nurseries
Perennial plants can help to create a long-lasting foundation in garden beds, that you can then design around with shorter lived annuals. Alstroemerias are a fantastic, reliable and beautiful group of perennials that bring colour into late Spring and Summer, and recent years have seen some exceptional new varieties being bred and made available to New Zealand gardeners.
The Inca range of alstroemerias from Living Fashion are compact, non-invasive plants that produce a mass display of flowers from Spring through Summer. They’re heat and sun tolerant and grow from tubers under the ground, which gives them the ability to go summer dormant if the heat is extreme, popping up again when the weather and moisture levels improve.
They look fantastic when grown in a garden bed that receives morning sun and afternoon shade, or in a pot, which it can be positioned to brighten up an outdoor entertaining area or balcony.
Alstroemerias are incredibly popular flowers to use in bouquets and create a long-lasting vase display. ‘Pulling’ stems for a vase stimulates more flowering stems so it will help your alstroemerias to flower even more profusely. To promote a fantastic flower show and healthy plants, feed regularly with a complete plant food like Yates Thrive Roses Flowers Liquid Plant Food, which is boosted with additional flower-promoting potassium.
Images and Inca Alstroemeria information and images courtesy of livingfashion.co.nz
Magic is in the air. And it smells like lavender! Lavender is such a wonderful plant to include in your garden or to brighten a sunny courtyard or balcony. There is a fabulous new range of lavender called ‘Fairy Wings’ which combine some of the best traits of ‘Lavandula’ lavender with stunning flower colour and form. This range has been selected for its highly ornamental foliage and long flowering season.
‘Fairy Wings’ lavenders all have fragrant foliage and striking flower heads capped with coloured ‘ribbons’, which look like fairy’s wings. ‘Fairy Wings Radiance’ has vibrant pink flowers, ‘Fairy Wings Spellbound’ deep lavender flowers and ‘Fairy Wings Whimsical’ has delicately coloured white to blush pink flowers.
Growing to around 70 cm tall and spreading to 70 cm wide, Fairy Wings lavenders are fast growing, dry and cold tolerant, low maintence plants that flower from late winter into summer. They do best in a spot with well-drained soil (or potting mix) that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day.
Fairy Wings design ideas:
Grow as a stunning border or low informal hedge.
Plant in and around edible gardens to attract beneficial insects.
Group 3 – 5 plants together in a drift to create eye catching colour.
Include in sensory and children’s gardens.
Use in medium to large sized decorative containers on decks, patios and balconies.
Bring a bunch of cut lavender indoors!
‘Fairy Wings’ Lavender information and images courtesy of livingfashion.co.nz
In warm areas in New Zealand Jacarandas are at their spectacular purple flowering best in November. Not only are jacarandas gorgeous when in flower, they are fabulous shade trees for large gardens and parklands. The leaves fall in mid spring followed by their glorious floral display.
Native to South America, jacarandas grow best in temperate and tropical climates, however in cooler areas will tolerate light frosts once established (protect the tree from frost while it’s young).
Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. Sprinkle Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food around the root zone every 6 – 8 weeks during the warmer months, gently tickle it into the top soil, water in well and then mulch around the tree with an organic mulch like bark chips. This will help keep the roots protected and reduce moisture loss from the soil.
Whether your Christmas colour theme is purest snowy white, sparkly silver and purple or traditional green, gold and red, you can coordinate your decorations with some gorgeous pots of flowers to brighten up your Christmas dinner table or outdoor entertainment area. Early November is the time to get planting, so your potted creations are looking fabulous for the Christmas party season.
Here is some inspiration:
Crisp white lobelias, alyssum and geraniums combined with trailing Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’.
Hanging baskets filled with vibrant red calibrachoas and cascading white lobelia.
A planter bowl with a showy red geranium in the centre surrounded by a halo of white alyssum.
Purple and white petunias and grey leafed cineraria ‘Silver Dust’ planted together in a decorative trough.
To promote lots of healthy growth and festive flowers, keep the pots well-watered and feed each week with Yates Thrive Roses Flowers Liquid Plant Food. It’s a complete plant food that’s boosted with additional flower-promoting potassium.
Regularly trim off any dead flowers to help keep the plants looking tidy.
Monitor your Christmas creation for insect pests like aphids and caterpillars, which can be attracted to and damage both foliage and flowers. Fortnightly sprays of Yates Rose Gun Spray Ready to Use will help keep these destructive pests under control.
Before guests arrive, you can add some final touches to the pots such as ribbons, baubles and sprigs of holly and tinsel.