Colour your world
Ours is not the gentlest of climates during the hot season, so you’ll need plants that can cope with heavy downpours alternated with dry periods when the evaporation rate is high.
Chances are you will also have pots placed in both sunny and shady spots.
Here are some tips for containers:
Glazed and plastic pots hold water well but make sure you check them regularly to get rid of excess water.
Moisture evaporates faster through unglazed terracotta and these pots are best used for pelargoniums (geraniums), cacti and succulents which need small amounts of water and very good drainage.
Bigger containers hold moisture better – small pots dry out fast, especially small, unglazed clay pots.
Self-draining pots are best for hanging and window boxes because they drain more freely, thus avoiding root rot, and make less mess from water runoff.
The best plants for sunny areas are:
Dianthus, gazania, pelargoniums (geraniums), calibrachoa, alyssum, scaevola, lobelia, bedding begonia, salvia, dipladenia, mandevilla, allamanda, bougainvillea, cuphea (sun and shade), crown-of-thorns (Euphorbia millii) and lavender (cut back tips after each flowering to encourage more).
Choose plants well able to cope with hot summer conditions and you’ll have lots of colour in life
New Guinea impatiens, coleus, golden and variegated pothos, creeping fig (Ficus pumila), variegated ivy, anthurium, caladium, peperomia, red-striped dracaenas, peace lily or spathiphyllum, cat’s tail (Acalypha reptans) and dwarf gardenia.
Of course there are plenty of other plants you can use but these have been chosen because they are easy to grow in our summer conditions.
Check containers and baskets regularly and if soil is too dry, water immediately.
If too wet, cut back watering and drain pot/basket.
Mist shade plants daily in hot, dry weather.
Feed plants in large pots with controlled-release fertiliser. Use liquid fertiliser as per instructions with small pots and baskets.
More useful plant information at gardenezi.com