Get ready to celebrate the magic of December by bringing out the best in your summer garden with our Gauteng December gardening guide.
Spotlight on: Poinsettia A bright and cheerful poinsettia makes for the perfect Christmas table centrepiece and will last well beyond the festive season if planted in the garden in a semi-shaded area. These are our tips for selecting and caring for your poinsettia this summer:
Select a full and balanced-looking plant that has dark green foliage and is at least two times taller than the pot.
Place in a position that receives at least six hours of bright, but indirect light a day.
Only water when the soil is dry.
Feed with a soluble house plant fertiliser once a month.
Note that extreme temperatures or temperature changes can damage the plant and lead it to lose some of its leaves.
Lawns require a 7:1:3 fertiliser such as Atlantic Bio Lawn or Wonder Lawn & Leaf. The latter is chemical-based and will provide faster results, but requires watering three times or more a week to prevent burn.
English gardens in full bloom should be fed with a 3:1:5 fertiliser. A good option is Wonder Fruit & Flower or the organic-based Atlantic Fertilisers Fruit & Flower, which is endorsed by the The Federation of Rose Societies of South Africa.
Pests These are the common garden pests that may plague you this month, and the recommended insecticide:
Whiteflies (use Efekto Whitefly Insecticide)
Mealybug and scale (best treated with Efekto Malasol)