Corymbia ficifolia hybrids, commonly called Flowering Gums, are looking amazing at the moment. Keep an eye out for a medium sized tree with stunning flowers, usually bright red or crimson pink, which bloom mostly in summer followed by large sculptural gum nuts. Flowering Gums make for a beautiful feature tree in an open sunny position with low humidity and well drained soils with reliable irrigation.
This Christmas-New Year break is shaping up to be one with a ot of time spent at home, which means plenty of time for gardening! If you're wondering where to start and what you should and shouldn't be doing in summer we have prepared a few notes to help you:
Try to avoid pruning in hot sunny weather, choose a time when the forecast is for a few cloudy days or if you absolutely must prune that hedge do it at the end of the day.
Cut off any spent flower heads on plants such as such as Kangaroo Paws, Echiums, Gardenias and Agapanthus.
If you live near bushland or a creek it is especially important to prune Agapanthus before the seeds spread into nearby bushland.
Dividing & Propagating
Plants with an underground rhizome root system can be divided easily if they get too big, think Kangaroo Paws, Agapathus, Clivia, Ctenanthe Grey Star and Strelitzia.
Ornamental Grasses should be divided while they are actively growing, from spring to mid-summer is ideal. Summer grasses are dormant in winter, such as Pennisetum advena Rubrum and Miscanthus sinensis cultivars.
Dividing large clumps of your plants is actually good for their health, they will be rejuvenated and it encourages strong growth.
It's been perfect weather for growing weeds in Sydney, so you'll be kept busy removing the unwanted from your garden beds and lawns. If your weeds have flowers and seed heads make sure they don't spread when pulling them out - cut them off first and put in a bag or box ready to throw in your garbage - not your compost...
Keep your plants cool and moist by spreading a layer of mulch on your garden beds approximately 50mm thick, leaving some space around the trunk or stem of the plants. Choosing a mulch which contains organic matter will improve the conditional of the soil as well as giving your plants additional nutrition.
Pots become very hot in summer, especially if they catch the western sun. Make sure you mulch and water regularly, and move them away from the afternoon sun if you can.
Alternatively, if we have a lot of rain, make sure saucers aren't full of water which attracts mosquitos. And give your indoor plants a treat by putting them out in the rain - as long as you don't leave them out when the sun comes out or their leaves will burn and discolour.
For super hot days cover plants which are prone to sunburn with an old sheet or shade cloth, such as your Hydrangea's, Gardenia's and Tree Ferns.