February is traditionally our wettest month of living a green life. It’s a time when the tropical heat drives us to the cool of the indoors or patio for a cool respite, so it’s a good opportunity to spend time maintaining and refreshing your indoor plant collection.
February To Do List
- Re-pot or refresh tired indoor or patio plants that have been in their pots for more than 12 months. Use a good quality potting mix such as CocoPro to rejuvenate plants and give them a fresh new feel. Ask us for advice on pruning or shaping your indoor plant.
- Wipe down foliage with a wet cloth, or take outside and hose down gently to remove dust from the plants leaves. Accumulated dust will block the plant’s ability to photosynthesise (feed itself) so it’s important to clean them down regularly.
- Fertilise plants with Osmocote for Pots & Indoors.
- Move plants away from air-conditioning vents. Jets of cold air can cause damage to plant cells, causing leaves to yellow or appear burned. Move them away from vents, or to a room that isn’t air-conditioned.
- Monitor plant moisture regularly as air-conditioners remove humidity from our houses. Plants may dry out much quicker than usual, and will need a thorough drink more regularly.
- Move hardy plants such as peace lilies or palms outside for a dose of rain during a good shower. Don’t forget to put them back undercover as soon as they’ve had a good drink to avoid leaf burn once the sun comes back out!
- Embrace the benefits of the season and pull weeds while the ground is soft and moist. They’ll put up far less resistance to your efforts and the job can be done in half the time! Removing them before they go to seed will also reduce the weed seed bank in your garden.
- Garden maintenance such as weeding is best done in the early morning while the temperature is at it’s coolest for the day.
- In the warm and humid weather watch out for and control fungal problems such as downy mildew and rust on susceptible plants.
- Be on bug watch. Bring in a picture on your phone to help us find the best solution.
- Flowers such as Pentas, Asystachia and Ixora continue to flower to provide food for Butterflies and bees.
- The Cairns Birdwing Butterfly is among our gardens searching for the native Aristolochia tagala on which to lay her eggs. Aristolochia tagala is the only plant the Birdwing Butterfly caterpillars will eat before pupating nearby. February is a great time to establish a vine as the warm temperatures promote plenty of fresh new growth for the caterpillars to eat.
What to grow in February:
- All year greens will keep you harvesting in between the seasons of our more traditional favourites. Brazilian spinach, Mushroom plants, Sweet leaf, Kang kong, Sweetheart Spinach and Aibika will stay fresh throughout the wet without bolting to seed, and are a good substitute for traditional lettuce and spinach varieties.
- There’s still plenty of time to get your fruit trees established while the rains will do most of the hard work for you.
- If you have a small backyard, there is still plenty of choice to grow a variety of fruits such as Paw Paw, Jaboticaba, Blueberry, Pineapple, Passionfruit and even some dwarf Banana varieties.
- Many types of Citrus including Lemons, Limes and Grapefruits are ripening. Make yourself a cool refreshing drink with a citrus twist after an enjoyable day in the garden.