Stay tropical with indoor plants

Courtsey of Yates.

Courtsey of Yates.

WINTER WARMER: The tropical plant, Croto, can serve as a reminder of summer as we hunker by the fire. NZ Herald picture

Welcome to the jungle

Indoor plants can provide a wonderful connection with greenery during the coldest months, particularly on wintery days when it might be challenging to get outdoors.

Here are some tips to help keep your indoor jungle looking fantastic during winter:

  • As temperatures cool, indoor plants will require less moisture so it’s important to reduce watering to avoid water-logged plants. Together with under-watering, over-watering is one of the most common problems with indoor plants.
  • Don’t leave water in indoor plant saucers, as this can leave the lowest layers of potting mix permanently wet, which can lead to rotted roots and poor plant health. To check moisture levels in potted plants, gently scratch around in the top few centimetres of potting mix. If it feels dry and dusty then the plant can be re-watered. If potting mix sticks to your finger and feels moist, then leave watering for a few more days.
  • You can also give indoor plants a general tidy up, by removing any dead foliage and spent flowers and cleaning up any dust. Indoor plant foliage can collect dust, which not only ruins the look but can also impact plant health and their ability to improve air quality. For small plants, delicately wipe over the leaves with a damp cloth, supporting each leaf as you wipe to help prevent tearing the leaves. For larger plants, you can move them into the shower and give them a gentle wash with luke warm water. Allow the plant to drain and dry off before moving it back.

Fabulous figs

Whether you love purple, brown or green skinned figs, they’re a delicious sweet fruit to grow at home, with fruit maturing during late summer and autumn.

Figs are hardy, deciduous trees that can grow up to 5m tall or there are dwarf varieties that are much smaller, around 1.5 m tall, that are perfect for smaller gardens and also pots. You can also prune and tie figs across a wall, so they take up very little horizontal space.

They like a warm sunny spot that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day. Most figs are self-fertile so don’t need another fig to produce fruit. Potted and bare-rooted figs are available for planting during winter.

To give your new fig a great start, enrich the soil in the planting hole with some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food and water in well after planting. In cool areas protect young fig trees from frosts and keep the soil moist, particularly during the fruiting season.

Eureka lemons

Although harder to find than Meyer lemons, Eureka lemons are well worth growing as they are thin skinned, have minimal seeds and the fruit is large, juicy and acidic. One of the advantages of Eureka lemons is that although winter is their peak fruiting season, in warm areas they can produce fruit almost year round, so you’ll always have tasty lemons on hand.

Eureka lemon trees can grow up to 5m tall, however, they can be trimmed during winter to a more manageable size. Lemon trees can also be grown in pots, which helps to limit their size.

When planting a new Eureka lemon out in the garden, choose a warm spot with well-drained soil that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day and enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone. It promotes increased soil organic matter content and water- holding capacity, in addition to providing the new tree with gentle slow-release organic nutrients as it establishes. For potted citrus, choose a pot with good drainage holes and fill with a good quality potting mix like Yates Premium Potting Mix. Keep new citrus trees well-watered as they settle into their new home.

For established citrus, it’s important to keep deep watering and feeding during winter while fruit are continuing to ripen. Moisture and nutrient stress can adversely affect the quantity and quality of the harvest so although the weather might be cold, don’t forget to give your citrus trees some tender loving care (TLC). Feeding is as simple as diluting two capfuls of Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9 litre watering can and applying over the root zone each week.

Sweet sugary sap that’s flowing through citrus plants is a magnet for sap sucking pests like scale. Scale insects can be brown, white, pink or grey and appear as small raised bumps along leaves and stems. Sometimes the scale are hard to spot themselves, however, if you see sooty mould developing on the leaves or ants moving up and down the stems then they’re indicators of a sap sucking insect pest like scale.

Cool season carrots

Carrots are a great source of vitamins and minerals and also contain beta-carotene, which is the orange pigment that helps make carrots orange. Our bodies convert this beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is a fantastic vitamin for promoting eye health.

Growing carrots can sometimes be challenging, particularly during warm seasons. The seeds are small and not sown very deeply, making them very prone to drying out. Cooler weather during winter can help keep the soil moist for longer, allowing the tiny seeds to germinate and establish.

Yates Carrot Topweight are perfect for sowing all around New Zealand in June.

Here are some tips to get the best carrot results:

  • Grow carrots in a sunny garden bed that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day.
  • Carrots need soft and loose soil, otherwise they won’t grow nice and straight. Before sowing, dig around in the soil really well to break up any clumps and hard pieces.
  • Sow the seed 6mm deep and then it’s crucial to keep the area moist until the seeds germinate and begin to establish. Lack of moisture, even for a short time, can mean the end for the germinating seeds. To help keep the soil moist, in addition to regular watering you can cover the area with shade cloth, damp hessian or cardboard. You must check under the cover every day and as soon as the first few seedlings emerge, remove the cover. Seeds may take up to three weeks to germinate, so be patient.
  • Seedlings will need to be thinned out when they’re 4 weeks old, to give all the plants enough room to grow. Leave around 5cm between each carrot.



Welcome to the jungle

Indoor plants can provide a wonderful connection with greenery during the coldest months, particularly on wintery days when it might be challenging to get outdoors.

Here are some tips to help keep your indoor jungle looking fantastic during winter:

  • As temperatures cool, indoor plants will require less moisture so it’s important to reduce watering to avoid water-logged plants. Together with under-watering, over-watering is one of the most common problems with indoor plants.
  • Don’t leave water in indoor plant saucers, as this can leave the lowest layers of potting mix permanently wet, which can lead to rotted roots and poor plant health. To check moisture levels in potted plants, gently scratch around in the top few centimetres of potting mix. If it feels dry and dusty then the plant can be re-watered. If potting mix sticks to your finger and feels moist, then leave watering for a few more days.
  • You can also give indoor plants a general tidy up, by removing any dead foliage and spent flowers and cleaning up any dust. Indoor plant foliage can collect dust, which not only ruins the look but can also impact plant health and their ability to improve air quality. For small plants, delicately wipe over the leaves with a damp cloth, supporting each leaf as you wipe to help prevent tearing the leaves. For larger plants, you can move them into the shower and give them a gentle wash with luke warm water. Allow the plant to drain and dry off before moving it back.

Fabulous figs

Whether you love purple, brown or green skinned figs, they’re a delicious sweet fruit to grow at home, with fruit maturing during late summer and autumn.

Figs are hardy, deciduous trees that can grow up to 5m tall or there are dwarf varieties that are much smaller, around 1.5 m tall, that are perfect for smaller gardens and also pots. You can also prune and tie figs across a wall, so they take up very little horizontal space.

They like a warm sunny spot that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day. Most figs are self-fertile so don’t need another fig to produce fruit. Potted and bare-rooted figs are available for planting during winter.

To give your new fig a great start, enrich the soil in the planting hole with some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food and water in well after planting. In cool areas protect young fig trees from frosts and keep the soil moist, particularly during the fruiting season.

Eureka lemons

Although harder to find than Meyer lemons, Eureka lemons are well worth growing as they are thin skinned, have minimal seeds and the fruit is large, juicy and acidic. One of the advantages of Eureka lemons is that although winter is their peak fruiting season, in warm areas they can produce fruit almost year round, so you’ll always have tasty lemons on hand.

Eureka lemon trees can grow up to 5m tall, however, they can be trimmed during winter to a more manageable size. Lemon trees can also be grown in pots, which helps to limit their size.

When planting a new Eureka lemon out in the garden, choose a warm spot with well-drained soil that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day and enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone. It promotes increased soil organic matter content and water- holding capacity, in addition to providing the new tree with gentle slow-release organic nutrients as it establishes. For potted citrus, choose a pot with good drainage holes and fill with a good quality potting mix like Yates Premium Potting Mix. Keep new citrus trees well-watered as they settle into their new home.

For established citrus, it’s important to keep deep watering and feeding during winter while fruit are continuing to ripen. Moisture and nutrient stress can adversely affect the quantity and quality of the harvest so although the weather might be cold, don’t forget to give your citrus trees some tender loving care (TLC). Feeding is as simple as diluting two capfuls of Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9 litre watering can and applying over the root zone each week.

Sweet sugary sap that’s flowing through citrus plants is a magnet for sap sucking pests like scale. Scale insects can be brown, white, pink or grey and appear as small raised bumps along leaves and stems. Sometimes the scale are hard to spot themselves, however, if you see sooty mould developing on the leaves or ants moving up and down the stems then they’re indicators of a sap sucking insect pest like scale.

Cool season carrots

Carrots are a great source of vitamins and minerals and also contain beta-carotene, which is the orange pigment that helps make carrots orange. Our bodies convert this beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is a fantastic vitamin for promoting eye health.

Growing carrots can sometimes be challenging, particularly during warm seasons. The seeds are small and not sown very deeply, making them very prone to drying out. Cooler weather during winter can help keep the soil moist for longer, allowing the tiny seeds to germinate and establish.

Yates Carrot Topweight are perfect for sowing all around New Zealand in June.

Here are some tips to get the best carrot results:

  • Grow carrots in a sunny garden bed that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day.
  • Carrots need soft and loose soil, otherwise they won’t grow nice and straight. Before sowing, dig around in the soil really well to break up any clumps and hard pieces.
  • Sow the seed 6mm deep and then it’s crucial to keep the area moist until the seeds germinate and begin to establish. Lack of moisture, even for a short time, can mean the end for the germinating seeds. To help keep the soil moist, in addition to regular watering you can cover the area with shade cloth, damp hessian or cardboard. You must check under the cover every day and as soon as the first few seedlings emerge, remove the cover. Seeds may take up to three weeks to germinate, so be patient.
  • Seedlings will need to be thinned out when they’re 4 weeks old, to give all the plants enough room to grow. Leave around 5cm between each carrot.



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