The cold winter temperatures are not the most inviting weather to get your hands dirty in the garden so this week on Top Billing we share some simple tips to help you beautify your more protected outside patio or balcony area. Join garden guru, Willie Schmidt and creative consultant, Misi Overturf, for some inspiring ideas to brighten up your winter!
Echeveria - "Desert Roses" Echeverias are arguably the most attractive of all succulents, highly valued for their amazing colours and variation, with the stunning leaf colour of many varieties at its most brilliant in the cooler months. Native to the Americas, they are prized by collectors and gardeners alike. Their rosettes range in size from 2cm to 50cm in diameter. They generally flower in the warmer months with colours ranging from white to orange to pink to red.
Loboleria - "Sweet Alyssum" Sweet Alyssum is a delicate carpet of tiny flowers with a subtle, sweet scent. The low-growing foliage is covered by flowers for much of the growing season. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is very easy to grow, from plant or seed. Sweet Alyssum is a cool season flower that can be set out in early spring are grown throughout the fall and winter, in frost-free climates. Most varieties will fade in the heat, but rally again in the fall.
Sweet Alyssum loves full sun, but it does not like prolonged dry periods. To keep it going into summer, provide at least a inch of water every week, more during hot or dry spells.
Tillandsias Air Plants - "Old Man’s Beard" Tillandsias take all their water and nutrients through the leaf system, none or very minimal amounts are absorbed by the root system. This root system is used as wire like anchors to hold onto trees, rocks etc. Since the root system is not important to the plant this can be removed without harm, to make make your plant easier to mount. The roots may or may not grow back, either way is doesn't matter to the welfare of your plant.
Your plant needs to be watered regularly, at least 2 to 3 times per week. Misting is generally not sufficient even if done daily, they need to be watered (underneath as well as on top) to the point of runoff as though they've just gone through a rain storm, AT LEAST twice a week. The easiest way to achieve this is to actually immerse the whole plant in the sink or a bucket if possible, if not, use a hose or the kitchen faucet to totally wet your plant.
NEVER 'plant' your Tillandsia, putting a Tillandsia in soil is almost certain death to your plant. If you want it in a pot to look like a normal plant and you need to add some weight to stop it falling over, use gravel, pebbles or any other medium that drains rapidly. If your plant is placed in anything that holds water or moisture and doesn't dry out between waterings it will rot.