Make sure winter in your garden isn’t dull or dreary by planting some of our favourite winter flowering plants.
No winter garden is complete without the delicate blooms of the Primula malacoides, aka fairy primrose, and Phlox, which are exceptionally colourful and not only flower just about all year round, but also tolerate cold weather, and all but severe frost, well.
Primula malacoides or fairy primrose
Fairy Primrose creates a wonderful display when planted en masse. To create a vertical accent, plant them in containers and hanging baskets. They are perfect for shady areas although they can tolerate dappled morning sun.
They prefer soil that is rich in organic matter so it’s important that you add compost to the soil before planting. Keep the soil moist, but not sodden and pay particular attention to watering if they’re in pots or baskets. Primula malacoides don’t like to get thirsty!
When to plant Primulas
In South Africa, and the rest of the southern hemisphere, May is the perfect month to plant Primula seedlings.
Phlox have an extremely neat and compact growth habit, so they are perfect for container growing, for edging borders or for planting in a rockery. Phlox varieties perform best in well-drained compost-enriched soil. Remember to water these winter flowering plants regularly, but don’t overwater as this will cause them to rot.
When to plant Phlox
In South Africa, and the rest of the southern hemisphere, autumn or spring are the best times to plant Phlox seedlings or seeds.
If you’re planting Phlox and Primulas together, remember that Phlox grow to about 50 to 60cm tall while the Fairy Primrose only reaches about 30 to 40cm high, so plant your Primulas in front. Establish a balanced watering regime that’s enough to make sure your Primulas aren’t thirsty, but not too much that your Phlox rot!
For more gardening ideas try these May gardening tips, making your own bird feeder or how to look after an orchid so that it keeps flowering.
This information was supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. For more info, visit lifeisagarden.co.za.