February is hot and humid – keep your plants healthy through this period and you’ll be rewarded with an autumn flush of growth in many warm climate evergreen species.

  • Monitor for powdery mildew, leaf spot and other fungal diseases in susceptible plants like roses and hydrangeas. Treat severe cases with an appropriate fungicide, but remember these deciduous shrubs will lose their leaves anyway in winter – sometimes patience is the best policy.
  • It’s now getting too late to prune your Camellias without removing flower buds for the coming winter – the rule of thumb is end of January, but it’s best to observe your plant and act accordingly.
  • Try tip pruning large-leafed hedge plants like Viburnum with secateurs rather than a powered hedge trimmer. This can be slow work for a large hedge, but trimmers leave long and often ragged cuts in leaves and stems that are perfect entry points for plant pathogens.