It’s time to spruce up your cacti and get to grips with chickweed.
• Reduce the water given to cacti and dust off the pads with a small paint brush to smarten them up.
• Take cuttings of zonal pelargoniums (geraniums) whichi root well at this time. Cuttings need to be about five inches long. Remove any flowers and flower buds leaving just the top two leaves and growing tip. Make a sharp cut below a node and insert into a sandy compost. Don’t over-water.
• Try to remove chickweed before it flowers otherwise it will cover the soil in winter. Put these weeds in the compost bin.
• Azaleas in pots should now be taken indoors. Clean the plants and give them a good shake to remove dead leaves. They always lose some leaves when initially brought back indoors. Save rain water for watering the pots.
• Amaryllis leaves should have died back by now. If not, cut all the leaves off and repot in John Innes No3 compost but no water until you see the flower bud next year. The flower bud will be fat. If watered too soon, there will be leaves but no flower, so wait until the fat flower bud is visible.
• This is a good time to fit another water butt, Put a piece of nylon stocking over the end of the down pipe to stop litter from entering. Rain water is very useful for all plants.