Only feed rose bushes in warmer areas. Picture: Supplied

To avoid powdery mildew and black spot, spray foliage every two weeks with a fungicide, until June. 

The longer you can manage to keep foliage on plants, the better chance the woody stems will have to ripen, resulting in better blooms in spring again. 

Only feed rose bushes in warmer areas. Carry out some dead-heading and water the plants, at least once a week.

Pest patrol

Scale insects on indoor plants

Tan or brown oval insects with a hard shell can sometimes infect the stems and undersides of the leaves of indoor plants. They are sap-sucking and can eventually ruin a plant. The secretions of heavy infestations can lead to sooty mold.

Black fungus

The best way to curb scale attacks is to keep your plants clean from dust in a humid atmosphere, and in optimal health. If you notice the presence of these pests, wipe them off, or in the case of heavily infested plants, throw them in the bin. Visit your local GCA Garden Centre for advice on a registered insecticide, which can be used indoors.

Ants

Look out for ants and treat nests with ant bait or spray. It’s recommendable to use products that eradicate the whole nest, including the queen.

Conifer aphids

These critters are active from May to September and conifers need to be treated every two weeks. Use a systemic foliar spray for smaller specimens, and a soil drench for trees.

Rats and mice

These pests are very active in the cooler season, control them with a single feed or multiple feed bait.

Snails

They will be looking for places to overwinter. Clean up under containers and clumps of perennials where they will huddle together, and put out fresh bait amongst young veggie and flower seedlings. Snails thrive in moist areas so ensure you don’t overwater plants

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