Heritage Gardens Exclusive Gardening Tips for June 2021.
With hopefully the end to restrictions in sight now is the time to spend an uplifting & practical time in the garden growing your own vegetables & summer flowers from seeds & getting exercise from digging over parts of the garden that have been on the "to do" list for a long time ! We can't pretend that gardening is easy & that there will not be frustrations & disappointments but overall if you have a plan & don't overdo it you will surprised how much you can achieve in just a few weeks. Make sure you enjoy some relaxation in the garden as well ! Each Saturday we will be publishing some additional tips to help you make the most of this very busy time of year for growing.
The first week of June is forecast to be changeable but after nearly two months of hot & dry dry weather watering will be very important.
A useful tip for weed control - an economic & non toxic method of removing weeds from paths is to buy catering size containers of salt from a supermarket & liberally apply handfuls to patches of weeds. They will die done quickly & the remains can be brushed away easily.
It’s not necessary to regularly water all the plants in your garden, but all recently planted plants – especially bedding – will appreciate a good soak every seven to 14 days during dry weather to aid rapid establishment. When watering established plants give a thorough soaking weekly; watering little and often encourages surface rooting and makes the plants more susceptible to drought. Plants growing in containers are likely to need watering daily or every other day.
Feeding is also important. Either use a liquid feed in the water or add a long-lasting, once a year controlled-release fertiliser to the soil or compost. Flowering plants benefit from a high potash feed.
Pot on plants showing signs of being potbound. Carefully tip out plants that are looking unhappy to see if they are potbound or if they are suffering from some other problem.
Use all your weeds (apart from the roots of perennials), lawn clippings and other garden debris and household vegetable waste to make garden compost. This can be used as a planting compost or as a mulch to help keep weeds down and conserve soil moisture.
Mix grass clippings with coarser material to ensure your heap doesn’t turn into a sticky mess. Large pieces of plant material should be chopped up first to speed up the composting process.
Frosts and strong or cold winds are still possible early this month, so make sure tender plants like young bedding plants and tomatoes and other vegetables are protected from the cold. Always have horticultural fleece on hand that can be thrown over the plants at night when frost is forecast. Fleece can even be used to give cold protection for plants in greenhouses, frames and cloches. As temperatures soar, make sure plants in your greenhouse are looking their best. Shading the glass will help keep temperatures at a bearable level. Damping down floors and surfaces will keep humidity high and also help deter red spider mite. Ventilate greenhouses and conservatories on warm, sunny days.
Weeds can soon take over the garden, looking unsightly, smothering your prized plants and stealing valuable water and nutrients from the soil. Make sure you keep them under control before they become a problem. Annuals and small weeds can be hoed on a dry or windy day. Make sure the blade of the hoe is sharp as the aim is to cut through the weeds’ stems. Larger infestations and all perennial weeds, especially those with creeping roots, are best treated with a weedkiller based on glyphosate, which will kill the roots as well as the top growth. You’ll get better results if you spray in the evening. A thick mulch of organic material or using a planting membrane when planting up new beds will help keep the garden weed free.
Pests and diseases will be very active in the garden this month. Check plants regularly and keep on top of any problems that do occur to ensure they don’t get out of control – early eradication is the key to success. Ready-to-use sprays do away with fiddly mixing and ensure you have something ready to deal with the problems as soon as they are seen.
Slugs and snails can be a major problem. Make sure you protect susceptible plants. – especially hostas, delphiniums and vegetables.
Sprinkle slug pellets, place barriers or water on a liquid slug killer.Remove blanket weed from your pond if necessary and put it on the compost heap. Buy a small bundle of barley straw from a water garden centre and place it in your pond to discourage algae. Split pond plants that have become overcrowded and are taking over the pond.
Grow Your Own - Fruit
Keep wall-trained fruit, especially stone fruit, well watered during fruit set and fruit development to ensure they carry a good crop. Mulching fruit with a 7.5-10cm (3-4in) thick layer of organic matter will help retain moisture around the roots. Shorten leaders and sideshoots on over-vigorous wall-trained apples and pears. This helps divert their energy into fruit production rather than shoot growth.
Wait to thin apples until after the 'June drop'. Pears only need thinning if fruit set is heavy. Thinning helps improve the size and quality of the crop, and can prevent biennial bearing, where one good cropping year is followed by a bad one.
Gooseberries can also be thinned – this will result in larger, dessert-quality fruits. The unripe thinnings can be used in cooking.
Wall-trained plums and cherries can be pruned this month. Any branches growing out away from the wall should be removed entirely. Pinching out tender shoot tips, plus any sideshoots coming from the main stems, will prevent the trees from putting on too much leafy growth, ensuring good fruit production. If you need replacement shoots for bare areas of an established plant, or if you are forming a new one, then select and retain one or two strong shoots at the base of the bare area, to train into these areas. Selecting two suitable shoots means you have some insurance in case the first shoot becomes damaged.
For wall-trained sweet cherries, pinch out the growing tip of each branch, once it has grown six new leaves. After fruit picking, the shoots can be cut back again, removing half of this year’s new growth, and removing any overcrowded or unhealthy looking stems at the same time.For wall-trained ‘Morello’ and acid cherries, prune out entirely any fruited shoots, removing all of this year’s new growth. But be careful not to remove any un-fruited new shoots, as these will produce fruit next year. Instead, tie them in so that they are easy to pick.
Thin out fruit on wall-trained peaches and nectarines. When they are about the size of a marble, thin to leave one fruit every 10cm (4in), and then thin again to 15-20cm (6-8in) when they reach the size of a walnut.
Wait to thin plums and gages until the natural fruit drop has occurred, usually around the start of June. Then thin in two stages: in early June to 4cm (1.5in) and then in late June to 7.5cm (3in) between fruit.
Tie in the new shoots of blackberries, loganberries and other cane fruit while they’re young and soft to prevent them being damaged by strong winds.
Thin out crowded raspberry canes. This ensures there will be sufficient air and light between them to help reduce disease problems and ensure the plant can ripen all the young fruit to maturity. Hoe off or pull out raspberry suckers appearing between the rows.
Strawberries need pampering if you want to enjoy the juiciest of fruits. Water regularly – especially plants growing in pots and feed weekly with a high potash liquid feed. Watch out for slugs and birds, which love the fruit as much as we do. The easiest way to deter birds is to cover plants with netting. Put straw around strawberry plants to prevent soil splashing on to the fruit and spoiling it. Strawberries grown through black plastic don’t need strawing. If you need new strawberry plants, and providing your plants are healthy with no viruses, you can peg down the runners that develop on existing plants, to encourage them to root along the stem. Once rooted, the young plantlets can be severed from the runners and potted up individually and grown on ready for planting out in autumn.
Pick over strawberries regularly, removing any fruit that has started to rot to prevent infection spreading to others.
On indoor grape vines allow only one flower truss to develop on each main lateral coming off the central rod. Any others should be removed. Keep flowering laterals short, pinching out their tips at two leaves past the single flower truss. Non-fruiting laterals can be kept a bit longer, pinching out the tips after five leaves have formed. Any sideshoots branching off the main laterals should be stopped at one leaf. Thin out bunches of grapes on dessert grape vines to encourage good-sized fruit. You should aim for one bunch per 30cm (1ft) of rod (10 bunches on a 3m (10ft) rod).Wine grapes don’t need thinning.
Harvest rhubarb stems until the end of the month, and then stop to give the plant time to build up strength for next year. Mulch with well-rotted manure and water during prolonged dry periods.
There are a number of fruit pests you should keep an eye out for this month. Keep an eye out for aphid attacks, and deal with them appropriately, either by squashing small colonies, or by using recommended insecticides on larger infestations. Keep alert for gooseberry sawfly damage and the raised red blisters of currant blister aphid. Raspberry beetle can damage crops of raspberries and loganberries. Treat with an appropriate insecticide as soon as the first pink fruits are seen.
Hang pheromone traps in apple trees in early June to help reduce codling moth attacks. You will need one trap for every three to five trees. A similar trap is available for red plum maggot. Dead shoots on tree fruit may indicate a number of disease problems. Check for signs of apple and pear canker, bacterial canker, and blossom wilt. Look out for powdery mildew on a range of fruit crops, especially during warm dry spells. Reduce attacks by keeping the soil moist, but the foliage dry.
American gooseberry mildew produces a brown crust over the leaves and fruit. Use a protective spray with an approved fungicide. If you don’t like using chemicals, grow a more resistant variety like ‘Invicta’.
Apples and pears may need spraying against scab, where this has got out of hand in previous years.
Keep watch for signs of cane spot or spur blight on blackberries and hybrid berries. Don’t spray pesticides once the flowers have opened as they may kill pollinating insects; sprays should be used before the flowers open or after the petals have faded. It’s better to spray early in the late evening when fewer pollinating insects are around.
Grow Your Own - Veg
Continue making successional, little and often sowings of all salad and quick-maturing crops to ensure a regular supply throughout the summer. Sow thinly within the row to reduce the need for thinning out once the seedlings are growing well. In hot weather, leafy salad crops may do better when sown in partially shady sites. Hot, dry weather can lead to bitter tasting leaves. Lettuce is best sown in the cool of the evening rather than when the sun is shining.
Sow French and runner beans, peas, squash, sweetcorn, and outdoor cucumbers directly into prepared beds outside. Keep an eye out for late frosts, and cover young plants with horticultural fleece if frost or cold weather is forecast.
Runner beans benefit from well-prepared ground with lots of well-rotted manure and organic matter dug in. They need to be planted alongside suitable supports (often a frame or wigwam of bamboo canes tied together with string) for the shoots to twine around and grow upwards.
French beans are best sown in traditional rows, 45cm (18in) apart, at 15-23cm (6-9in) spacing.
Sweetcorn works best sown in blocks, at 45cm (18in) spacing, with two seeds per hole. The strongest seedling can be selected later, and the weakest removed.
Outdoor ridge cucumbers benefit from a site that has been enriched with lots of organic matter to help retain water. Pinch out the tip of the plant when it has made six pairs of leaves, to encourage sideshoot and cucumber formation. Feed regularly with a liquid tomato feed.
After the risk of frosts has passed, you can plant out tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins and other tender vegetables that were sown and grown indoors.
Regularly water, feed and support aubergine, courgette, cucumber, marrow, pepper, squash and tomato plants to ensure they produce the maximum number of fruits.
The time to plant out tomatoes is once the first truss of flowers has set. You can grow them in garden soil, growing-bags or better still 25-30cm (10-12in) pots.
Remove sideshoots from cordon tomatoes. The sideshoots develop in the leaf axils (between the stem and leaf), and if allowed to develop will sap the energy of the plant and reduce the quality of the fruit. Bush and hanging basket varieties don’t need sideshooting and should be left to grow naturally.
Check that the flowers are developing fruit; if not, tap the plants two or three times a day to make sure the pollen fertilises the flowers.
Celeriac and self-blanching celery can be planted out this month. Well-prepared soil with plenty of organic matter is essential for good crops.
Planting celery in blocks helps self-blanching celery remain white. Alternatively, place a strip of plastic around the edge of the block to exclude some light and further improve the pale colour and sweetness of the stems.
Ordinary celery can be wrapped in cardboard or similar tied in place to exclude light.
Continue to earth-up potatoes. Earthing-up is the drawing up of soil around the stems of the plants, leaving just 5cm (2in) of shoot uncovered so that the plant has enough foliage to continue growing.
Water potatoes – especially those in tubs and barrels – regularly; if they dry out when the tubers are forming the crop will be significantly reduced.
Harvest asparagus spears from established plants for six to eight weeks into the early summer. Stop harvesting after that time so plants can build up strength to crop next year. Do not harvest spears from crowns less than two years old.
Keep an eye out for pests attacking your crops. They can breed quickly, and early control will prevent them from getting out of control.
Pests such as caterpillars, aphids and carrot fly can be kept off a wide range of crops by covering with fleece or fine woven plastic mesh. Ensure that the corners are tucked in or buried to prevent the insects getting through.
Pinch out the tips of broad beans once they start to flower. This helps to discourage blackfly, which can be a problem on these plants.
Slugs are always a problem, so make sure slug controls are in place.
Pigeons are serious pests of brassicas and other vegetables, so use crop coverings to keep them away from vulnerable crops.
Promptly remove diseased and yellowing leaves from crops, especially brassicas, to prevent the spread of disease.
Grow Your Own - Herbs
Plant out bedding and other half-hardy plants from the beginning of the month once the fear of severe frosts is over. If you’ve grown your own, make sure plants are hardened off – that is acclimatised to the cooler outdoor conditions – first. Water plants well before planting out and then water in well to settle the roots. If you haven’t grown your own then make sure you buy plenty of plants to ensure your garden is a riot of colour this summer. Plant thickly, most bedding should be planted between 15-23cm (6-9in) apart.
All containers, tubs and hanging baskets can be planted up with bedding and patio plants and placed outside where you want them to flower. Keep some horticultural fleece handy in case a late frost is forecast. Always plant so the basket or container looks pretty full from the start. Use taller plants for height, trailers around the edge and then fill in with other plants. If you’re using mesh-sided hanging baskets pop a few plants through the sides too to help hide the basket and produce an even more colourful effect.
Make the most of your hanging baskets this year and ensure they provide a display to be proud of by using controlled-release fertiliser and water-retention gel in the compost. The fertiliser will help feed the plants all summer and the gel will prevent the compost drying out prematurely and so ensure strong, healthy growth and a colourful display. Check that brackets will hold the weight of a full basket, and use self-lowering brackets to make watering easier or install an automatic drip watering system. When making baskets, ensure you use fresh, good quality potting compost – old compost may have gone off and cause problems – and never use garden soil.
Frequent watering of baskets and containers is essential – the aim should be to try and keep the compost evenly moist. If you forget to water regularly, you’re away from home for most of the day or when you go away for weekends or holidays, watering becomes more of a problem, so install a drip watering system and a timer to do the watering for you. Baskets that are high up can be difficult to water properly so you could use self-lowering brackets. Flowering plants will benefit from feeding with a high potash liquid fertiliser throughout the summer months.
Deadhead all summer-flowering plants as soon as the flowers start to fade, by removing the faded flower and the developing seed head/pod behind the flower. This will ensure the plants flower their heads off all summer long.
It is not too late to direct sow a few fast growing, late-flowering hardy annuals such as calendula, godetia and clarkia. Hardy annuals sown earlier in the year will need thinning out. This is best done in two or three stages at fortnightly intervals. Final spacings should be between 10-20cm (4-8in); the upper limit for tall or spreading plants, and the lower limit for smaller plants.
Tie in sweet peas as they grow to ensure that they don’t flop and break their stems. Pick sweet peas regularly and certainly never let them go to seed or flowering will start to slow down.
Now’s the time to be thinking ahead and to sow spring-flowering bedding plants for next year. All your spring favourites can be sown now – including wallflowers, sweet William, forget-me-nots, bellis daisies, polyanthus and primroses and winter-flowering pansies and violas – as well as more unusual types like ornamental cabbages. Most types are easy to sow and grow on ready for planting into their permanent flowering positions – including containers – in the autumn. Some – including wallflowers, sweet Williams and forget-me-nots – can be sown outdoors in a well-prepared seed bed. Simply make a shallow drill with a bamboo cane, sow the seeds thinly, cover with fine soil and water in. Others will need to be sown indoors in pots or trays of compost and given gentle heat – preferably by placing them in a propagator. Check the details on the seed packet before you buy them and make sure you have all the equipment you need.
If you need quick growing climbers to hide eyesores, then grow annual climbers. These include morning glory (ipomoea), canary creeper (Tropaeolum perigrinum) and the exotic purple bells of rhodochiton. Don’t forget that they’ll need trellis or a similar support to climb up.
Now’s a good time to take cuttings of pansies, violas and pinks for a supply of plants for next year. You can strike six or seven cuttings in a 10cm (4in) pot using a gritty cuttings compost or make your own from equal parts peat or coir and sharp sand or vermiculite. A hormone rooting liquid or gel will improve the results. Cover with a plastic bag or put them in a propagator and place out of direct sunlight. They’ll be ready to pot on in a couple of weeks.
Spreading and trailing plants such as the annual lobularia (sweet alyssum), and the perennials alyssum, geranium, heuchera and aubrieta, can become tatty and patchy. Trimming them back after flowering encourages fresh growth and new flowers.
Cutting back clumps of spring-flowering perennials such as hellebores, pulmonaria and doronicum can encourage a fresh flush of foliage, which is more attractive than the old, mildew-covered or spotted foliage. Plants will also stay more compact and will flower better next year.
Cut back and deadhead Oriental poppies after flowering. Cutting them right back to ground level will stimulate growth of fresh new foliage, and perhaps even some new blooms. Euphorbias look a lot better if spent flowers are removed, cutting the flowered stem back to ground level. This can be especially important with Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae, as old stems of this plant are particularly prone to powdery mildew when grown in dry soils. After cutting back any of these plants, mulch and feed to help promote fresh new growth.
Divide flag irises as soon as possible after flowering is over. Cut off the flower spikes, then carefully dig them up, cut off the fattest pieces of rhizome with a fan of leaves at the end, cut back the leaves by half and then replant them with the rhizome at soil level. Throw away old, damaged, rotten and leafless sections of root.
Tall and floppy herbaceous plants – especially those in windy and exposed gardens – will need some form of support –such as twiggy shoots or metal supports. Putting plant supports in place now will help prevent problems later on when it’s difficult or impossible to do anything about it and the plants will grow up through them, covering them discreetly.
Then carefully tie in the stems as they develop with soft string or similar, criss-crossing the strings between the supports.
Sow seeds of a wide range of herbaceous perennials to flower in late spring and summer next year.
Aphids can multiply rapidly during mild spells. Squash early attacks by hand to prevent the problem getting out of control. Protect sweet pea plants in particular, as they can get sweet pea viruses, which are transmitted by aphids and other sap-sucking insects.
Continue to protect lily, delphinium, hosta and other susceptible plants from slugs and snails.
Inspect lilies for the lily beetle as both adults and the larvae can strip plants of leaves and flower buds in just a few days.
Vine weevil larvae can be a serious pest of containerised plants. Inspect the rootball of suspect plants, looking out for the C-shaped, creamy, orange-headed grubs. They are very destructive, but there are various chemical and biological controls available.
Trees, Shrubs, Roses & Climbers
Ensure newly planted trees and shrubs do not dry out. Anything that was planted this year is prone to drought stress. Other plants that can be vulnerable during dry weather are those that are shallow rooted – including rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas, heathers and conifers. A good soaking every 10-14 days is much better than a little and often approach.
Deadhead azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons after flowering by carefully snapping off the dead flowers between thumb and forefinger. Rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and pieris are very sensitive to drying out and if they do during the summer this can seriously affect next year’s flowers. So keep these plants well watered and mulch the soil with a 5-7.5cm (2-3in) thick mulch.
When you water give them a feed with a liquid fertiliser suitable for lime-hating plants.
Guide the new shoots of climbers in the direction you need them to grow to provide a good, even coverage of their support. Then carefully tie them in with string or similar material. Try to tie in the stems as near to horizontal as possible - or, if more suitable, into a fan shape. This reduces the growth of the shoot and, as a result, encourages more flowers.
Cut back brooms (cytisus) after they’ve finished flowering to ensure they don’t become tall and floppy and that they flower well next year. Cut back the stems to within 5cm (2in) from the base of shoots that flowered this spring, but don’t cut into old wood.
Clip back rock roses (helianthemum) and spring-flowering heathers with shears or clippers, but do not cut into old, brown woody growth at the base of the plants.
Prune deutzia, kolkwitzia, weigela and philadelphus after they have finished flowering. If this job is left too late, the new growth put on after pruning may not have sufficient time to flower well next year.
Evergreens such as Viburnum tinus can also still be trimmed this month.
Prune out any remaining frost damage from affected evergreen shrubs.
Remove reverted all-green shoots from variegated evergreens. These shoots, being stronger than the variegated ones, can soon take over and spoil the overall appearance of the plant. Cut them back to where variegated foliage starts or remove them completely.
Cut out overcrowded, dead or diseased stems of Clematis Montana and other spring-flowering clematis species once they have finished flowering. Overgrown plants usually respond well to hard pruning at this time too.
Prune wall-trained chaenomeles and pyracanthas, removing any shoots coming out from the wall, and shortening other new growth to about 7.5cm (3in). This encourages short spurs, which produce the flowers. Don’t do the same to climbing hydrangeas as these shoots carry the flowers.
This is a good time to get hedges back into shape. And you can even rejuvenate overgrown evergreen hedges – but not conifers – by cutting them back hard. When cutting, make sure the hedge is wider at the base then it is at the top to prevent it becoming bare at the bottom. Shredded clippings can be added to the compost heap.
Always feed plants with a general fertiliser after pruning to ensure good regrowth and flowers.
Gently pull off suckers appearing around the base of grafted trees, shrubs and roses. It is far better to pull them off than cut them off, as dormant buds can remain when cutting and these will produce further suckers.
Deadhead roses regularly. Just nip off the flower head with thumb and forefinger rather than cutting off too much stem.
Take softwood cuttings of shrubs such as caryopteris, forsythia, fuchsia, hydrangea, kolkwitzia, lavender, perovskia, philadelphus, rosemary and spiraea. Use non-flowering sideshoots that have been produced this year. Cuttings should be 10-15cm (4-6in) long and taken just below a leaf joint. Remove the lower leaves to leave just two pairs of leaves at the top. Dip the cut end in hormone rooting powder/gel and insert the cuttings in pots of compost made from equal parts moss peat or coir and either sharp sand or Vermiculite. Seal the pot in a plastic bag and stand somewhere sheltered with good light but out of direct sunlight.
Layering is a good way to propagate many climbers and lax-stemmed shrubs. Layers should root by next spring. Choose a flexible shoot that can be bent down to soil level. Make a nick in the underside of the stem with a sharp knife at a node (where the leaves join the stem) where the stem touches the ground. Then dust the nick with hormone rooting powder and peg down the stem with a piece of bent wire or, better still, a small stone. Insert a small cane by the side of the stem and tie the stem to it to ensure it grows upright.
Caterpillars, aphids and most other pests can all become a problem at this time of year. Check plants regularly and deal with any outbreaks before they get out of control. Early infestations can be controlled by hand removal, but insecticides may be necessary for more serious attacks.
Check roses for signs of blackspot, aphids and leaf-rolling sawfly damage. Spray roses with a suitable fungicide to prevent black spot, rust and mildew diseases.
If the leaves of your camellias and rhododendrons have a black, sooty deposit on them, then scale insects – or a similar pest – is attacking them. Spray now with a systemic insecticide to control them.
If the grass is growing strongly make sure you mow regularly – probably weekly – aiming to keep the grass around 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in) high. Adjust the cutting height of your mower so that it takes off no more than half the length of the blades of grass at a time.
While you’re mowing, take note of bare patches, moss invasion and weeds and deal with any problems you see.
Whenever you mow the lawn, trim the edges – it really makes a difference to the look of the garden.
Cut uneven lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron to ensure they look neat and well shaped.
Feed lawns with a granular or, better still, liquid lawn fertiliser at this time of year or use weed and feed or weed, feed and mosskiller where these are a problem.
If weeds are a real problem it would pay to treat them with a liquid lawn weedkiller.
Add grass clippings to the compost heap in thin layers; too much grass all at once is likely to be very wet and poorly aerated, resulting in smelly slime rather than compost.
Water indoor plants regularly as and when they need it. Check plants every few days and water if necessary. Most plants prefer to slightly dry out between watering and overwatering is more of a killer than underwatering.
Feed houseplants every seven to 10 days with a liquid houseplant fertiliser.
If roots are peeping through the holes in the base of the pots, repot into a larger size. Flowering houseplants usually perform better if they are kept slightly potbound.
Check that houseplants are not scorched or drying out quickly by being left on a sunny windowsill. At this time of year many plants can overheat quickly and be damaged, so move them too a cooler spot.
Propagate Cape primroses (streptocarpus) by slicing a healthy leaf crossways into 5cm (2in) wide sections and placing the pieces vertically, 2.5cm (1in) deep, in a tray of compost. Place in a propagator and keep somewhere warm until you see new plants growing.
Make more African violet plants by carefully pulling off individual leaves with most of the stem and pushing this into small pots of fresh compost.
Cut the babies off spider plants and put them into individual pots to make new plants.
Some house and conservatory plants, especially orchids, ficus and citrus, can be put outside in a sheltered place for a ‘summer holiday’ to benefit from rain, fresh air and sunshine. Keep them well watered.
Clean shiny-leaved plants with a damp cloth to remove dust. Alternatively spray leaves with Baby Bio Leaf Spray - feeds as well as cleans plants such as Hoya Carnosa.
Regularly inspect plants for aphids, mealybug, red spider mite, whitefly, thrips and other pests. Control with a pest spray or use pesticide pins that can be pushed into the compost and will protect plants for several months.
Where feasible, damp down floors on hot days to reduce the risk of red spider mite. Alternatively, mist the foliage regularly or, better still, stand the pots on trays of damp gravel to increase humidity.
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