From Mélie’s Garden
When I turn the calendar page to February, my spirits get a bit of a lift because the days are slowly getting longer. Even though it is cold and wintry outside, the houseplants inside start to perk up sensing the slightly longer daylight. My camellias are already in bloom and there are tiny buds on the citrus plants. The begonia blossoms will not be far behind. And after the three months rest, Clvias can be watered again to encourage their glorious annual flowering.
It is also a good time to look over all the houseplants to make sure there aren’t any bugs that have decided to take up residence among their leaves. Often a quick trip to the shower will rid a plant of the pests. And in stubborn cases, a spray of insecticidal soap or neem oil will finish the job.
In addition to your houseplant care, it is a good month to finish up seed and plant orders for your garden. Waiting too long, you may be disappointed in the choices left available. In doing my list, I did notice that seed prices seemed to have gone up from last year. Another Covid excuse perhaps? But with early ordering, I was able to get the varieties I wanted.
A February highlight is Valentine’s Day on the 14th. If you are lucky enough to receive some roses, here is a simple method to keep them fresh for a number of days. Remove all bottom leaves on the stem and give it a fresh cut. Dip the cut end into boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes. Then put the newly cut rose in a vase with 24 oz of cool water and add 1tsp of vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tbsp bleach. After this initial treatment the water can be changed each day without the additions. I had some roses that drooped about a week later and I gave them a new cut and did the whole process again and they perked up and lasted almost a week more!