Gardening in February

It is a busy month in the garden. Let Catscapes landscapes create the garden of your dreams. Its not to late to sow winter flowering annuals. Dead head the old blooms from the annuals to keep them looking great for a lot longer. Watch out for snails and red spider which can be troublesome during hot, dry weather, so look carefully for the telltale yellowing leaves.


Summer Flowering Annuals

Any of the annuals listed below that were not sown in January can still be sown this month. Best results are usually obtained from seed sown in seed trays. If these annuals are sown now the seedlings will stand through the winter and start flowering early next summer:

Alcea rosea (Hollyhock)
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Daucus Carota var. carota (Queen Anne’s Lace)
Delphinium grandiflorum (butterfly delphinium)
Dianthus (pinks)
Digitalis purpurea (foxglove)
Iberis umbellata (candytuft)
Malcolmia maritima (Virginian stocks)
Petunia x hybrida
Phlox drummondii
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium)
Verbena x hybrida

Winter Flowering Annuals

Sweet peas: These can be sown at the end of the month. A week before sowing, give the soil a light sprinkling of lime and rake this into the top layer of soil. Erect the trellis before sowing.

Any of the annuals listed below can be sown from the beginning of the month
onwards, unless otherwise stated:

Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)
Chrysanthemum carinatum (annual variety)
Consolida ambigua (larkspur) (sow in situ)
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis (Livingstone daisy or Bokbaaivygie) (protect
seedlings from birds by putting chicken wire over the beds)
Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea)
Linaria maroccana (toad flax – sow in situ)
Lupinus hartwegii (lupin – sow in situ)
Matthiola incana (stocks – sow at end of the month in all areas)
Papaver nudicaule (Iceland poppy)
Schizanthus (poor man’s orchid)
Ursinia anethoides (jewel of the veld)
Venidium fastuosum (Aus daisy or bitter gousblom)
Viola cornuta (viola)
Viola x wittrockiana (pansy)


Seedlings sown in November and December should be large enough to plant out into the garden now.

Delphiniums: Water copiously and cut down old flower stems.
Dianthus and carnations: These can be propagated now by layering.
Hellebores: These are probably starting to bud. Give the plant about a
heaped tablespoon of 2:3:2 scattered round each plant, and mulch with
compost. Start watering regularly if the weather is dry. Put out snail bait
round the plants if necessary.
Pelargoniums (geraniums): Start pruning.The tips of prunings can be used for cuttings. The cuttings should be about 7- 8cm long. Cut just below a node (growth point).

Summer Flowering Bulbs

Agapanthus: Water as needed.
Cannas: Water during dry weather, and fertilise around each clump once a month. Water in after application. Remove old flower stems
Gladioli: Water regularly, spray once a week against thrips and gladiolus fly, and spray for rust if necessary. Lifte which are dying back.
White evergreen arum lilies: If the plants are overcrowded and were not lifted last month they can still be lifted and divided this month. Cut off some of the older leaves, and then replant the tuber-like rhizomes in soil enriched with compost and a dressing of superphosphate.

Winter Flowering Bulbs

These bulbs can be planted now:

Amaryllis belladonna (March lily – plant now only in the summer rainfall areas)
Gladiolus blandus
Gladiolus carinatus (mauve afrikander)
Ipheion uniflorum (star of bethlehem)
Lachenalia (cape cowslip)
Veltheimia bracteata (V. viridifolia – forest lily)


Keep the ground mulched with compost and water once every three weeks during hot and dry weather. Pay special attention to watering camellias and azaleas. Hose down azaleas once a week in dry windy weather. If azalea foliage is turning yellow apply iron chelate at the rate recommended on the container, plus a tablespoon of magnesium (Epsom salts) per bush, and acidify the soil with pine needles, acid peat or a light dusting of sulphur.

Roses: Continue preventative spraying against black spot, rust and mildew combining this with a foliar feed. Water once a week during dry weather.


Continue to feed summer vegetables still producing good crops. apply a well balanced fertiliser and water well.
Continue to water vegetables regularly. Pull up any, which have finished bearing. Transplant the seedlings of winter vegetables as soon as they are large enough.

Brussels sprouts (finish sowing)
Dwarf spinach
Globe artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke
Swede turnip (finish sowing)
Swiss chard

Let Catscapes landscapes create the garden of your dreams. Whether an English country garden or cactus garden Catscapes landscapes have the horticultural solution for you.