You may be surprised by what you find in a July garden!

Deciduous trees and shrubs are bare as we reach mid-winter, but there’s lots happening in the winter garden. Early bulbs are in bud or bloom, as are camellias, magnolias, hellebores and many beautiful native plants such as grevilleas and banksias.

There are also lots of plants to go into the garden during winter from bare-rooted trees and shrubs to herbaceous perennials, and there’s pruning to be done.

What to do in your garden in mid winter in July 2024 to grow beautiful hellebores, care for indoor plants and grow winter vegies

Appreciating hellebores

Hellebores are one of the stars of the winter garden. These low-growing perennials produce delicate white, green, yellow, pink or claret nodding flowers on tough stems.

Hellebores thrive under deciduous trees where they enjoy the winter sun but are protected from the hot summer sun. They do best in cool to mild climates.

Clumps readily form a mass of blooms that last for weeks during the coldest part of the year. Each flower demands a close look to appreciate its patterning of coloured spots or veins.

Collecting different colours and patterns can add colour and interest to winter gardens. To better enjoy flowers, look for modern hybrids and cultivars with more upright flowers on taller stems. Helleborus niger is the most common species, but there are many named varieties to enjoy.

Growing hellebores

Many of the newer hellebore varieties have been bred to stand tall with upward facing flowers, making them easier to view in gardens than the older forms, which often hang their heads down. To see flowers more easily, prune away the older leaves in autumn as buds appear and improve the soil with Seasol Liquid Compost.

The colourful petals that make up the showy part of a hellebore flower are not true petals but sepals. They are tough enough to withstand winter weather. In the centre of each flower is a cluster of golden stamens surrounded by a ring of small, insignificant female flowers. Once these true flowers mature and seeds start to form the flowers become sturdier, so they withstand wilting and hold up well in a vase.

Hellebores also grow well in pots. When planting use a good quality potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix and water them in with Saasol to aid plant establishment.

What to do in your garden in mid winter in July 2024 to grow beautiful hellebores, care for indoor plants and grow winter vegies
How To Care for Your Indoor Plants in Winter for lush beautiful foliage including watering, light and humidity

Indoor plant care in winter

Light levels are important for growing healthy indoor plants, as most do best with bright light, but this can be in short supply during winter.

Indoor locations drenched in light in summer may be dark and dingy in winter. Find the brightest location – probably near a north-facing window or under a skylight – and move any plants there, that are languishing in dark corners or on shelves to brighter locations.

Before repositioning plants into their new winter spot, check the health of the plant and the potting mix. Prune any dead and diseased foliage and check soil moisture levels. You can let the pot dry out completely before watering it again.

Revitalise indoor plants from winter stresses with Seasol Pots & Plants by regularly applying it to the potting mix soil every two to four weeks.

Indoor plant winter stresses

Take care to keep plants away from cold windows especially if frost is forecast the next morning. Glass can be cold, especially overnight.

To keep plants well-lit but not cold, cover windows at night by drawing the curtains or line windows with a thermal screen such as bubblewrap that lets in light but not the cold. It may look a bit strange, but it keeps plants a lot happier.

For small plants, a terrarium is another option. Plant small indoor plants into a large terrarium, and they’ll romp through winter.

Also, take care of home heating. Warm draughts from indoor heating and heating systems can lead to leaf damage and dieback, especially with ferns.

Providing a consistent temperature range all year promotes overall plant health. Most plants do well within the range of 15-27 C.

How To Care for Your Indoor Plants in Autumn for lush beautiful foliage including watering, light and humidity

Five important jobs for mid winter

  1. Prune roses and follow up with a protective spray of lime sulfur. Remove all prunings and ensure you clean pruning tools between each bush to prevent disease.
  2. Plant bare-rooted trees, shrubs and vines. Soak the root system in a bucket of Seasol before planting to reduce transplant shock.
  3. Add colour to outdoor areas with potted polyanthus in flower. Remove spent flowers and liquid feed with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers for a blooming display.
  4. Handweed or treat bindiis that are starting to appear in lawns. Look for bright green ferny leaves and remove plants before they form seeds.
  5. Remove emerging weeds including their root system while they are young. Hand weed in small areas or use an organic weed spray such as EarthCare Organic WeedKiller spray for larger areas.
What to do in your garden in mid winter in July 2024 to grow beautiful hellebores, care for indoor plants and grow winter vegies

Keep on planting vegies for winter greens

With the rising cost of living sending grocery bills through the roof, it is time to use the garden to ease the food bill.

Winter vegie gardens can be very productive providing lots of healthy green leafy vegetables as well as peas and broad beans.

For winter nourishment, grow English spinach, silverbeet, snow peas and Asian greens such as bok choy or pak choi.

Grow vegetables in the sunniest position available. Prune back overhanging branches if light is an issue. Check that the soil is moist but not wet and keep plants growing strong with regular weekly doses of PowerFeed. PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables.

Harvest leaves regularly, taking a few from each plant rather than harvesting one plant at a time – this will help to extend your season.

Treat winter garden hazards

If paths or paving have become mossy or dangerous in winter, prune back overhanging branches to let in more light and ensure water is draining away properly.

Products are also available at hardware and garden centres to apply to remove unwanted moss or slime or use a stiff broom, sharp spade, or pressure washer to clear and clean paths.

Fallen leaves and flowers – such as from camellias – can also be hazardous on hard surfaces after rain. Regularly rake or sweep to keep outdoor surfaces safe and looking good through winter.

Secure and cover any garden furniture, sunscreens or patio items to avoid damage due to the cold or wind. Store items undercover in garden sheds, carports or garages away from the damage of harsh weather.

What to do in your garden in mid winter in July 2024 to grow beautiful hellebores, care for indoor plants and grow winter vegies