What to Plant in July

The following is a list of vegetables you can plant in July in Sydney, a temperate zone, (just click on the link for the growing guide for each vegetable)

Plant of the Month – The beautiful Anthurium (andraeanum)

Anthurium is a genus of around 1000 species native to the Americas. Anthurium andraeanum is found in Ecuador and northern Colombia.

The inflorescence, an elongated spike, or spadix, holds the flowers, that contain both male and female structures, in a spiral along its length. These include a perianth with four segments and stamens with a compressed mesh

Waxy texture of the spathe.

Below the spadix is the heart shaped spathe, a form of bract that is waxy and brightly coloured, in this case red. The spathe can be a number of colours from white, pink to highly coloured red. Click on the image below to enlarge for detail.

Fleshy fruit, in the form of juicy berries, form from the flowers on the spadix and each has two seeds.

The bright red spathe and the elongated spadix with spirals of hermaphroditic flowers

In the right conditions and adequate light the anthurium flowers throughout the year, making it a very attractive indoor or outdoor plant.

Growing Conditions:

In its natural state, the anthurium is a rainforest plant that is epiphytic, growing on other plants. It likes a warm and humid environment and can grow in dappled light outdoors in tropical and subtropical areas. It can also be grown outdoors in warmer temperate areas in pots shaded from direct sunlight which will burn its leaves. The anthurium grown in pots outdoors can be brought inside during the colder winter in temperate zones. Anthuriums will not tolerate temperatures below 15 C.

Outdoors the optimal temperature is between 18 – 26 C. Mist the plants if the conditions are dry to provide the humidity they prefer.

Grown indoors in pots they thrive in temperatures between 16-22 C when placed in bright indirect light.

My anthuriam plant growing in a terracotta pot on a bright, north facing covered verandah.

Soil:

To replicate their natural growing conditions, Anthuriums like a light, coarse well draining potting medium with a pH of 6.5.

A quality orchid mix suited for phalaenopsis orchids, which have similar needs, ensures large air pockets and good drainage, and is excellent growing medium.

Use terracotta pots that breathe and prevent the roots of the anthurium to get water logged, as can happen in plastic pots.

Anthuriums will need re-potting every 2 years but keep the plant tight rooted by only increasing the size of the pot slightly. Re-pot only in warmer months of spring to mid autumn.

Watering:

Anthuriums need water to drain away. The plants should never be allowed to dry out. Water when the top layer of the soil is dry. Test by pushing your finger down into the soil gently. If the top layer is dry, water until the water comes out through the pot at the bottom and allow the water to drain away, not saturating the medium in the pot. Do not water again till the top soil is dry.

Never place the anthurium pot on a saucer where water can build up and cause root rot.

These beautiful plants bring colour to your home and garden and their stunning flowers and attractive leaves and their ability to flower year round in good conditions makes it a popular choice.

Click on the image to see the detail of the flowers on the spadix.

Note:

The whole anthurium plant is toxic to all mammals and contact with a human causes erythema, blisters and if ingested difficulty in swallowing and vomiting. So take care around pets and small children and handle carefully.

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