What to Plant in October

The following is a list of vegetables and herbs you can plant in October in Sydney, a temperate zone. Just click on the name for the growing guide for each vegetable or herb:

Plant of the Month – Serissa Japonica (Pink Snow Rose)

Serissa Japonica Pink Snow Rose is a dwarf hybrid evergreen shrub, 45–60 cm high and 30 cm wide, with oval, deep green leaves, edged in an attractive off white. It is native to South East Asia and Japan.

It has beautiful 4-6 lobed, funnel shaped, pale pink flowers that are 1cm wide that appear first as lovely dark pink buds. Serissa pink snow rose blooms nearly all year round from spring to late autumn. It is often called the ‘Tree of a Thousand Stars’ because of the profusion of the delicate pink flowers that form on the upright stems that branch in all directions. It has a rough grey trunk that becomes lighter with age. Its dense leaf covered habit, along with constant profuse flowering, makes the plant to look like a wide, snowy pink dome when fully mature.  

Due to this dense habit it can be grown as an attractive small hedge or in rockeries. It is also very attractive in pots. Be aware that once established in pots in a particular location, Serissa pink snow rose does not like to be moved suddenly into a new environment with different conditions. Too hot or too cold, under watered or over watered it can signal its response to adversity by dropping its leaves till it adjusts. So be aware of this before moving pots around. Notwithstanding, it is a hardy plant that springs back in spite of the leaf loss, if given care and time to adjust.

To grow in the garden or in pots, select a position with sun to part shade depending on climatic conditions over summer. For Sydney and its extreme summer heat, the best location is one with a mix of sun and dappled light.

The soil should be enriched with organic matter and be free draining, with a pH range of 5.5-7.0. Serissa pink snow rose needs to be kept moist and does not like to be over watered or to dry out. Always water from below to avoid disease and mulch well to prevent evaporation and maintain moisture. Water sparingly in winter.

To maintain its compact form, prune back during the warmer months when flowering has stopped, though not in winter as this may affect the development of buds and later flowering.

Serissa should be fertilized with a complete slow release fertilizer twice a year, especially during flowering.

Serissa pink snow rose grown as a Bonsai

The Serissa plant is one of the most common bonsai sold in America and Europe.

Serissa pink snow rose, with its glossy, dark green leaves with off white margins, its rough, grey trunk and beautiful pink flowers makes a captivating specimen for bonsai enthusiasts.

Below is the bonsai of the white flowering variety Serissa foetida.

Serissa foetida grown as a bonsai.

Serissa pink snow rose with its attractive foliage and delicate pink flowers would be perfect for bonsai as well,

My own small plant has survived the extremes of Sydney summer heat in a pot in a shady place on the verandah for a number of years. It always bounces back with its pretty pink stars to stand out amongst the other greenery. I recommend it to you.

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