Fertilize citrus, roses and fuchsia monthly beginning in March and continuing through October. Roses thrive with a specialized rose fertilizer. For citrus and fuchsia, apply an acid fertilizer.
As our flower- and fruit- producing plants start working, they appreciate extra nutrients to help them along. After eating a banana, save the peels. Chop them up and place them around the base of roses, citrus and other fruiting and flowering plants. They will quickly disintegrate and add potassium to the root area helping to produce beautiful flowers and tasty fruit.
Aphids moving in on your territory? Aphids are a common and unwanted visitor this time of year, especially on roses. Luckily, the Bay Area is also home to Syrphid flies which are natural enemies of the aphid. The Syrphid fly is a stingless fly with black and yellow bands and is often confused with honey bees. They play an important role in pollination as adults, but in their larval state they are hungry for aphids. A single Syrphid larva can eat hundreds of aphids per month. Let the Syrphid larvae do the heavy lifting and dispose of your aphid problem. If you want to take a more active role, merely spray the aphids off with water or gently run your fingers along the stems to squish them. There's no need for harsh chemical pesticides.
When winter comes to an end, and all threat of frost has passed, you can safely prune your perennial and winter-flowering plants. Pruning gives you an opportunity to shape your plants and keep them to a desirable size, while giving the plants a chance to recoup and regrow. Timing is important here, as pruning encourages new growth, and if done too soon, plants will produce sensitive new shoots that can be damaged by the cold. On the other hand, pruning too late into the growing season can reduce vigor and leave your plants without flower buds. Be careful not to over-prune! Removing dead leaves and branches, wayward stems, and spent flowers can often be plenty to keep your plants looking their best all though the year.