Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gardeners Welcome
SC92 Orchid Plant Pot Shin Shiang Diamond 'Sun #1'
The orchids arrived today.  With the 3 that I ordered came a free one.  I giggled to myself because a free orchid means that it comes in a smaller pot.  We know this and we expect it.    We also expect that the plant will be substantially smaller and the pot will be substantially smaller because it is free.  Well, the pot was a tiny bit smaller, not a lot.  The plant, believe it or not was actually the same size, if not a teeny bit bigger.  It made me a smile.  I looked the plant up and I decided to share a photo with you of what the orchid looked like. I was more than pleasantly surprised.  The arrival of orchids is always a time of excitement and fun.  I was really glad that I had thought to get the supplies the other day because they were on hand when I needed them.  Buying premixed orchid plant media is very expensive, so I always mix my own.  Each type of orchid has a preference of what they like best.  As a general rule, I typically use mostly orchid bark and moss and for some I use charcoal.  Today, the mixture was moss and bark.
how repotted orchid looks with clips
free orchid
I mix the moss and bark together in an old plastic washtub (dry) and then add water to cover and let it soak for for about 15 minutes or so.  This is a messy job so this is best done outside.  The orchids prefer to be a little cramped but not claustrophobic, if that makes sense.  Never, ever bury the rhizomes or base of the plant with the planting media (bark, moss or charcoal).  If the plant media is not packed in well enough to keep the orchid sturdy, give it a stick and a couple clamps to make it secure.  If an orchid does not have a secure base from the very beginning, it will not grow secure roots and it will wither.  You will be fighting from the very beginning to keep the orchid blooming and flourishing.  

Sick Pentas 3/22/2012
Chinese Lilies
We aren't all about orchids today... I found a sad plant today.  My pentas was doing fine until about a week ago.  This is not a new plant.  It's about 3 or 4 years old now.  I understand that most people treat these as annuals and buy a flat of them and plant them to die at the end of the autumn.  Here, that doesn't happen if you are lucky.  Anyway...they were coming back just great until about a week ago and then they started looking rather peeked.  You can see they look sort of faded green or gray-green.  We'll continue to keep an eye on these guys over the coming days to see how things turn out.  We've had afternoon showers for the past two days and that may be just what the doctor ordered.  On the positive side, the Chinese Lilies are bursting with joy!  The couple of days of spring rain has worked magic with them.  I wish they'd hurry up and bloom!  The front looks absolutely beautiful with the flowers planted and the little hummingbird glass. 

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