As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.
Orchids in pots, especially the ‘Moth Orchid’ or Phalaenopsis, are widely available and popular gifts. Placed on a window sill, they bloom for long periods when pruned, watered and fed correctly. In this article David Coton share some important orchid plant care tips.
Good drainage is essential, orchids like a drink but don’t want to be drowned. Water your orchid sparingly every week or 10 days to keep the plant moist but not waterlogged.
There are many orchid care products and you can use Orchid Myst (pictured left) that is inspired by the orchid’s natural habitat, a nutrient rich liquid feed that is sprayed onto the roots and is formulated to support long lasting flowers.
Pruning takes place when the flowers have fallen off and the spike or stem starts to turn brown. Some experts recommend cutting the spike off at the base, so that the plant regains its energy. Others say cut back to the highest ‘node’ allowing the plant to bloom again sooner on the same spike.
On a young plant it might be advantageous to cut back to the base, on older plants prune to just above the highest unflowered green node.
Then move the orchid to a cooler room and apply an specialist orchid feed from Baby Bio or Orchid Focus. Make sure your secateurs are cleaned before pruning another plant to prevent the spread of disease.
Some orchid species including Violacea will bloom successively on the same stem for a considerable time and therefore should not be pruned until eventually becoming unsightly. The general rule with orchid plant care is that if the stem remains green, do not cut it.
When the node begins to swell move the plant back onto the windowsill and a new flowering stem will emerge. After all the nodes have flowered the whole spike can be removed to the base.
Before a new flowering stem grows is a good time for re-potting. Remove the plant from its current pot and untangle the roots, cutting out any old or dead ones.
Place in a slightly larger pot using a moist specialist orchid medium such as Orchid Focus that’s mix containing free draining graded bark, blended with coconut fibre chips. There’s also a re-potting kit available that contains all you need including new pot, mix and clips.
New products are the lifeblood of many industries and it’s no different in the gardening sector and most of us above a certain age will know the Rubbermaid brand well, particularly if you have ever been in the cleaning industry.
GLEE is the garden retail industry's annual show at the NEC in Birmingham. David Coton took the opportunity to visit this year's event to catch up on the news, visit current/potential suppliers and evaluate new products we would like to offer on GardenSite in the coming year.
I had never heard of Evika Greenhouses but when I walked into our annual Garden & Leisure Exhibition 2019 (GLEE) it was the only product I really saw. A brand new greenhouse brand is always going to get my attention but the sense that this was not only new, but different, kept my focus.
Although the growing season is slowly coming to an end, David Coton can suggest quite a few jobs that need to be done over the next few weeks, helping you make the most of what's left of summer and preparing for the arrival of autumn.