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.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020.
Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.
Gardening is such a popular activity with interest only increasing over recent years that the magazine rack in your local newsagent or supermarket is packed with publications offering inspiration and practical advice.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is dull and overcast, David Coton suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.