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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

ORCHIDS

Good Morning to you,


I love cut flowers, I love arranging them in a vase and placing them on my kitchen table.  

I enjoy admiring them whilst they continue flowering, but how long is that....  one week, maybe two,

but, if I buy a house plant, well that really is a different story, as house plants, as long as they are treated correctly, can last for a long time and give many years of enjoyment.

I think most of us love Orchids,



with their delicate petals and their exotic look. You can choose this beautiful pink,



or this delicately spotted purple/pink colour. It looks as if ink has been splattered onto the petals.  Do you remember, as a child, using ink nibs which were dipped into ink pots.... if you do, these spots will look familiar, because I remember, if you dropped a little spot of ink onto blotting paper, this was the effect it caused.  Of course this was done when the teacher was not looking!


Maybe, you prefer something a little richer in colour, such as this one, but whichever Orchid you choose, care for it correctly and you will spend months enjoying the beautiful flowers.




I love repotting my Orchids into visually attractive bowls.



When choosing a bowl, make sure it is deep enough for the Orchid.


They are happy, as long as you give them plenty of light, but not direct sunlight.



There are a few things you need to know about growing Orchids. The first is, they don't like getting their feet wet.  What I mean is, don't allow the roots to sit in water, as this is something Orchids hate. My rule of thumb is, I allow the top of the compost to dry out completely and then I pour half a small teacup of water into compost. 



I say compost, but it is a special Orchid growing medium.
  
If you decide to keep your plant in the plastic container, which it was originally planted in, then watering is much easier.  Water the Orchid and allow the water to drain away before replacing it in it's decorative pot.

Spray the Orchid with a fine mist of water, every couple of days and they will reward you with continuous flowers for many, many months. They especially like the humidity of a bathroom, but only if there is plenty of light.


But what do you do, when the last flower has bloomed and died, do you throw your plant away and buy another one?  Please don't do that, keep your money in your purse, as there is a way to encourage another stem to grow.  All you have to do, is snip away the old flower stem. Can you see the clean cut? That is where I cut the old stem.


Whilst waiting for the stem to grow, I keep the Orchid on the kitchen windowsill, where I can keep an eye on it.

After a couple of weeks, keep checking to see if a new stem has grown.  As once it appears, it grows pretty quickly. If you look closely, you will see that the new stem grew beside the old cut stem. It does not always happen this way, as it can pop up anywhere. I cannot tell you exactly how long it will take, because sometimes, it takes two weeks, sometimes, three, maybe more, as we all live in different climates.  

Allow the stem to grow to about 4 inches and very gently, tie the stem to the cane. I cannot emphasise the word gently, enough,  as these stems are very delicate.  They also have a tendency to want to grow outwards, but we want to  gently, encourage the stem to grow upwards.


As it continues to grow, tie the stem to the cane again and continue this way until the stem has reached it's correct height.  You will know when this happens, because you will see little buds forming on the end of the stem.



Something else which is important, is to feed the Orchid.

The directions will be on the container, but I feed the plant once a week when the flowers are blooming and once a month throughout the rest of the year.

I hope you have found these tips on caring for Orchids helpful.

Do you know who told me how to do this?  It was my lovely daughter, Danielle.  

When we last visited, Danielle had so many beautiful Orchids blooming around her house.  I asked her how she managed to keep so many beautiful blooms. Danielle told me, when she is shopping, she looks out for the Orchids which are being sold which look a little tired, because they are usually reduced by quite a lot of money, she snaps them up and nurtures them until she is rewarded with new blooms.  Then when the blooms have faded, she snips off the stem and waits for a new one to grow. She did say the ladies at the payment desk  always look at her as if she is a little nutty, because who buys plants that are looking tired and past their best.

Danielle is just like George, because that is what he does with Bonsai trees, he buys the ones at reduced prices.  He then gifts them with new soil, a new decorative pot and sometimes he will trim the roots and this way he manages to have many beautiful Bonsai trees, without paying a fortune.

So you see, thriftiness runs in the family.

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

This week I will be joining, 



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