By Tony Murrell
Sometimes it’s best to do nothing at all.
Subtropical type plants, palm trees, ornamental gingers, Canna’s and bromeliads are not exactly looking their super season best. There is an almost overwhelming compulsion to throw fertiliser at these plants in the hope and anticipation that colour and form may once again be restored.
Well the truth of the matter is don’t bother! This is quite normal plant behaviour for this time of the year and if you look closely new growth is making progress in the shelter and cocoon of manky foliage. The plants provide their own environment for bringing forth a wonderful new display.
Leave the plants alone and wait for another month to pass, please. I’ll keep you posted when you need to add goodies.
Mainlanders know all about the virtues of adding pea or barley straw to garden beds destined for vegetable production. If you can, add rotted horse, cow or sheep manure to the mix too. This insulating layer can be left for a wee while longer while you build strength to dig it all into the garden. You will not believe the results when you start planting again. Remember, when feeding the ground with natural organic products, less and often is the rule. Its all about the soil. Fortified plants means less disease and a resistance to pests, ultimately meaning no more sprays!
Plant of the week
The moth orchid or Phalaenopsis.
Everybody loves them and stresses over how to take care of them.
You need to keep the leaves hydrated remember that aircon and dehumidifiers tend to make the leaves wilt. Use a small spray bottle with a weak solution of seaweed and water and mist the leaves every few days.
Keep the plants out of direct light; Phalaenopsis' habitat is under the shade of canopy trees and foliage.
Always water in the morning using tepid tap water and let the water run through the special orchid mix. In the rain forest the plants would get a daily morning shower. You can water the plants every few days making sure that the pot does not sit in water. Use a speciality orchid fertiliser or a weak solution of a foliar spray once a week or thereabouts, and I promise you flowering will last for ages and you will get more flower spikes.
Re-potting, and splitting up plants, that’s is another question and you can join me on Saturday morning's Kitchen and Garden Show as we have a show dedicated to the care and growing or orchids this weekend.
Thing of the Week
“Treaticans” (Ed: Google it!?)
Garden design tip of the week
Don’t do it yourself. Get a colour consultant in.
Ever heard the saying that all your taste is in your mouth? I know it may sound a bit harsh but believe you me, get a colour consultant to help with exterior and interior colours; it can make your house and save your relationship!