Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Exotic but complicated - Orchids

I got so tempted i couldn't resist buying them. A new member to my garden family - Orchids.

A beautiful and exotic flower with a dumbfounding number of varieties and color. Orchids represent love, beauty, luxury, strength and prosperity. They are found in tress as “ Epiphytes” (air plants) and as “Terrestrial” (ground plants). The epiphytes which can be a houseplant but their needs for light, water, humidity and growing methods vary comparing to other indoor house plants.

Orchids are native to tropical rainforest, but we always need to be careful while watering them. We must not water them everyday or more often, excess of water will kill them instantly. They have to be watered twice a week to keep them evenly moist but not soaking wet. Watering orchids during day helps them to dry by night.

Good air circulation is essential for growth especially during winter and rainy season. Orchids love light but not sunlight so avoid exposing to direct sunlight.

Orchid blooms twice a year. The spikes are tall and stylishly bent. The flower stays for least three months with good care. In a mature plant, when the last flower falls, cut the high end of the spike but just above a node and below the lowest bloom. The plant may send out new flowering branch. If your plant is young and have small leave its better to cut off the spike.

The best way to know how healthy is your orchid plants are is by its color. A healthy orchid plants leaves will be bright green rather dark green. If it turns to –
  1. Dark green – Too little sunlight
  2. Reddish green – too much light
  3. Black spot/ blotches – Sunburn, fungal/ bacterial infection, Excess of minerals in water, Excess of fertilization.
  4. Yellow leaves – Fall of old leaves, excess of water, Chemical reaction (accidently exposed to perfume)
  5. Wrinkled leaves – Lack of hydration, rotting roots.
A healthier leaf is a healthier plant. The leaves help in identifying & stopping diseases. A little care and a little love, a happy orchids don’t let you down, they show with an exotically stunning blossom.

When doing repotting for orchids, a good container is imperative. The best would be plastic container, with good ventilation area to avoid water standing and preserve moisture for long. It is suggested to do the repotting during spring and summer, as the plants will be in active growth.  You can use orchid mix, which is available in market, or alternatively you can make your own mix with some sphagnum moss, tree-fern fiber, coco peta and some barks. 
Do look in to this link, very useful as a reference for repotting.

There are many orchid nutrients/ fertilizers in market. There are 17 essential elements to orchid growth but most needed and refereed as macronutrients are
  1. Nitrogen (N) – for leaf growth and flower development
  2. Phosphorous (P) – for root and flower development.
  3. Potassium (K) - build tissues and supports in the production of vital chlorophyll.
The other micronutrients elements are Calcium, Iron, Copper and Zinc. Any orchid fertilizer are labeled with the number 10-20-30, which means the ratio of the primary nutrients, they are said to be complete and balanced fertilizer if they have same ratio (NPK). i.e. 10-20-30, 20-20-20 and 10-10-10.

Always remember – Under fertilize, rather than over fertilizing.

Enjoy these enigmatic beauties.

Happy Gardening.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Small Space - Big Garden

I belong to a small city in south india. There the concept of garden means big but unplanned traditional way. We had and having almost all kind of plants - shrubs, veins/creeper/climber, Tropical plants, Trees, flowering plants but no water plants.

But now a days in a busy city and with hectic schedule, time and the space is a huge constraints too. Time permits but not the space. Size is indeed relative when it comes to garden specially in an a apartments and even not having enough place for garden. It is difficult to grow all the plants we get tempted.

There are as many solution as there are gardens, but we compromise either with no garden or with containers in a line. If we use imagination as device and put in reality guess even small space can turn into a small garden room.

The less space you have, the more important is to designing your garden and which style your garden should have. The secret of beautiful garden lies in the maintenance, if you enjoy gardening then you wont feel it as burden. But for working people specially finding the time to properly maintain the garden.

This is where small garden works wonder.

A miniature garden which pleases everybody, with a little land you can create your own small green room. There are wide concepts of garden for small spaces - Container Garden, Vertical Garden, Water Garden and you can even try Japanese and zen style design.

Depending upon space and your personality you can chose the design. Adding some furniture and garden accents, you can leave a personal touch.

Happy Gardening

Saturday, 8 October 2011

My new Water Lilly

From last 4 months I waited for this water lilly to bloom.

Even though part of this plant (I mean the parent bulb) started blooming early. I tried to do a small research and consulted my gardner on the same. We just need to follow few basic simple steps.

1. According to Vastu/ fengshui the water must be in north of your house or work place. It may include water storing tanks, aquarium and pond. Plan accordingly and arrange as needed. If you have a balcony or patio you can get a medium or large size plastic or cement container.

2. The Lotus or Water Lily are generally found in ponds under direct sunlight. Accordingly select the place where there will be least 4hrs of direct sunlight.

5. You can even put Lavender oil and Neem Oil to get rid of the flies as it attends to get attracted to the water and plant.

6. Decorate your pond with some marbles, seashells's and even fish to keep it clean. And as you know fish brings calm and peace too.

7. You can give a dramatic look by adding some outdoor accent like frog, snails and even solar light too.

8. Just enjoy the view like i did when she blooms.

Please do leave comments and correction if needed.

Happy Gardening :)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Why Gardening

I was wondering what can make us come out of stress and smile, what can help us to live healthy but in more simpler way. The answer came out too simple, thats your garden.
It doesn't matter how long your day may go or how much stress you underwent at your work, when u are back home just watering your plants talking to them and taking care of small things vaporizes the stress and pain.

I started doing gardening when i was a kid. I used to spend lot of time with my granny in our big garden. We used to sit watch the plants for insects, removing dry leaves, putting manure and many more small things. Those days garden is a must in the house 'front yard' that is what people call now. We used to share plants from our neighbors and friends. I never realized when this activity became a hobby and till today i spend the same time alone though and some time when i visit my granny. 

Gardening is the one simple way keeps you healthy and make your living place pleasant. Coming days i would like to share my ideas and interest specially with container, terrace and patio garden. Hope all goes well.. 

Keep reading.


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