The Orchid Myths - What is the TruthWritten by Bob Roy
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Epiphytes air plants (majority of orchids) grow on trees Lithophytes air plants grow on rock surfaces Saprophytes air plants grown on decaying vegetation Terrestrials ground plants grow in soil
#3 Do orchids only last a short time? On contrary most species can last for years if taken care of. There are some plants which were propagated in 18th century and continue to live today.
#4 How often do they bloom? It varies according to variety and hybrid but they can bloom from once to 2 - 4 times a year. The blossoms can last for weeks to months which is a real plus.
#5 How old is my plant? Orchids can take years to come to maturity and bloom. Typically, plants are anywhere from 5 to 8 years old.
#6 Is conservation of orchids important? According to American Orchid Society this is a priority. Threats to orchids come primarily from loss of habitat and collecting. The AOS encourages purchase of only artificially propagated orchids.
#7 Should orchids be protected from a draft?,/b> This could be another orchid myths,but answer is no, orchids prefer moving air but should not be over a heating or air conditioning vent.
Bob has a website devoted to orchids with loads of information, orchids-plus-more.com. You will also see a large selection of stunning orchids.
Summer Pruning / Pinch an InchWritten by Tom Ogren
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Most of us gardeners have done some pinching of geraniums, begonias, and especially fuchsias, trying to make them bushier. It works pretty much same with fruit trees, too. The more often you pinch, more bud breaks you get and bushier your tree becomes. I have found with very vigorous branches that in a season of growth, I may have to pinch that same branch three or four times, but it seems well worth effort. The end result of all this tip pinching is a shorter, more compact fruit tree…and one that won’t need much pruning in winter. The tree benefits too, since it no longer has to pour all that energy into re-growing all that wood each spring. This same energy can then be converted into producing a larger crop of fruit. There is another pleasant benefit, too, from all this constant snipping and pinching…fewer bugs. Aphids in particular can be a problem on apricots and apple trees, and they almost always take hold first on softest, newest, fastest growing wood. The pinching removes this soft tip, part most attractive to insects. The pinching also interrupts natural apical dominance present in terminal end of any fast sprouting branch and encourages branching. Summer pruning, pinching, isn’t recommended for trees that are growing slowly since it will further slow down growth. It is most desirable with trees that naturally have a tendency to get much tall than we want them to be. Where late spring frosts can be a problem (with apricots in particular) summer pruning can result in a tree of a much more manageable size. Some apricot lovers have now discovered that with enough summer pinching you can get a smaller tree, one that is low enough to throw a plastic cover over on those cold spring evenings when branches are loaded with white blossoms, but a late frost threatens. But, take note: be sure to remove frost cover promptly when morning arrives. If a program of summer pinching is undertaken, following winter’s dormant pruning needs will normally be minimal. However, once every few years it would still be a good idea to make a limited number of large cuts, cuts that remove considerable wood. This would be done to encourage more vigorous new growth. The reason this would be needed now and then is because most deciduous fruit trees fruit on either first or second season’s wood. Dormant pruning would still be used to remove any dead wood, criss-crossing branches, and to shape tree. If there is a large branch that needs removing, time to do that is always in dormant season. One word here about dormant pruning of fruit trees: in mild winter USDA zones 8-10 it is best to do your dormant pruning just after Christmas. In colder winter areas it is safest to delay dormant pruning until worst of winter’s cold has passed. Thus in a very cold zone 3, such as in northern Minnesota, best time to prune fruit trees would be in March or early in April. But summer pruning, pinching, can be done all summer long. The results will please you and tree both. So get out there, and pinch an inch.
Thomas Leo Ogren is author of five published books, including Allergy-free Gardening (Ten Speed Press), Safe Sex in Garden (Ten Speed Press), and, What Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing Perfect Lawn (Time Warner Books). Visit with Tom at his own website at www.allergyfree-gardening.com
Thomas Leo Ogren is the author of five published books, including Allergy-free Gardening (Ten Speed Press), Safe Sex in the Garden (Ten Speed Press), and, What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn (Time Warner Books). Visit with Tom at his own website at www.allergyfree-gardening.com