I planted this bronzed fennel months ago and it has been a beautiful addition to my garden. I love the wispy flow of this plant in the breeze, and I like to crush sprigs to release the fresh scent of anise. I’ve also chopped up sprigs into my salads which has been yummy, but this variety hasn’t produced bulbs at the bottom like the regular variety, so I haven’t cooked with it like I typically would with fennel. I’m not sure if it’s a difference of variety or just my growing abilities this year, but that was a bit of a disappointment. Now this fennel plant is topping out at 10 feet tall and it’s taking over the garden, so this past weekend I pulled Feisty Fennel out the garden. Sorry, Fennel, you’ve been fun, but I need the gardening space!
I’m kind of new to the whole orchid game, so I’m just muddling along without much concern about whether I am doing the right thing or not.
Orchid pruning came up in conversation a few weeks back and, honestly, I had never given it any thought. Other than cutting the flower stalk all the way down to the plant when it gets done blooming, what’s to prune? Well, according to the person with whom I was conversing, you should NEVER cut the stalk. That didn’t make sense to me so it was time for a little research. It turns out you can cut the stalk all the way down when it’s done blooming, but if you do some strategic pruning, you can encourage a second bloom cycle on the stalk.
First, let me clarify by saying I’m talking about Phaleanopsis orchids. I have been growing cymbidiums for a few years and I cut those stalks down to the plant when they are done blooming.
Back to the phaleanopsis. From the base of the spike count up to 3 nodes, then cut off the spike a one inch above the third node. Orchids are very susceptible to bacterial infection so it is strongly suggested that tools be sterilized between trimmings.
Now, a little trip to my personal orchids. This orchid was ignored so I didn’t trim it back. It has developed little buds at the end of the stalk so I’m thinking that the blooms will probably be less than robust, but we’ll see.
Here’s the plant from a distance. Pretty scrawny, huh.
Now, here’s a plant where I cut the stalk all the way back last year. It sent out a new stalk and look at this baby bloom!
So, prune or not; you’ll just get different results. I will prune the next orchid that finishes blooming to see if I can get a second cycle of blooming. I think the smarter thing I’ve done to get my orchids to rebloom is to water consistently and fertilize regularly.
Christmas is over and it’s time to start cleaning up and putting away. And what to do about those beautiful poinsettia you bought for decoration. Seems a shame to toss them, but there’s hope. With a little care, it’s possible to resurrect those beauties for next year.
Organic Gardener shares good information about how to care for your poinsettia plants for the long run: Poinsettia Pointers
As for me, I will be putting my poinsettia out in the alley for someone to pick up who is more ambitious than me!
I wish mine looked like this!
Last weekend I knew the rain was on its way, so the handwriting was on the wall. Time to cut down the Red Fountain Grass. It’s that time of year anyway, but a heavy rain would have the grass laying all over the ground and it would be a huge mess. Sooooo, chop, chop.
With the grasses gone, a whole new mess is uncovered. I see weeding in my near future!!!
Rodney’s trying to figure out what happen to his hiding spots. It looks pretty bare out there now!
I looked out the door the other morning and what a nice surprise to find this pile of Felt plant aka Elephant Ears. My friends, Greg and Val, have this spectacular succulent growing next to their garage and it was taking over so I was a lucky recipient of cuttings.
The leaves are huge and feel like thick felt when held between your fingers.
The leaves are so pretty and I love the color. I’ll chop the cuttings down to more managable pieces and get them potted up.
Thanks Greg and Val for thinking of me! Christmas came early!
I like the ebb and flow of my garden. I spent the weekend assessing and cleaning up out there. Cucumbers finished their cycle so they got yanked. Lemon balm was taking over and I’m not sure what to do with it anyway so it got chopped waaaaayyyy back. Same with the basil. I had planned to have the basil ready so when my tomatoes got ripe I could make bruschetta and sauce, but the tomatoes are not cooperating so they are coming out.
On the other hand, my squash is doing great, unlike last year. Last night for dinner I sauteed diced squash with some beef bacon and the last of the red onion I had grown. Delish!
With all the work I’m doing in the garden, I’m not finding many snails right now and now I know why. Possums are good snail and slug eaters.
Well, hello there!
I surprised this little possum when I walked out the front door and it ran straight into the cat’s box! No one said they were smart!
We still have a good growing season ahead of us so keep your gardens vibrant by filling in with a second round of plants when the first round finish their cycles. I visited Walter Andersen Nursery on yesterday morning for some cactus soil and ended up bringing home some new veggies to plant. I’ll try to grow some more cucumbers, beans and tomatoes. Maybe I’ll have better luck with tomatoes now that it’s getting warmer. I hope…..
You have bonsai potential!
Oh, Rosemary. I’m sorry. I started out with good intentions but I got a little carried away. It will grow back, I promise….