Friday, September 12, 2014

Vandas in Bloom

I have a lot of plants in the yard.  In fact the yard is "over planted".

Most of what is there was there before we moved in.  I tend to plant things from the "Drop a seed and it will grow there" school of agriculture.  If it's fussy, I'm not too interested.

In South Florida, it's more that it's too easy for things to grow than not easy enough. 

I have coleus all over the yard.  Probably 4 varieties. When I mulched the side garden around the orange tree, I used the evil synthetic stuff to keep out plants.  Landscape cloth and Rubber Mulch made out of old car tires dyed chocolate brown.  Still the plants return.  I have one maroon coleus growing there, under the carport and the orange tree.  I don't have the heart to uproot the thing and move it on.

Orchids were always my challenge.  I had a microclimate in my house in Philadelphia for Phalaeonopsis Orchids.  Moth Orchids.  The window got about an hour of direct sunlight a day.  It was a leaky ancient pane of 1860s glass.  In the winter there was always a little frost inside.  The plants thrived there and I would have beautiful flowers for 10 or 11 months of the year.  They would drop off in August but always return shortly after.

Maybe they needed a rest.

Here, I have more variety.  Anything that would grow in a greenhouse or microclimate window in Philly grows with very little care here.  Two separate drip feed lines of Orchids here that my friends in Philly would be amazed at.  The reality is that other than a little water, they're care free. 

We went to the KMart in Oakland Park every trip down to Florida, pick up a few, and take them back.  "Seed Orchids" I have heard them called.  Baby plants that you would tie to a tree and ignore in Florida would wither away in the drier and colder Mid-Atlantic climate.  USDA Zone 6B I believe.  The same zone as Atlanta and the South side of  Providence, RI.

The only tropical plants you can grow outside are Needle Palms and Saw Palmettos, and then only on the South side of a building for the extra heat it provides.

Some day, I'll find a small one and send it to my sister in New Jersey.  That should completely confuse her!

The KMart is closing this month, soon they'll put in a Walmart.  I won't go to the Walmart.  I know I'm not alone in that, even if they do have Seed Orchids.

But for now, my Orchids are happy.  They should be.  The one that came into bloom last week is about 4 feet off the ground.  A little above waist high.  It's also grown into the fence.  Orchids are strange plants.  They don't need soil as much as tree bark and "waste".  Humus they called it.

My Vanda with the purple blooms sent out a feeder root when I put it there and it found the fence behind it.  Since it is wood, the rain and irrigation will send food for the plant.  It liked that so it grew more feeders and basically glued itself to the fence.  So much for fertilizing it since I can't remove it from the fence at all.  If some storm thing were to come this way, that Orchid will remain outside through the weather.  Rain or clear, no matter what.

But it's happy in that spot.  Plants won't bloom if they aren't happy, and seeing those blooms?  Well, they make me happy.  So enjoy a happy purple flower.  They don't last forever after all!

No comments:

Post a Comment