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Beginner Gardening Questions: Orchid Tree plants from seeds

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deadhed
Houston, TX

August 11, 2013
8:15 AM

Post #9627394

I started these Orchid Tree plants from seeds. The seeds were planted in these clay pots approx. 6 weeks ago, and placed under a fluorescent light. As the pic shows, they are pretty leggy at 10", and seem to be at a standstill and would collapse w/o support. What should I do at this point? What should I do different next time? I really want to save them. Please advise.

Thumbnail by deadhed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kantzklan
Edinboro, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 11, 2013
8:40 AM

Post #9627416

I can't tell how many leaves on each one, but I think they need to be trimmed back...i'm certainly no expert, but sometimes, like on coleus, if you just pinch the small leaves coming up to the top and that may make them bush out...

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2013
9:23 AM

Post #9627439

Is your plant the Bauhinia lunaroides (Texas Plume)? If so, it would probably benefit from more light. That is usually the case when a plant grows tall and has a weak stem. I know they require part shade, but that usually means protection from the mid-day sun, and it would benefit from morning sun.


Here is some info on care

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=BALU
deadhed
Houston, TX

August 11, 2013
9:29 AM

Post #9627442

The plants have 5-6 leaves on them. I'm wondering if I should just bite the bullet and snip the top 2-3 inches off to encourage a stronger plant. I am reluctant to do this w/o some experience advice. I've already lost one plant. Any more suggestions? Anyone?
deadhed
Houston, TX

August 11, 2013
9:36 AM

Post #9627445

To answer your question, themoonhowl, this was identified on this forum as Bauhinia, Orchid Tree. Any more ideas as to what I should do to save these plants?

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2013
10:07 AM

Post #9627468

I was asking about species because some are naturalized in Texas, and there are quite a few species of Bauhinia

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/adv_search.php?searcher[common]=&searcher[family]=&searcher[genus]=bauhinia&searcher[species]=&searcher[cultivar]=&searcher[hybridizer]=&searcher[grex]=&search_prefs[blank_cultivar]=&search_prefs[sort_by]=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search

I would say light and fertilizer seem to be what it needs. From reading various accounts, shortly after sprouting they require good light and as soon as the plant has its' true leaves and begins growing it should be lightly fertilized.

http://www.trumpetflowers.com/text/care-and-grow-bauhinia.htm
deadhed
Houston, TX

August 11, 2013
11:18 AM

Post #9627523

Thanks for the info, themoonhowl. This is a pic of the Orchid Tree bloom I submitted some time back to this forum for ID.
I will try for more light and fertilizer. Do you think I should snip the top 2-3 inches off?
Anxious for more advice.

Thumbnail by deadhed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2013
2:14 PM

Post #9627699

I truly wish I could be of more help,deadhed, but I have no experience growing Bauhinia and would not want to give you wrong info on it when it comes to cutting back the main stem.

WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

August 11, 2013
2:51 PM

Post #9627736

Give them better light (not direct hot sun light) nip out the growing tip between your finger and thumb, that will stopp the plant getting any taller as the stem / trunk is not able to support any more hight without it folding and breaking the stem, this will cause either death or damage that could allow some disease into the growing tissue.

As regards the feeding / fertilizing, I would read the label for instructions as to what dosage to use and NOT go beyond that, in fact for the first feed, I would use half dose and when your happy the plant is doing OK, say a week later, you could give the other half dose, there after give the recomended dose as given by the directions on the packet / bottle.
It may be a good time to re-pot each plant into a slightly larger pot and fresh new compost and check IF you need to actually use special compost used for the growing Orchids, however as this is a tree maybe it just requires well draining soil with added nutrients but did the seed packet not give instructions or guidance.

Wish I could help further but you seem to be getting good advice from people who know this type of plant.

Best of luck. WeeNel.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

August 13, 2013
12:48 PM

Post #9629733

Sorry folks, but somehow there is an echo on the thread tonight, the named person below my reply
(monterno) has the replica of my own written words and then gave an intro to some Recipe site, Sorry But that was NOT from me you'll be glad to no MY brain can do these type of tricks Ha, ha, ha. It could be little Gremlin's entering Dave's site and I DON'T have any idea's how to get rid of them LOL.

Best Regards. WeeNel.

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