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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Cymbidium orchids won't flower.

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77sunset
Merino
Australia

January 2, 2007
3:19 AM

Post #3044371

I am new to the site and am looking for someone to please tell me why my cymbidiums hate me. I have had some of them for over 8 years . Even when in flower at purchase, they never do it again. I live in a cold winter, hot summer area of south west Victoria and have the little dears in a shadehouse lined on roof and 3 sides with plastic to keep the winter rain off. After nearly losing some to rotten roots from a wet winter outside, I built the new house and potted them all in scoria. They grow pretty well but always seem to have dead brown ends on the leaves and no flowers not even a stem. I have looked in books and asked questions but nothing helps. I fertilise fortnightly with orchid feed and a little Maxicrop seaweed fertiliser. Can someone please tell me how to make them love me and flower ?

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ferrymead
nelson
New Zealand
(Zone 9a)

January 6, 2007
8:11 PM

Post #3059359

77, I only have one little miniature orchid which I have only had for 6 months and it did flower. But you might like to have a look at the website below where it talks about growing 'hard' or growing 'soft', which may be of use.

http://www.how-to-grow-orchid.com/care-of-the-orchid-flower.htm

Hope it opens o.k. for you.
77sunset
Merino
Australia

January 7, 2007
11:08 PM

Post #3063188

Hello ferrymead
Thank you for your reply and link. I tried that site and although it has helpful info, there is nothing new. I find most places give out the same info. I follow what I learn but it seems there is something here that the orchids just don't like. It must be me, as the neighbour on the next farm about half a mile away has his orchids flower every year. It is a standing joke between us because his sheep ate his plants a few years ago and they still grew and flowered. I guess I will have to get used to non flowering orchids and grow something else. Strangely though, my dendrobium orchids do well and do flower.
I think I'll just pretend they aren't there and see what happens.
ferrymead
nelson
New Zealand
(Zone 9a)

January 9, 2007
1:08 AM

Post #3066564

What a mystery, the plants look so healthy, perhaps when the fill up the post more and become root bound they will do their stuff for you. Know how galling it must be that sheep eaten orchids flower when yours being sheep free do not.!!

I bought 2 variegated geranium plants a year ago and they have never flowered but all my other green leaved geraniums have! I don't know whether one just grows them for the leaf colour or whether I have done something wrong. I also have a potted Peace lily, it has only flowered twice in the five years I have had it, I give it the proper fertilizer with no result. Perhaps I should forget about trying for flowers from that too!
DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL
(Zone 10a)

January 21, 2007
1:00 AM

Post #3104780

77, I had good luck growing cybidiums when I lived in California. One factor for flowering is to not to fertilize in the fall, winter seasons. Another is high light levels (except when it is hot-over 30C). Your plants look a little too green, the best flowering plants are usually a little bronze in color, they might need brighter conditions. Keeping too warm and away from light at night in the winter may also be a factor, they may be photo sensitive. I know they won't bloom well if kept too warm, they have a chill requirement. Don't repot too often, pot bound is best. Everytime you split a clump you have to wait 2 years for them to establish themselves. I used to wait until the center had died out, remove the spent bulbs and put the remainder back in the same size container with new bark.

Also check and see what conditions your successful neighbor has and try to duplicate those conditions. Benign neglect works very well sometimes

I have one cybidium here and it is not doing well in this year around warm climate. There is a grower across the bay from my place that sells 'in flower' plants every spring. I have asked them questions, but, they don't really give good answers, so I have given up on them as a source for good information. I do much better with the warm growing types now.

This message was edited Jan 20, 2007 9:10 PM

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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 8, 2007
11:02 AM

Post #3831599

Hi again sunset, I dragged this one up from the depths. Did you get your cymbidiums to flower? They should be starting soon! I too have orchids that hate me and never flower. I put them in morning sun on the eastern side of the shade house and just generally ignore them now. I did cut one right back because the leaves had black spots, but it came right back, spots and all, and is still sitting there doing nuffin!
I'm doing some holiday watering for a neighbour and hers are the spitting image of the perfect orchid, with 3-4 spikes of big fat flower buds. I'm hoping they will emerge while I'm looking after them. If so be prepared for pics!
77sunset
Merino
Australia

August 8, 2007
10:09 PM

Post #3834101

Hello again weed_woman. No, my orchids have not flowered yet. I have them in their own shade house which is half covered in plastic to keep the cold winter rain off the little darlings. They sit there and grow new shoots which always turn out to be leaves. I ignore them and water when I think of it. I feed in the warm weather but they still hate me. I have a son in Darwin who delights in ringing me all the time to tell me about another one of his 100s of orchids that flower. Aren't kids a pain when they can do something better than we can ?
Must away as its shopping day and we have to get down to Portland today , which is a good hours drive away.

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 8, 2007
11:25 PM

Post #3834291

My experience is that we buy these lovely things in full flower and we fall in love with them...and leave the flowers on the plant. My garden bible says never leave them on longer than 2 weeks as it exhausts the bulbs.They last for ages as cut flowers anyway.
Next the light is very important...they need a bit of sun ...not midday of course but mid morning...starting around the end of Feb until it gets too cold.They can't handle too much water...and need perfect drainage...why don't you use the special orchid pine stuff
to grow them in.I think too much feed is a mistake ...if you think about it they live in trees and get by on the odd dollop of bird poo and any nutrients that drip down from the leaves ...a dead insect
here and there...bits of dead leaves etc.Then in Autumn they enjoy a bit of extra light because some of the trees drop leaves and the sun is lower in the sky and filters through places it did'nt in the Summer...I hope your orchids flower for you next season...pretty things even without the flowers. :)
77sunset
Merino
Australia

August 9, 2007
7:35 AM

Post #3835522

Hello chrissy. You do not know my orchids. They are a breed of their own . I have over the years followed all the advice known to man. I have bought a couple with flowers but have taken the flower off to put inside in a vase each time. I have tried feeding and not feeding. They get plenty of light but no direct hot sun I tried orchid mix, composted pine bark and a mixture of both. My son in Darwin , with all his magnificent orchids gives me endless advice . He keeps his on wood or in screenings. Of course they are in the perfect climate up there.
I have a neighbour here with orchids also. He keeps his out in an old leanto shed and one year the sheep ate them all off. They still grow and flower every year as he delights in telling me. I have had mine now in scoria for the past 3 years. They grow well and each time a shoot forms, I think, oh , a flower but all I get is more leaves. They are looking well at the moment and have not been fed since summer and I forget when I did water them last. So you see they hate me.
I have a dendrobium bought about 12 years ago with my first cymbidiums and it flowers every year and drops pups like you would not believe. Evrything loves me but the orchids. Oh well , they have their shadehouse and can just sit in it and grow. One day I may get a surprise and see a flower.
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

August 9, 2007
8:07 AM

Post #3835537

I have also been afflicted with the curse of the non-blooming Cymbidium. I have had about a dozen over the years and I currently have (from memory) 4 live plants. This year I am super-chuffed. I have my very first ever repeat bloomer, a miniature called Bedivere Highbury. I purchased 4 plants and a dormant back bulb at the Adelaide royal show in September 2004 and this one flowered for the first time in 2006 (which is when I took this photo). About three weeks ago I noticed that it had a flower spike on it, and I am hoping that I will see my first open flower next weekend.

They have probably always been a bit too shaded, but it is hard to know what to do with them when the summers are so harsh here. They ARE planted in commercial orchid bark, but I have been completely slack and have NEVER fertilised them beyond what ever was in the orchid mix. I find it significant that the only one of mine which is getting flowers is the one which is the least shaded of the four. They get mostly morning sun until about 11 am at present and then are in shade for the rest of the day.

I've seen them growing in all sorts of conditions in other people's gardens - some of the biggest clumps I ever saw were at a friends place in the Adelaide Hills many years ago - they were in the ground! under deciduous trees and would have had more than 100 bulbs per clump. I assume the soil underneath them was heavily amended to avoid root-rot but I suspect the acidity of the leaf litter, combined with the winter chill factor, and extra light before the trees leafed out in spring would combine to make near perfect habitat. My advice to you sunset, for what it is worth, would be to try three things. Firstly get them out of the scoria and into a pine bark based orchid compost. I know you have tried it before, but I suspect the Ph of their current mix is nowhere near acid enough. Orchid growers use pine bark for two reasons, firstly because the individual pieces hold water while still letting air into the roots, and secondly because the pine bark constantly releases acidity into the soil water as it degrades. This is why the soil in pine forests is always acidic and why many plants won't grow under pine trees.

Secondly, see if you can get them to slow down on vegetative growth, and preferably come to a complete halt in the colder months. - even if it means not watering them at all from May to August. (Even in the middle of summer NOTHING in my garden gets watered more than once a week, even vegies!)

Finally, see if you can get them into enough sunlight to change the leaf colour to a lighter, yellowish green, without causing any leaf burn. It may be too late for flowers this year but give it one more year and see how you go. Kaelkitty

PS: I found this article http://www.geocities.com/pennypoint9/culture.html extremely interesting, especially the bit about the 11C temperature drop! If all else fails, give your neighbour some bulbs and see what he can do with them LOL! (OR maybe you'll just have to get an "old leanto shed" of your own) ! Best of Luck!

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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 9, 2007
11:41 AM

Post #3835727

I went to my holiday watering job today and took a couple of pics of the buds and if they bloom over the next week or so, I will post a pic for you Sunset, so that you and I can share some cymbidium orchid flowers together, as the tragic orchid growers that we are! Knowing my luck, they won't flower untill the job is over, and I'll have to make an excuse to go and visit them! LOL

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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 9, 2007
11:50 AM

Post #3835749

See in your picture how the leaves look a bit yellow...that is how they are really supposed to look...the yellowing is because they got enough sun.We treat them like princess's and we should treat them like Cinderella! ...:)
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 9, 2007
11:56 AM

Post #3835767

Hi Chrissy, you up late too. I'm actually a bit mean with my cymbidiums, hardly ever fertilised, outside the eastern side of the shade house with morning sun, hacked back to nothing at one time, but I think mine are suffering from some sort of fungal/bacterial disease and maybe dont have energy to put towards flowering. My Dad in Nz used to put the pots under the trees and ignore and they always flowered. I tried that too, but lost about 4 plants, I think its too dry in Aus to do that without the occasional watering. Anyway, I do have some other types of orchids, I think a rock orchid is one, and it has many little purple/white buds appearing. Another one I got had buds, but overnite something ate them, possibly a possum. I'm glad someone enjoyed them!

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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 9, 2007
12:53 PM

Post #3835913

Aint it always the way!...how you going getting everything ready for the sale I loved that trolley I bet everyone wants to buy it...great for display!...yes the kiddies seem to adore the succulents...that is how I came by mine ...for my grandsons...but now they are bigger they have lost interest so I am now a new succulent owner and fan..
it will take me a few hundred years to catch you though.Sweet dreams! chrissy :)
77sunset
Merino
Australia

August 9, 2007
10:12 PM

Post #3837672

Thanks for all the excellent advice from all of you. My husband calls the cymbidiums, weeds. If I get them out again to do something with them he will really laugh. Maybe I'll give them this season then tackle them again and repot. . A friend said her mother always had beautiful flowers on hers and every Christmas she would pour lots of ice over all of them. Apparently it gave them the chill at the right time. There is so much info out there on orchids . My son bought me a beautiful book on orchids for my birthday a few months ago. It is from the ABC 's Gardening Australia books called Flora's Orchids. I think I should leave it out in the shadehouse for the orchids to read.
Enough on the orchids.
I am going outside to brave the cold and rain as I have been given some new hellebores and want to plant them near my white one. I have more dahlias too but they can wait a while. Have a great day all.

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 9, 2007
11:22 PM

Post #3837897

I have the hellebores too the mauve pinky plummy ones...hybrids ...just coming into flower now :) happy me! happy day all! (given a pot of mini yellow orchids yesterday but we won't talk about it =0
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 10, 2007
9:47 AM

Post #3839380

Well, I dragged my orchids out for a look and took some pics of them and their ailments, but I'm so embarrassed that I'm not going to post them and infact am going to turf them out! I might get myself some cheapo ones when the flowers are finished and throw them under a tree and see what happens! Or not!

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 10, 2007
10:36 AM

Post #3839430

They will probably love it! ha ha ha!
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

August 11, 2007
4:10 AM

Post #3843274

Oh God, weed_woman, don't throw them out - give them to someone! I'd take them myself if it wasn't for the fact that they'd probably cost a fortune to ship to me. I did a bad thing this week - spent a quarter of the fortnightly food budget ($25) on another Cymb! I saw it last week at one of the flower stalls in the middle of Rundle Mall but couldn't carry it at the time and besides it really was too expensive at $25 for its size, but oh, the colour. I passed it again on the way to Woolworths on Friday - still there; came back half an hour later going the other way and it was STILL there, so I gave in and stuck it on my credit card. Does any one have a phone number for Plantaholics Anonymous? I obviously need help! LOL! Here's a picture I took of it on the shop counter this morning to give you an idea, but even this doesn't do true justice to the absolutely electric pistachio green colour. Kaelkitty, off to do some work to pay for the orchid, LOL!

Edited to fix a typo and add the name: Cymbidium (Minature) Gentle Touch 'Bon Bon'


This message was edited Aug 11, 2007 1:58 PM

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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 11, 2007
7:52 AM

Post #3843585

Oh Ladies Please!...ha ha ha!.I confess these yellow ones given to me are delightful!.creamy buttery yellow with a white lip...oh darn...now I am going to love them.
we gardeners are a weird mob...now look KK those highlighter/fluero greens are always the touchy ones...but not talking about it...lol :)
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 18, 2007
8:29 AM

Post #3870218

these are the sad orchids that I am very ashamed of!

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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 18, 2007
8:30 AM

Post #3870219

A close up of the leaf. If anyone has any organic remedies for what ever is wrong with this, feel free to help me fix em.

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77sunset
Merino
Australia

August 19, 2007
10:01 PM

Post #3875490

Hello again all. Weed_woman, your orchid leaves look a bit like a couple of mine. Most of mine have lots of leaves but a couple seem to only have sparse growth. The leaf color looks healthy according to the experts who say they should be a nice light green. The problem with the leaf in your other pic is similar to some of mine also. I was told to spray with white oil but the leaves are still the same. If anyone can help , I'll be glad to know too. Stop gloating about your orchids, kaelkitty and chrissy. I'm sure that weed_woman and I, have some plant that you can't grow. I too , look at buying more orchids when I see the lovely flowers but am very good and resist the urge as I know the poor things will live without flowers for ever after if I do buy any. If my orchids ever flower there is going to be the biggest photo put out. I may even make a large poster size pic and frame it for posterity.

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 19, 2007
11:58 PM

Post #3875811

I am not boasting about the orchids...honest...sulky little b*#%ers
but as we said before you fall for their exotic charms and ...sucked in again!...I bet your hellebores are wonderful...now there is a plant you shove in and forget... except for the odd haircut and a handful of chook pellets or blood and bone... and there you go ...every year just like clockwork ...now I bet some poor people out there would love to have them grow for them...this year I have some pretty pink ones ...must have self seeded.
KK one of my rellys (dear Italian lady) has given me something she called "Dancing Bones"...new to all things succulent I was admiring this weird plant that looked a bit sort of spooky...and lucky me she had a plant that she had "started" and gave it to me...I am really excited because she has a garden full of strange and wonderful succulents and cactus (never really looked at them before with a collecter's eye)...I will be going over real soon to take some cuttings...She has some things that have been growing in the pots for 30 years and they are truly stunning...so I will be taking a camera with me.:) Getting back to the Dancing Bones...I looked it up in my garden bible and it looks like a Rhipsalis...lots of long stork things with little shorter stork things hanging off the ends...probably as common as mud ...but I like it...hers was spectacular! hanging down from a basket ...about 3/4 ft long trails of thin green...straight stork things... I like it a lot :) it is a bit confusing do you know if it is a cactus or a succulent?
About the orchids...sigh ...we all want something that we can't have ...My dream would be lilly of the vally...tried everything even ice water...see what I mean?

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Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

August 20, 2007
12:14 AM

Post #3875856

OK I've had a look at both pics weed_woman, and here's my two cents worth. The top one, I would dig up, divide into two down the middle, and replant into two pots of fresh orchid mix. After about a month, I would start to feed them with a weak foliar feed every two weeks until about May. Then I'd try to find somewhere cool to keep them through winter. From August onwards I'd start to feed them again, preferably with something with a low nitrogen / high phosphorus & potassium ratio until the end of November, when I'd switch to something with the opposite formula to encourage new shoots to make more bulbs for the following year.

I'm inclined to follow the same plan with the leafless plant as well, only I'd try dividing it into 3 - it looks to me like you've got a lot of back bulbs there, and they are only good for producing new bulbs from - once they get to that point they will never flower again, you need big fat bulbs with lots of leaves for flowers.

As regards the markings on the leaves, I think you have two choices, it is either the result of old insect damage - aphid, thrip or red spider mite being most likely, in which case it will be confined to the older leaves and will grow out and go away with time and new plant growth; or, you have as you suggested, picked up some sort of virus or fungus or bacterial infection - if so it actually looks fairly minor to me, and I wouldn't get too het up, unless it starts showing up on the newest leaves and spreads more rapidly. Even if it is some sort of disease, plants are like people in that respect - they are exposed to diseases all the time, usually with little or no visible affects, especially if the plant is healthy in itself.

Your plants look hungry to me, I'd guess it has been a while since they were repotted, and it wouldn't surprise me if the roots were going off. I'm ashamed to admit it but i have killed my fair share of cymbidiums by leaving them in the same pot for years on end, not realising that the potting mix had compacted as it had gotten older, and the roots had died for lack of air.until the whole thing just fell out of the pot for lack of attachment! When I purchased my orchids at the Royal Show in 2005 they recommended repotting them once every three years to make sure the mix stayed porous. Cymbidium roots are strange things, they are not like normal plant roots. Unlike most plants they don't make fine feeder roots at all. Instead they have large roots with a thick spongy layer on the outside which absorbs both gases and liquids. This is why orchid mixtures are so coarse - the roots have to be able to breathe.

This makes sense if you live up a tree in the humid tropics, the spongy root surface can actually pull moisture out of the air and any water which runs down the bark of the tree the orchid lives in
will collect soluble nutrients from dust, animal droppings, rotting leaf litter, you name it and the spongy orchid roots will suck this up as it passes over the roots. Thus what you end up with is a plant that needs greater aeration than most and a requirement that all it's nutrition comes in a soluble form to begin with. Regular plants with feeder roots on the other hand, are capable of using chemistry to transform solid nutrient containing substances into liquid solutions which the plants can then suck up out of the soil.

Best of luck with your plants, KK.
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

August 20, 2007
12:24 AM

Post #3875886

Yo Chrissy,
If it is a Rhipsalis, it's a Cactus! Remember this: "All Cacti are Succulents, but not all Succulents are Cacti" See, Clear as MUD! LOL! "Dancing Bones" huh, that's a new one on me - common names give me a headache! The relation's garden sounds like great fun - really old plants are always worth looking at, both to see what they can do over time, and because older gardens tend to hold interesting plants that have gone out of fashion so you get to see plants which are no longer common in cultivation. We await pictures with glee, KK.

Edited for spelling

This message was edited Aug 20, 2007 9:55 AM
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 20, 2007
12:30 AM

Post #3875907

wish I could learn not to navigate away from this page before I send my post, because when you come back, its all gone!
I too have a Dancing bones cactus Chrissy. (Glad you're back by the way, it was too quiet). Mine is about to flower, I can't wait. It gets little bright yellow daisy-like flowers. Really pretty! I started it from a relatively large cutting and it grew in no time to a good size. I have it in a hanging basket too. Is it raining your way. Lots of lovely rain here and I cant go to work. awwwwww!
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 20, 2007
12:44 AM

Post #3875968

found a pic taken back in June. I thought I had flowers coming then too, but it turns out it was new leaf growth.

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Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

August 20, 2007
12:57 AM

Post #3876012

Yep that's it, Hatiora or Rhipsalis salicornioides, I'm not quite sure which genera is most accepted nowadays. We used to call it "Indian clubs" but I guess that non-PC nowadays, LOL. Here's a link to the Plantflies entry http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55382/ Gotta go, I've got a doctor's appointment to get to, KK.

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 20, 2007
2:11 AM

Post #3876272

KK hope that Doc's appointment is not for illness...Gee WW that dancing bones of yours is great...but mine is all skinny without the bottle or club shapes that yours has...the sticks are uniform.width all the way to the endes and it drapes down like a cutain of bizzare green sticks...easy to see it is related but not the same...I think that looks like the one called the drunk's fantasy or
dream...something like that...thanks for letting me see yours ...will show you mine soon...:)
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

August 21, 2007
1:43 AM

Post #3880183

Don't worry Chrissy, I am a bit of a permanent creaking gate. I had a bad car accident when I was 17, wound up on the invalid pension at the age of 22, and I'm diabetic to boot. Sometimes I think I spend half my life in doctor's waiting rooms! I'm lucky in a lot of ways to be able to do as much as I can. I "work", if it can be called that, part time, but don't earn much so the pension is my life line for the basics rent, food, etc. which is why I have to try not to spend too much on the garden, but you can do a lot with a very little in the garden I find. Speaking of which, I will be away from the computer for the next day or so, to get some gardening done, and I'll check in when I get back, TTFN, KK.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

August 21, 2007
5:30 AM

Post #3880864

Thanks for the advice on the orchids KK. I did repot them in the last 5 years into commercial orchid mix and thats when the trouble started I reckon. But I may try your suggestions, and if I can stick with it I'll try the fertilising too.
Hey Chrissy, I can send you some of my Drunkards dream if you like (not rooted) let me know by D mail if you'd like a piece
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 8, 2007
8:22 AM

Post #3950190

Hi Sunset, heres a pic of a little baby of mine.
Sue

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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 8, 2007
8:56 AM

Post #3950205

Kk I sent you a reply that somehow did not go through re the visit to the doc ...is everything ok? I hope it all went well...love your baby orchid...it is so cute!
WW I think that mine is a drunk's dream after all ...I think it must have been starving or something because when I potted it up...after a few days the little ends stared to fatten up ...look ...
(oh I forgot the twisted willow cuttings...sorry do you still want some?)

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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 8, 2007
9:04 AM

Post #3950206

Sorry that pic was awful (still on P's)...here is a bunch of the branches behind a didgereedoo...my wall is a nice warm sand colour ...not that awful colour.

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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 8, 2007
9:23 AM

Post #3950215

Hi Chrissy, dont worry about the willows. Save them for another package another time maybe. Your "Drunkards dream " is maybe a dream for a drinker of cans! It could be to do with the ammount of light it recieves, less=longer bottles, more=short, fat bottles. You're coming along nicely with your picture taking. Do you have a symbol of a flower on the menu? It is good for taking close ups of plants, bugs e.t.c.
This is a pic of a lovely little orchid my neighbour gave me, called Ludisa discolour. The leaves are usually a bit darker burgundy with very prominent white stripes, but I think it has had a bit too much to drink with all the rain. It's now inside flowering its head off. Another baby of mine.
Sue

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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 8, 2007
9:30 AM

Post #3950221

heres another little picture taken 2 minutes ago.
Sue

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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 8, 2007
9:41 AM

Post #3950229

Well yes she had it in a dark place before I bought it home...is it normal for succulents to grow so big so quickly/ mine are about a third bigger in just a few days? I did water them in with a little seasol is that okay?...the ones you sent me are all happy :) tomorrow I will go scrounge under the clivias...for any fruit that dropped...you asked about the clivias...those seeds were given to me by my daughter in laws boss who owns a nursery...he took them from "Dutch hybrids" they have the rounded leaf ends and the flowers just erupt into a cannonball of flowers...the intense hybrid coloured ones flowered after about 4/5 years...I picked some up at Taronga Park Zoo that took 12 years to flower but it may have been too much shade because they are not under something that drops it's leaves in Winter ...the yellow /cream one was given to me last year and it looks like another 2 years (I will count the leaves tomorrow) before it will flower...that is exciting.If I find any lost fruit under the leaves I will put them with the twisted willow thingys and get them off to you...the Dutch ones are just lovely ...I notice that now mine are mature the rounded ends do not seem so rounded any more.

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 8, 2007
9:44 AM

Post #3950233

That is lovely!
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 8, 2007
10:03 AM

Post #3950238

I have the rounded leaf ones also, given to me by a little old man in Penrith about 6 years ago. They have an intense orange flower and yes, very round flower head and the seeds start easily.
I'm signing off now, but I'll be back tomorrow evening.
Goodnite Chrissy.
Sue
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 8, 2007
1:06 PM

Post #3950512

Hi Sue and Chrissy and All, Lovely Orchids Sue - aren't some of the miniatures just stunning!

Chrissy, Your Rhipsalis looks rather like one of mine which I suspect is either Rhipsalis cereuscula, or a very close relative of it - The stems never get as club ended as R. salicorniodes and they terminate in tiny red flower buds which turn into delicate white flowers about 1 cm long. My big plant is covered in buds at the moment - I am just waiting for open flowers to take the camera to it!

Meanwhile here is a link to the Rhipsalis.com photo of R. cereuscula http://www.rhipsalis.com/species/cereuscula.htm - this guy has a great site - a bit disorganised, but fabulous photos. The very fast growth you noticed is normal for these tiny cacti - in the early spring, they elongate madly, and then start to fatten up as soon as the elongation stops. I'd guess you got an extra spurt of growth from improving the plant's growing conditions as well, LOL.

Edited for Spelling - why do I ALWAYS see these things AFTER I post, LOL!


This message was edited Sep 9, 2007 8:35 PM

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 8, 2007
9:19 PM

Post #3952119

Thanks kk think you are right ...it grows very quickly ...a few inches in just a couple of weeks...I only gave it seasol when I watered it in... that is just a tonic...are we supposed to feed them a pinch of blood and bone or something...being spring and all... the other succulents are all spurting away too do they need a feed ?
Any hints or clues from all you succulent growers would be appreiated as it is all double Dutch to me...ha ha ha but I am falling for them.:)
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 9, 2007
8:23 AM

Post #3953541

I give my plants a drink as soon as they start to kick off in spring. Usually a liquid feed with diluted Charlie carp. I think weaker is probably safer, and about every 2 - 4 weeks depending on how fast growing each plant is. Thats for potted ones. I throw handfuls of Organic life (like Dynamic lifter) all around the garden and scrape back mulch around trees and put handfuls around the dripline in spring, usually while it is raining, and I'll proibly do the same in a couple of months in Summer when we get some more rain, and again in early Autumn, but not at all through winter. With succulents, since they are usually in a very free draining soil, the water and fertiliser drains out very fast, so a little bit of slow release granules (osmocote or Nutricote) will probably last them a season. I poke holes around in the soil and drop a pinch in, then cover it up.
I never used to fertilise, and my plants always survived quite well, but since fertilising, everything just glows with health. Only problem is, I have to prune so much more!
Whoa, this is getting a bit long.
Just remember, weaker is better than too strong! (fertiliser)

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 9, 2007
11:48 AM

Post #3953701

Thanks WW...with all the rain I have my succulents under cover but the big cacti are outside in pots...big cement ones...they will be ok because they have been there over a decade rain hail frost whatever...no fertilizer but after what you have said maybe just a little fish emulsion very weak.:)
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 9, 2007
12:22 PM

Post #3953760

Remembering that it is colder down here, and (hopefully) wet in the winters, I have to be a bit more cautious about feeding succulent plants as my primary desire is to keep the plants alive, which generally means avoiding any week or sappy growth. Having said that, here is my fertiliser regime.

When I repot my plants I use a mix of one third each sharp sand, sieved old potting mix, and sieved compost. To each 9litre bucket of this mix, I add about 60gm of blood and bone and 60gm of Dynamic lifter pellets. I try to repot all but the largest plants every 3 to 5 years - I figure anything living in a 3 foot wide decor pot can look after itself! For most of my succulent plant growing history, that has been pretty much it, unless a plant sulks in some way or looks otherwise unwell. In my opinion, any succulent plant which is growing well and putting on solid growth is doing just fine.

Now, on the other hand if a plant is doing poorly, my first instinct is to look at the cultural conditions - is the plant getting too much sun? not enough light? too much, or not enough water? Succulent plants, by and large, are very good at scavenging for micro-nutrients, but i would certainly consider using a trace element feed on any plant not growing well or with excessive yellowing which has no other obvious cause. I do think that slow release granules are a valuable asset, and the various organic tonics and fertilisers certainly have a place, especially as the plants are coming out of dormancy - the rule for succulents I think should be to wait for active growth to show itself, THEN feed!

With succulents, so often it's all about the roots, if they are happy, so is the plant - I've just lost a lovely Pachypodium to root rot (grrr) - I purchased two plants about 150mm high two years ago (P. geayi and P. lehmannii) they grew well, and I put them up into new larger pots about a year ago. I knew they would be a bit tricky - most Madagascan succulents dislike Adelaide's cold winters but they were doing really well, so I guess I relaxed my vigilance a bit too soon. They both came into leaf on schedule in the autumn and were growing away nicely, until I came home near the end of August to see the leaves were falling off the P. geayi - odd, I thought, that's a bit too soon, but the plant felt otherwise plump and sturdy so I let it be. In hindsight, this should have been my cue to pull it up and look at the roots! but at the time I was a bit preoccupied with other things. Two weeks later, the full extent of the disaster was revealed - the vinegar flies had gathered, the roots were completely rotten and hollow; and taking a knife through the stem revealed that the entire interior of the stem had turned a blackened green (yuck) without even leaving a live piece to use as a cutting! Mind you, while all this was going on, the plant was just standing there looking perfectly healthy, with the only visible symptom being the premature leaf drop, and it's sister plant, the P. lehmannii, repotted at the same time, in the same potting mix, and an Identical pot, is still absolutely fine! Go figure! Here's what it looked like back in May, the last time I took it's photo and I don't think anyone would have nominated it for death then!

Looking at the photo did give me one other thought though. If you look under the long healthy leaves you can see a few small crinkly ones. This plant did get attacked by mealy bug in the summer of 2006/7 resulting in the damaged leaves you can see in the photo. I wonder if that mechanical damage could have been the source of entry for one of the slow bacterial rots. The other possibility is that this particular plant specimen was just weak and thus more attractive to bugs than normal - either way this shows the sort of things which should set the alarm bells ringing when you see them. TTFN, KK.

Thumbnail by Kaelkitty
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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 9, 2007
1:56 PM

Post #3954063

Gee as usual thanks kk ...great info as usual ...you know when I have something that is touchy about repotting I put a pot wthin a larger pot so the roots can wander around but are safe from shock so to speak...I can't remember why I do that but it always seems to work...you know much more than I do about these things but maybe you could try that for things like hoyas etc.My blackboy that was given to me as a dead plant ...I just placed it on top of a sandy mix of soil in the garden and it has dropped it's roots down through the pot holes and is happy as a lark ...been like that for many years.
I suspect the big cacti may have done that too. Thanks again you should be getting a little parcel tomorrow or the next day...posted it friday.:) Chrissy
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 10, 2007
6:40 AM

Post #3957400

Hi Chrissy,
That's a good idea for touchy rooted plants. In the case of the Pachypodium, and some of the other caudex-forming plants, however, the base problem is trying to grow a true Arid Tropical in a Temperate climate. I purchased those two Pachypodiums in the full knowledge that they might not survive my conditions, so I am still one up. These plants in the wild would rarely get an overnight low temp below 15C - there is no cold season on the Equator, just wet or dry! And to pour oil on the fire, we get the wet at the same time as the cold! My normal practice is to cease watering completely, and stick the plants in the porch for the dormant season. They are perfectly happy to go three months or more without water at that time. This is easy for winter dormant caudiciforms, but a bit tougher for those that want to grow in the winter - not enough water and they sulk, too much and they rot! Most of these guys are not "touchy rooted" in the sense that disturbing their roots upsets them. you just have to leave them completely unwatered for two to three weeks after repotting to make sure any damage heals. By the way OOH! PARCELS! I love Parcels, it's like Christmas all year round! LOL! KK.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 10, 2007
8:23 AM

Post #3957438

Hi KK. I bought a Pachypodium in Brisbane last April. I dont know which species it is, but it looks like yours. Evidently it gets flowers like a Frangipani. Whenit dropped all its leaves, I must admit I was worried! It seems to be in a pine bark (2cm pieces) and grit mix and is always dry even after rain. I have put it in the hottest sunniest spot I can find. No sign of new leaves yet, but it held onto one of its old. I also bought some Adeniums aswell, also supposed to have Frangipani-like flowers. These are in tubes and almost fill them from side to side. They also lost their leaves, but I can see new buds beginning to form, (whew).
This week I bought a Wollemi pine from big W. I tipped it out of the pot while in the store, to look at its roots. They were just starting to encircle the pot! I bought it anyway cause my Mum wanted to get me one for xmas, so I buy it and she fixes me up with the money later. I trimmed the roots a little befor I potted it on, but I have a very strong feeling that they are not meant for this climate, and that this particular batch were not the best examples to chose from. I'll let you know how that goes!
I've bought a lot of plants this week! I bought a Cryptanthus bivittatus, A Vriesia flammea, a Vriesia rubyae and a couple of Camelia sasanquas, Pig faces, more Salvias, Snappys and Celosias for the flower garden and my hubby bought me a Mexican fire sticks" plant (Euphorbia "spp) Already have some bits of that one drying for propagation.
Hey KK, I like your Ogres ears! The ones in the pic, I haven't seen your head! LOL

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 10, 2007
9:15 AM

Post #3957454

Is the pachy whatsit that elephant foot thingy?my sister in law has one that looks like a big elephant foot with a couple of leaves poking out of the top...very interesting plant hers... do they make babies?or do they grow from seeds...I used to think it was rather ugly but now I see the fascination ...her succulents are all grown in an enclosed back verandah that has a glass roof over the outer half ...a bit like a conservatory and her cactus and succulents are truly amazing...I don't think she gives them any feed apart from an odd sheep poo pellet as she told me once that is the only thing she uses in her garden...however her garden consists of cement and tiles and pots ...and pots and pots...some of her things are huge...I will try to get over there soon...many years ago I grew something nicknamed" chain of hearts" ...I had it on a high ledge in a bathroom window...it grew about 5ft long and I loved it...I remember that I did not even water or feed it ...it just grew ...it would had got steam from the showers and bath...but that is all I don't remember what happened to it I think I left it behind when I moved...does anyone know it?it was big in the 70's but I haven't seen it in years.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 10, 2007
9:38 AM

Post #3957465

Oh yes Chrissy, It is still around and quite popular. I can't think of the botanical name, but if you search "chain of hearts" as the common name in PlantFiles you'll find it I'm sure.
I have a couple in pots on the wall, but they get too much sun and not much water, so I keep killing them. I have a freind with a big pot of them, so I keep getting new ones started and then I kill them again. I must find a plant more suited to the conditions!
I dont think the Pachpodium is the elephants foot. ( your probly thinking it because it sounds like Pachyderm) its the prickly one in KKs photo up the page. I'll go and google it now and see what I come up with.
Sue
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 10, 2007
9:43 AM

Post #3957469

Ok, elephants foot plant is also known as Turtle back plant. Is this the one you're talking about Chrissy? http://www.cactuslovers.com/elephantsfootplant.htm
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 10, 2007
12:03 PM

Post #3957612

OK Yes, Chrissy the "elephant's foot" is Testudinaria or Dioscorea elephantipes. Here is a quick quote from the Open Dictionary -
"Testudinaria elephantipes, also called elephant's foot or Hottentot bread, is a tuberous vining plant native to the Cape of Good Hope. It takes the name elephant's foot from the appearance of its large tuberous stem, which grows very slowly but often reaches a considerable size, e.g. more than 3 yards in circumference with a height of nearly 3 ft. above ground. It is rich in starch, whence the name Hottentot bread, and is covered on the outside with thick, hard, corky plates. It develops slender, leafy, climbing shoots which die down each season. It is a member of the monocotyledonous family Dioscoreaceae."

Quite frankly, my mind boggles at the thought of one of these around the cubic metre size described above! I'd be very happy with 200 mm across in a nice pot, and I'm sure I'd never want to eat it! This is another plant the "lumpers" have gotten at recently, returning it to the large genus of Dioscorea, which contains over 600 species including all the edible yams. Admittedly the resemblance becomes obvious once you look at the leaves and the floral structures, but none-the-less I still like the idea of giving the succulent above ground caudex forming plants their own group to distinguish them from the below ground tuberous species.

By the way, Testudinaria comes from the Latin "testudo" which was what the Roman soldiers called their formation where they grouped together in a tight mass holding their shields together over their heads and around their sides, and it also became the Latin generic name for the land tortoises Testudo. So putting all that together we get "tortoise like foot of an elephant" which, you have to admit, is a pretty good description!

I have the chain of hearts, it is Ceropegia woodii. It is in the Plant Files here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53707/ When I moved to this house I hung mine in the Melaleuca in light shade / dappled sunlight and it's pretty happy - the basket is just above my head and the longest stems are hitting the ground about 5 feet away. It shares the tree with my Hoya collection so if you have a Hoya which is happy, I'd stick the C. woodii next to it! Sue, "pots on the wall getting too much sun" sounds like an ideal home for one of the tougher Sedums, small aloes, or scrambling mesembs to me!

Your Wollemi might surprise you yet, Sue. Mine came with masses of documentation and a chart showing what you do to it and when. Reading between the lines I get the feeling that they are pretty tolerant once established - all I would watch out for would be good drainage and protection from drying winds while it is small. I got chatting to the nursery guy when I brought mine, and he was of the opinion that anywhere a Norfolk or a Bunya Pine will grow so will a
Wollemi. It surely is one neat plant though! Also Sue, before I forget to mention it, If you take a picture of your Pachypodium I'll see if I can ID the species for you.

Ogre's Ears? That's a new one (I think some people have been watching too much Shrek, LOL!)
I think you meant Crassula cv. "Gollum" Here is a picture of it when it was younger and smaller, reminds me I need a new photo of it, as it's a lot bigger now. In the same group of plants I also have Crassula cv. "Lady's Fingers" and I am looking for Crassula cv. "Hobbit" to make up the set, so to speak. TTFN, KK.

Thumbnail by Kaelkitty
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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 10, 2007
12:06 PM

Post #3957624

Yes but hers is really as big as a real elephants foot...I thought it really pretty ugly before ...now I don't I can appreciate it's weirdness...thanks for the thread! :) chrissy

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 10, 2007
12:12 PM

Post #3957646

Ok so now that is cleared up how would you get a piece of an elephants foot *giggling*...or do we wait for seed I think hers is about 35 yeas old.I will go looking for a chain of hearts then thankyou ...I think it had like little bulb thingys under the ground.
Thanks kk as usual :)
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 11, 2007
11:16 AM

Post #3961705

Hi KK and Chrissy
Thanks for the info as usual KK. Knew we could count on you!
Heres my Pachpodium, (with one remaining leaf)

Thumbnail by weed_woman
Click the image for an enlarged view.

weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 11, 2007
11:17 AM

Post #3961709

Also MY-mi (Wollemi)

Thumbnail by weed_woman
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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 11, 2007
11:19 AM

Post #3961712

And one for sunset if she ever comes back (probly out buying plants or something)
Sue

Thumbnail by weed_woman
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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 11, 2007
11:32 AM

Post #3961768

Hey look Chrissy, any day now on the drunkards dream!
Sue

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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 11, 2007
12:52 PM

Post #3962009

Wow look at that! the forums are full of people who can't get theirs to flower ...congrats ww what were the pretty things in the picture before that...the little pink bells?

Thumbnail by chrissy100
Click the image for an enlarged view.

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 11, 2007
12:56 PM

Post #3962020

oops forgot to enlarge the thumbnail but that is the chain of hearts
ww that elephants foot looks different to my sister in laws one...there must be different kinds...yours sure does not look very friendly ...hers does not have spikes.
drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

September 11, 2007
1:01 PM

Post #3962035

I've got a couple of cymbidiums who bloom on neglect. I think night time temps are the key...

They're overwintered in our family room (kept cool overnight and heated with a wood stove evenings)

once spring arrived, they're outside beside the deck, exposed to direct early morning sun, dappled shade for the rest of the day. they get what ever rain falls (I will check them on occaision, and water if they're bone dry)

once the overnight temps get down to 10C, they come back inside for the winter. They are well watered and then ignored until December... when they bloom, in time for Xmas...

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 11, 2007
1:14 PM

Post #3962080

Hi db ...ha ha ha that sounds like the way to go... whatever works is good...touchy little critters :)

Thumbnail by chrissy100
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drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

September 11, 2007
1:18 PM

Post #3962090

it's survival of the fittest around here, lol I don't coddle anything, (except the cat and the dogs, and the spouse, and the kids...)

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 11, 2007
1:29 PM

Post #3962115

my sil's plant looks like this only BIG!

Thumbnail by chrissy100
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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 12, 2007
8:33 AM

Post #3965457

What a weird one Chrissy! (Your sis's plant)
The little pink bells in the picture 8 posts back, are an orchid (rock orchid I think) given to me from a man on my postie run a million years ago. It has never been repotted or fertilised and never fails to bloom every year, always better than the last. He gave it to me as a peice, so if I can get any off, I'll send you a bit. I know it grows there, as I was a postie in Penrith.
Welcome drivenbonkers. May I ask "by what"?
Sue
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 12, 2007
8:36 AM

Post #3965460

Hi Chrissy & Sue & all,

What your sister has IS Dioscorea elephantipes, the "Elephants Foot" plant. The plant which I had and lost, and which Sue still has (lucky Sue) is Pachypodium geayi which doesn't really have a common name at all. Both plants do have one thing in common though, you pretty much HAVE to grow them from seed as they basically don't branch at all and it would be a pretty brave collector who would try to chop one up for cuttings. Seed for these kinds of plants IS getting somewhat easier to come by as various plants held in local collections are growing older and maturing but it is a very long haul. Sue's plant could be 4 to 6 years old already, and it's still an infant compared to what the adult plants can do in habitat.

Chrissy, you mentioned 'big' earlier - try this on for size http://vesmir.msu.cas.cz/Madagaskar/images/2/Pachypodium_geayi01.JPG I have no idea how old these trees are, but it's likely to be in the range of several hundred years, from what I know of these plants. TTFN, KK.

Enclosed is a picture of the surviving plant of my pair - this is Pachypodium lamerei, note that it is not as "chubby" as geayi, and the head of leaves is always larger, fuller, and a much brighter green. Hopefully it will also be a bit less difficult to keep alive! TTFN, KK.
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 12, 2007
8:39 AM

Post #3965464

Oops, so busy checking my spelling, I forgot the photo!

Thumbnail by Kaelkitty
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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 12, 2007
8:39 AM

Post #3965465

Is that an Elephants foot or a pachypodium then KK?
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 12, 2007
8:41 AM

Post #3965469

Yes those leaves are more like a frangipani than my Pachy.
P.s I was refering to the photo of the large trees before.
sue
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 12, 2007
8:42 AM

Post #3965470

Hi Sue,
Sorry I must be dense today.. Is WHAT "an Elephants foot or a pachypodium", KK.
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 12, 2007
8:45 AM

Post #3965471

Oh-O, crossed postings - the big 'trees' are Pachypodium geayi, same as your Pachypodium, Sue - I just thought you'd like to see what you are in for! LOL! KK.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 12, 2007
8:50 AM

Post #3965479

great!!! I'm having a dilema about where to plant them, as I also have a Dracaena draco and a Pandanus to plant. I need to build a dry climate garden, but also need full sun! Therin lies the problem, as in winter we lose our sun, due to being at the bottom of a south facing slope! I am wondering how all would cope in large containers in the pool area which is a very hot spot all year around, but the pool is Salt water. Pandanus and Draco are O.K I think, but I'm not so sure about my Pachy!
What thinks you?
Sue

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 12, 2007
9:03 AM

Post #3965485

My sister in law came to Australia in 1950 something... and she had some favourite things in her luggage... those things included small succulent and sedum type favourite things from back home...she was coming to a place that only had gum trees she thought ...a lot of the stuff I have came from bits and pieces bought into Australia by those Italian families who did not know what they would find here...my favourite is fragola or strawberry grape...no not Isabella the real one...that was banned from export out of the Country because the wine fragolina (hi alc content).So hers could be pretty old...the EF I mean...I think it was about 14/15 inches high and very wide.In the old days no one cared that they had stuff in their bags.
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 12, 2007
9:35 AM

Post #3965507

Sounds not too bad to me, Sue. You would probably want the Pachypodium to get a bit larger first, and I would site it away from potential salt splash from the pool. I would also be inclined to give it only about 60 % sun per day - mine gets morning to about 1 pm and seems pretty happy with that. The other two plants are much less tender, but largish pots are a good idea - put them up on pot feet or bricks, then if the plant is unhappy in its location, you can always shift it with a sack truck. Also, if the pot is a good size you won't need to fiddle with the plants much once they are established - a couple of feeds are year with long life granular food and you'll be done. KK.

Edited to add for Chrissy's benefit - BAAD SISTER! (but nice plants!)

This message was edited Sep 12, 2007 7:07 PM
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 12, 2007
9:48 AM

Post #3965517

Thanks KK for your input. Now all I have to do is get some good large pots at a reasonable price! I'll keep thinking about my Pachy and see if I can find 'em the best situation.
Going to have my dinner now. Night all.
Sue
77sunset
Merino
Australia

September 13, 2007
7:18 AM

Post #3969555

Hello weed_woman, "I.m baaaack" Hello to chrissy and kaelkitty too. I snuck in for a quick look last week but have been busy . Doing what you may ask ? What else but playing with plants. I was given another lot of succulent cuttings and had to pot them up. I have these little fellows everywhere now and am not really sure what to do with them.
Do you find that people just give you pieces of anything because "you love plants and I know you'll enjoy these"?
I do love plants but not all will grow here. It get's cold and these lovely well meaning people don't think of that. You can't say no or they will get hurt feelings. Where do I put all these succulents when they grow up ? I do have a few of the common ones that have survived the winters and are doing really well but they take up a lot of space. I don't have any more sunny empty spaces unless I start using the driveway. Somehow I don't think that would be appreciated.
I love reading all your posts and seeing which plants you are talking about. I can grow just about anything but am not big on their proper names.
I tried some adeniums here and they grew really well for 6 mnths until a few really cold days during early August when they just shrivelled up. I grew them from seed and was so proud as I know they are more for the warm areas.
Weed_woman , that orchid is exactly like my dendrobium delicatum.. Ha Ha , I know the name as it had a label.
I bought it as a tiny thing and now it is about a metre across . It flowers every year( it's not a nonflowering cymbid) and puts out numerous pups from where the flowers were at the tops of the stems. I have them everywhere now. I also have a Tiger orchid which flowers and this year has lots of buds. I'll post pic of it here also one of the delicatum pups with buds. The tiger orchid has small yellow/orange and black flowers and is as far as I know, a type of dendrobium.
Chriisy ,I too love the Chain of Hearts. Mine grows in the shadehouse and loves it but there is a bit in a basket under the tree where it also does well. Cold does not seem to worry it and I remember seeing a huge one at Bright many years ago.
My greenhouse is up now but today was very very windy and I was watching to see how it went in it's first wind. It's still up so now I can start getting my vegie seeds in . I will be planting my tomatoes inside to keep the birds from them.
Must away as it is getting close to teatime. Happy gardening all.

Thumbnail by 77sunset
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77sunset
Merino
Australia

September 13, 2007
7:20 AM

Post #3969556

Here's the delicatum pup.

Thumbnail by 77sunset
Click the image for an enlarged view.

weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 13, 2007
8:39 AM

Post #3969594

Hi Sunset. I told you before, I will take your much too many plants off your hands, just say the word! LOL
My Orchid (Dendrobium) doesn't get pups, or at least it hasn't done for the last 7 years. But it does look similar to yours.
I have a friend who lives up the mountain from me and gets frosts through winter, so she can't grow alot of the things I can. She works in the garden maintenance industry and always has cuttings and plants to give away, as she can't use alot of them! Luckily we go to TAFE and study horticulture, so we give stuff away there, or pot it up to sell it at their yearly sale.
I'm glad you are well and having a happy time!
Sue

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 13, 2007
12:50 PM

Post #3969973

hi 77sunset you know I read the posts in the other forums and there is one lovely guy in Kansas who at the moment is digging up all of his beloved banana palms...elephant ears...and almost his complete garden to take inside his home and a heated glasshouse
..many others all overwintering stuff in their basements like Angels
Trumpets and stuff...I feel so blessed when I read of what they have to do...we are pretty lucky I think...although I know it must get pretty cold where you are...what kind of temps do you get...
that greenhouse must be fun!
Talk about a Spring Frenzy...whew! happy gardening all!
77sunset
Merino
Australia

September 13, 2007
10:28 PM

Post #3971911

Hello again. I am sitting here looking out the window at the trees bending over. At least the wind has eased up since last night. It was howling around the house. We had a welcome drop of rain. The hills are green but that is very deceptive here as the soil is so dry underneath. Grass does not require much moisture to grow but the wind will dry it out in no time. We are expecting a bad fire season this year because of the growth and quick drying out. The area around here is mostly undulating hills with some beautiful areas of red gums. It was one of the first settled areas in Victoria with mainly sheep although there are a lot of cattle now.
My garden is on the top and down the side of a small hill so the wind is constant from all directions. My plants have to be hardy .
Sorry weed_woman but I never have enough plants, so none for you.
Not really. I love to share my garden and am always selling or giving away bits and pieces. I always take my secateurs when I go out too as there may be a piece I can ask for
The epi house is nearly full (as seen in earlier pic) The new greenhouse withstood last nights wind and already has some white violets planted on the floor. The site was the end of my herb garden which is sheltered in part by a fence and a few trees. it was the really dry end where not much grew so is better utilised now. I will be putting my tomatoes into poly boxes and there will be more plants joining the violets soon.
There was a visitor yesterday who I hope has moved on. A large huntsman spider (and they are LARGE down here) had decided to spend the night. I have an agreement with all spiders. If they stay outside they can live, cross the threshold and die. It seems to work.
My son in Darwin has dendrobiums and his have pups too so yours may eventually have some, weed_woman.
He gave me a beautiful Botanica book on orchids.. His way of showing me that my orchids are odd by not flowering.
I have a garden full of lovely purple flowers at the moment. All my wallflowers are out. I think this one is called Winter Joy,although it is more like Winter/ Spring /Summer Joy. It seems to want to flower all the time. The bees love it .
You are right chrissy, we do complain sometimes about our particular weather but are really well off when you see what others have to do to maintain their gardens. I could not live without a garden so am really glad I don't have to shovel snow off the ground or bring things inside.
One day I'm going to put a pic of my cymbids in flower but for now I'm off outside to see what I can do in the garden as the sun has just come out.
Happy gardening all.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 14, 2007
8:44 AM

Post #3973564

See, I'm a fair weather gardener, Because I couldn't grow everything I wanted in the last place I lived, I moved to the climate that I can, or as close to it as possible. We are in the cross over area between growing tropicals and growing English annuals/perrenials. Most of both worlds will grow here, but there are some (plants and people) who still find it too cold or too humid or too wet E.t.c But I reckon I'd whinge and cringe alot if my stuff was too difficult or the climate too severe, so my husband agreed on the move. (good idea) I don't miss the cold, and the heat hasn't been entirely unbearable as yet, but I do HATE the mossies!

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 14, 2007
9:44 PM

Post #3975840

Same here ww and 77 I have cold climate stuff and warm climate stuff...best of both worlds...with a little work can grow almost anything...except the things that need the extremes of those conditions...ooooh my goodness the wind and rain yesterday!!!
View from the front door looking out to the Blue Mountains

Thumbnail by chrissy100
Click the image for an enlarged view.

weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 15, 2007
8:23 AM

Post #3977252

Wow chrissy, looks like a painting. I just visited the most beautiful property today. 1 glorious acre of gardens with a lovely house! MMmmmm! If we already had our house sold, or I won Lotto, I'd be writing the cheque today! It cops a frost though, but signs of everything re emerging, such as salvias and bulbs and lots of delicious stuff. http://www.solorealty.com.au/properties.php?id=205092 take a look. And even better in real life! I could leave my garden for one like this!
Sue

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 15, 2007
10:01 AM

Post #3977293

Wow that place is lovely ...I must be honest the front of my place is a bit of a mess ...much neglected because of a sick relative in my care ...now she has passed on ...I must turn my attentions back to the weeds that call themselves "lawn " and the gardens.. when people say they mow the lawn ...with neglect and water restrictions...I mow the weeds!
however there are mature trees...and a wonderful view (even if the winds try to blow the house down!...out the back is another story
my secret garden ...a sheltered jungle...this is a shot of the front from the front.

Thumbnail by chrissy100
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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 15, 2007
10:06 AM

Post #3977295

the back is different

Thumbnail by chrissy100
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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 15, 2007
10:13 AM

Post #3977302

I love jungle...this is where my grandchildren played as little ones in a big sandpit...I turned it into a jungle because they gave me a couple of tiny palms they bought out of there own pocket money.
although overcrowded with shell ginger angels trumpets palms and boges I love it!

Thumbnail by chrissy100
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weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 16, 2007
10:25 AM

Post #3980704

Hi Chrissy. Your place looks like it has a lot of privacy. Thats something alot of people strive for. It takes a lot of work doesn't it?
My Angels trumpet is flowering at the moment and the babianas are about to burst into a riot of purple. I wish I had someone here who was half as interested as I am! Hubbys o.k, but doesn't get the thrill I get when I see buds and blooms!
Oh well, I don't get excited at boat motors and F100's either!
Sue

Thumbnail by weed_woman
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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 16, 2007
12:54 PM

Post #3980938

I have that Angel too...grew it from a cutting...it has babies on it at the moment ...we are a bit behind you here...yes I love to be able to get around the garden in privacy ...but really the enclosed jungle area allows me to grow some frost tender tropicals that most people in this area would not even try...it gives me a real thrill
(as it does most gardeners) to grow things that are out of their comfort zone...I have worked hard to set up the right conditions..
the soil (very hard clay)...the shelter ...heat pockets ...etc but it is well worth it.
To look around and know everything was put there by me... makes me proud and happy. The reward is priceless :)
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 17, 2007
10:06 AM

Post #3983976

Hi Chrissy, this Angels trumpet was given to me from a cutting taken by an 85 year old friend of mine. It has been lovely but gets chewed alot, I think by snails, although I have been baiting them with Iron chellate pellets. I thought the Angels were poisonous, obviously not to snails! Otherwise I would plant them all through my garden. Funny though, my neighbour reckons she has never seen a snail in her garden, (I reckon its cause they're all here eating my smorgasboard, they obviously like variety) LOL

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 17, 2007
8:58 PM

Post #3986029

You need some blue tongues for the snails...I never have snails...but I have to dodge the blue tongues when I mow the lawn.
My computer crashed after a storm yesterday...I finally got it up again whew!...terrible storm here big wind...driving rain ...gotta go check out the damage this morning...back later . Opps I mean't to say the brugs just give the bugs a "trip"...they love it...I spray with the white oil...on the cooler days...it is mostly those little black beatles that love the hibiscus and lanterns that seem to decimate them...#$%* ha ha ha there is always a challenge in the garden.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

September 18, 2007
9:58 AM

Post #3988038

Mmmm. Unfortunately with dogs, there is not alot of wild life about. Even more unfortunate, the dogs found a large blue tongue on Sunday and played with it till my hubby caught and berated them. It was too late for the poor old blut tongue though, so I layed him to rest and planted my Bismarkia over him. The dogs are pretty obedient and get very upset when they're told off, (which is not often) so here's hoping if they come accross another one they will leave it alone. They just like to play!
pic is my vege patch. The big purple leaved plants are Chinese mustard. Lovely on a sald sandwich!
Sue

Thumbnail by weed_woman
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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

September 18, 2007
8:36 PM

Post #3990257

Love the veggie patch...and like the mustard leaves too ...they can get a bit out of hand sometimes if you turn your back and it seeds...still like I have said before some "weeds" are better than others as specially if you can eat them...you have lots of space and plenty of sunshine in that position...what fun.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

October 2, 2007
11:05 AM

Post #4039782

Heres the cymbidiums from a previous post, now fully in flower with more still to open!

Thumbnail by weed_woman
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chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

October 2, 2007
7:05 PM

Post #4041376

Lovely!
77sunset
Merino
Australia

October 2, 2007
9:47 PM

Post #4041965

After looking at that cymbidium, I am going out o my orchid house and wave the axe and Roundup over mine. Maybe I should send them all on a holiday north.
Then again, after looking at the news about the future weather yesterday, I only have to stay here long enough and the Tropics will be down here. Looking out the window now, that is hard to believe. The day is cold and windy again after we had 2 nice days. Looks like a day for inside . I do have some library books to read and my painting.
Weed_woman, I love that purple leaf mustard. Would it grow down here , I wonder.
What is all that empty green space around your vegie patch ? Just as well I'm not there as it would all be garden.
Lawn is only a garden waiting to happen.
Only joking, I know doggies need space to play too.
Jean

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

October 2, 2007
10:24 PM

Post #4042087

77 it has been awful here 33 yesterday and really terrible wind!...todays forcast?...34 ...that means about 37 here...just look at this serene dawning...mist over the dams ...nice and still ...later a whole different story...lots of fires started already!
Have a wonderful day anyway every one...check your post in the next couple of days...happy gardening!

Thumbnail by chrissy100
Click the image for an enlarged view.

77sunset
Merino
Australia

October 3, 2007
4:55 AM

Post #4043381

hello chrissy. I am being blown away again today. The forecast was for damaging winds and so far one of Robert's radio antennas has blown down. luckily not the big 80' one though. that would mess up the place .
If it wasn't for the wind, the day would be nice and warm. I'm staying inside and hoping it all goes away . I see that NSW has lots of fires and I hope this does not mean we are going to have same, but looking at the grass around, I fear we may.
Hubby is communications officer for the local group of 16 brigades and it can get quite hectic in a bad year.
I have dug up my hippies and put them in pots. I am very disappointed with them as they have only ever had 2 flowers. I have them out in the "sun", when it comes out , that is.
Am going to make a cuppa and have a good read. I love reading but find the sort of books I like ( thriller, murder, forensic types )in short supply. The authors I like don't write fast enough.
Have a happy day

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

October 3, 2007
5:48 AM

Post #4043445

ha ha ha that's funny... me too my library is full...I like everything but they are my favourites too...and I read way too fast!
I love the fire folk they saved us in the 2001 Christmas day fires...we lost 250 .000.00 worth of tracter and cars though...the town of Warragamba still has not recovered...good luck to us all ...they have just said there is fire in Mulgoa ...that is not far from here.
weed_woman
Coffs Harbour
Australia

October 4, 2007
3:42 AM

Post #4046959

Hi Chrissy, I hope you get a breath of fresh air soon! I too am a reader and just bought the last Harry Potter book, (I like science fiction/supernatural stuff)
Hey Sunset, its taken me 5 years of gardening so far and I reckon I've got about 3/4 acres under garden already! Only 1 and 3/4 to go! (ow my aching back) Cheeky! My Dad used to be a mad Hammy, and an aerial specialist! He passed away about 2 years ago and all the Hammies were in New Plymouth for a convention and some attended the funeral, having never met him, but conversed for years on the radio. His claim to fame was that he spoke to the MIR space station from N.Z. I can't remember his call sign though.
Anyway got to go weed for a couple of hours. I'll be back on tonight!
Sue
77sunset
Merino
Australia

October 4, 2007
6:31 AM

Post #4047173

Hello weed_woman. Just poking in here and there to see what's on.
I have been out shopping in Hamilton all day. Wind and showers still.. Started out to be a nice day and went downhill from there. If it was a good rain I wouldn't mind but these misty showers do nothing much.
My couple of acres here has been going only 7 years since I married hubby. Before that it was a weed paradise. We leveled everything and I started again. There was some hard work but I only dig a hole for a plant. No digging of beds etc. I use lots of sheep manure and mulch. When the weeds invade a bit, I Roundup.
I have planted over 30 trees in the paddock garden. Most were selfseeded babies and all are now over 6' and more. Some of the Claret and Golden Ash and the Willow are way past that. In 100 yrs there will be a very nice park here if noone cuts the trees down.
Hubby has been radio ham all his adult life and used to talk to Andy Thomas in shuttle as it went over in orbit. . He has NZ ham friends too and has been talking to a ham in USA every night for over 8 yrs. He usually only uses morse code but it is a dying art now.
Must go and get eggs from the girls. All the maggies are at the back door too, wanting food.
Happy gardening all.
Awchid
Gisborne
New Zealand

February 7, 2008
10:06 AM

Post #4506326

To those of you having trouble flowering your cymbids perhaps this will help. Keep them outside during the hot weather. Morning
sun is good if too hot use shade cloth. A lean to arrangement by south side fence is quite good. If really hot water a couple of times a day , this keeps up the humidity and helps to keep plant cooler. When leaves get a yellowy look thats good just don't let them scorch
tho .Feed weekly with a flowering type orchid fertilizer from now on ubtil after flowering. Lots of new growth is good. They enjoy a few sheep pelets too , don't overdo, during following couple weeks water down into bark or medium. Keep up the water. As long as the
medium is free draining rain storms wontr matter they'll love it. When the nights start to get coldstart watering at night, because it is colder
perhaps once every 2 - 3 days . This cold shock triggers the formation of flowering buds as opposed to leaf buds. When you think it may frost or is getting too wet and cold get them under cover and cut back on the watering . When watering now do so only at the base of
plant you dont want too rot off any new growth,also cut back on the feeding water when well drained feed , once 2 weekly ok. After flowering has finished start feeding with a growth type food until about march. The bottle will tell you the right months for you.
Good luck I have given this help to others and it has always worked. Lesley.

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

February 7, 2008
11:13 AM

Post #4506361

Great tips Lesley ...I am glad they don't mind water ...what do you feed yours? when should we chuck the buckets of ice water over them?
chrissy
Awchid
Gisborne
New Zealand

February 7, 2008
8:56 PM

Post #4508388

I use proper liquid orchid food because it tells you the right strengths also " Peters " which I think is an Aussie plant food. I do know it is quite expensive so I shared a bag with other orchid growers. All my plants get dosed with this as a special treat, and any other stuff I have decided may be good. Seems to work. I'm also a bit of a scrooge when feeding orchids, because they are so free draining if too much
is sprayed on it runs straight thru and fertilises the ground so the day after watering is really good. When spray container is really pumped up use a fine -ish spray aim aroud base of plant for only about 4 secs ,should only get a few drops leek out. When finished I do a very fine leaf spray I just wave it over the top and call it quits. As for the ice Chrissy chuck it in a glass with something over the top. You will have earned it.
By the way when do you sleep?

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

February 7, 2008
10:31 PM

Post #4508737

I am used to no sleep ...after caring for an elderly relative for 12 years ...2 hour shifts.She passed (gently) away last August and daves garden kept me sane while going through some tough stuff, it is a habit now to chat to my garden friends whenever I am twixt things ...couldn't do without that ...I go to bed around midnight and get up twixt 5 to 6 depending on hubby ...I find I don't need very much sleep anymore * giggling* ...if my posts go a bit odd it is because I need some rest ...my darling grandson says ..."nan don't play with the computer when you are tired" ...he is right but I need to check in with everyone ...speaking of which ...it is great news that someone other than Sydney is getting rain now ...enjoy everyone *murmering through gritted teeth* in fact here take mine ...our one and a half acre dam is now full after being almost empty last Winter.
Enjoy your day!
chrissy
77sunset
Merino
Australia

February 8, 2008
4:20 AM

Post #4510287

Hello you two. I was surprised to see this old thread come up again.
Lesley, my orchids hate me. I am convinced of that as they have had every known hint and remedy thrown at them. they just don't want to flower and thats that. They are now down the back where I don't see them all the time and they can cry their little hearts out but no attention will be given.
I love orchids and had always wanted some but could never afford them. finally when I have a place and can buy a few, what do I get but ungrateful monsters. My original one ,I bought in flower about 10 yrs or so ago and even though it grew well and had to be divided, it will not flower.
They hate me.
I have no trouble growing any other plant , even a dead stick is likely to grow for me, just no orchids.
When I say orchids, I mean cymbidiums as I have dendrobiums that flower every year.
I think I'll buy some plastic flower and stick em around so the silly plants know what they are supposed to produce.
Chrissy, did I see the "R" word there. Please don't say that. I may have to take a bowl of water around the garden to show the plants what it is.
Time for a cuppa
happy day Jean.
Awchid
Gisborne
New Zealand

February 8, 2008
8:14 AM

Post #4510697

Good evening Jean any help I can give is almost exhausted, the only thing left is threaten them with the compost bin, then every now
and then run the wheel barrow past them slowly as a reminder. You never know that may be the turning point. Lesley

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