Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Tah dah! Success :)

It's been a very satisfying week as I've managed to make a success of two things: one I've never tried before, the other where I've failed previously. I hope you don't mind while I bang on my drum a little bit...


Firstly, I've managed to get the moth orchid I posted about here to bloom again. This is despite my completely destroying its leaves because I left it outside whilst the nights were really too cold to do so safely. According to an aside in a fab book I'm reading at the moment (The Flower of Empire), the key to orchid success is not to let the roots die. Seeing they're in rude health, perhaps that's why I have a positive result.

Now, I've got to achieve the same with the Cymbidium mentioned in the same post. It's enjoying its summer holiday on the patio very much and is currently throwing out a couple of new shoots. Perhaps that's why it's not flowering...


And here's my 'Basket of Fire' chilli plant. I've never managed to get to this stage before because I've always put my plants out onto the patio during the summer. I've since learnt we don't quite have the climate to do that (even in a good year) and as you can see, the indoor windowsill treatment has corrected the problem.

We had a bit of a debate on Twitter on whether I needed to give a helping hand with pollination. It was split pretty much 50:50, so I decided not to and see what happened. I doubt if I had 100% self pollination, but then I've got more than enough chillis for my needs with this variety, with more still to come.

My next challenge is to keep this plant as a perennial and add it to my Edible House Plant collection.

Isn't it great when you learn a little bit more about a vast subject and then find you have success? Long may the learning continue :)

18 comments:

  1. Hi Michelle,

    I'm really interested to hear more about the chili as a perennial experiment. Is it only certain varieties? mine usually die back of their own accord.

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    1. I think it's all varieties. I must consult my friend Lu to see what she did last year as she managed to keep her windowsill chillis going last winter.

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  2. I am very impressed you got your orchid to flower again, I have never managed this and have given up on them altogether. My aunt on the other hand has a large orchid that sits on her kitchen windowsill and never seems to stop flowering!

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    1. Helen, it looks like Rusty Duck has the answer! Like her I've been watering mine irregularly...

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  3. Well done. The chilli plant looks impressive with all its chillies standing to attention like that, I hope you manage to keep it going for another round next year.

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    1. Thanks Jenny, they're getting better by the day :)

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  4. Well done! Not always easy to get orchids to flower again.

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    1. Thank you! Hope you've got many more green shoots of recovery coming through now.

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  5. I discovered this year that orchids seem to thrive on neglect, particularly irregular watering. My mother had several which suffered as she became less able to care for them. I took over a large Cymbidium and as soon as I started watering it was rewarded with two huge and floriferous spikes.
    Very interested in perennial pepper experiment.

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    1. Aha! I keep on forgetting to water mine, so irregular watering must be the key to success ;)

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  6. Lovely blooms! Looking forward to seeing a positive outcome with the perennial pepper.

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  7. I'm planning to keep at least one chilli over winter to see what happens. They take so long to germinate and get to the fruiting stage in our climate, that I think overwintering will be a huge advantage. I'll be interested to see how your experiment goes as well.

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    Replies
    1. Too right about germination time! I found a heated propagator really helped kick start my seeds into action :)

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  8. I have two moth orchids growing side by side and given the same treatment - exactly the same treatment. On is flowering at the moment for the third time and the other refuses to flower again - I don't understand it> It is going to feature in a blog post asking for clues!

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    1. Ooh, I'll look out for that to see what replies you get!

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  9. Well done, I felt the same sense of achievement when my orchid flowered again, it was wonderful!

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head, Pauline. There's so much to learn with gardening and it's great when you finally achieve success :)

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