Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Cultivate Rare Beauties; Stunning Additions Well Worth the Effort

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Cultivate Rare Beauties; Stunning Additions Well Worth the Effort

Article excerpt

Byline: Clint Heathorn The Little Green Frog

FEW flowering plants are as stunning in full bloom, or as enigmatic, as the orchid.

Similarly, few plants divide people sharply into those who can grow them and those who canat.

Those who can grow them seem to have a magical knack, while those who canat can kill orchids simply by looking at them.

But if youare in the canat camp, donat despair.

With the dancing lady group of orchids, thereas no reason why you canat enjoy beautiful blooms for 12 months of the year.

There are 16,000 different dancing lady varieties and according to commercial grower, Sam the Orchid Man, aWhen youave got a collection of dancing ladies, youare guaranteed flowers all-year round.

aYou get a huge variation of flower size, flower shape and flower colour,a he said.

Sam maintains that dancing lady orchids are amuch better than a bunch of flowersa because the blooms can last months, some varieties are exquisitely fragranced and you can bring them indoors to enjoy their full beauty.

aWhen your plant starts to flower, bring it in under cover and avoid getting water on the flower spike in the last weeks prior to flowering,a Sam said.

Some varieties of dancing ladies will even flower two or three times a year, but theyall all bloom at least once every 12 months.

The dancing lady group originates from Central and South America and is tolerant of a wide range of conditions, but to maintain and grow your orchid there are a few general pointers to greatly improve your chances.

When buying an orchid, always check that it has been grown somewhere with a similar climate, not down south in a climate- controlled greenhouse.

Locally sourced orchids will generally be grown under 50% shade cloth, so you only need to provide a sheltered position with approximately 50% shade as a basic growing condition. …

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