Posts Tagged ‘overwintering’

Cymbidium update

November 1, 2009

I took advantage of the mild damp (actually, wet) weather today and stood my cymbidium outdoors. While I have been known to bang on about ‘inducing dormancy’ in houseplants, in practice I think a rest period is best kept as brief as possible – in their country of origin, these things would be more or less permanently in growth.

So, take advantage of any opportunity to keep them ticking over. It’s always good to keep handling your plants anyway (unless you know them to be poisonous), and I noted in picking up the cymbidium that a new growth bud has appeared at the base.

This is not a fledgling pseudobulb but an emerging flower stem, always an exciting discovery. This suggests I should start feeding – but not just yet. Growth won’t (indeed can’t) be rapid until we have passed the shortest day. So come the new year, I can start watering and feeding regularly to build up the developing flowers. I’ll report back on this in January.

Overwintering brugmansia

October 18, 2009

Now that the nights are getting cooler, it seems time to bring my Brugmansia indoors. Not having grown this plant before, I have been trawling the internet to look for useful information about how to do this.

Having found nothing that’s particularly clear, I am going to adopt a common sense approach. A place in a light but cool bedroom seems sensible – a fairly low temperature is important, as you want to induce dormancy (in their native South America, they no doubt grow and flower year round). The question is, what to do about watering?

Allow a woody plant like this to dry out completely, and there is always the risk that it will not come to life next year. So I think I’ll water just enough to stop the compost drying out completely. I’ll probably start upping the watering once we’re into the new year.

I’m glad to bring it indoors anyway, as something (slugs?) has been eating the leaves lately – and not only that, but I find on closer inspection that patches of the bark also show signs of damage. Cutting hard back next spring (if it gets through the winter) may be my only option.