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SPRING CULTURE

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  •  For cymbidiums, this is the month of peak flowering of the mid season hybrids. These spikes, and the late season flowers, should be protected by stakes, either wood, bamboo or strong wire. Remember, if you use wire, turn the top over to protect your eyes from being poked while you inspect and move your plants. You can also obtain plastic protectors for the tops of the wire which are also effective.
  •  With the weather conditions warming up, increased attention to watering and ventilation will be required. Increasing frequency of water application will be needed, although actual applications still depend on the weather, size of plants and pots, and the potting mix they have been placed into. Remember to let the op 25 to 50 mm of the mix on the top of the pot dry in the larger contained before watering again. air must be allowed to reach the roots, otherwise they will die.
  • Bark mixes are difficult to wet if they are dry. Water the plants, and then repeat the process a few minutes later. This ensures the mix does get wet. Apply plenty of water when you do water, allowing it to flow out from the holes in the pot. This ensures the mix is washed ;out, removing any accumulated salts which can build up, especially if there is high evaporation.

  • Shading should not be required yet, although towards the end of the month will be if there is strong sunlight. After duller weather, the application of some shading may ensure no burning occurs with the unexpected bright fine day. Under hot conditions increase ventilation. Depending on the weather conditions being experienced, cymbidium and other cool growing plants can be placed outside in a bright area shaded from the mid-day sun. Keep the plants off the ground to prevent the entry of earthworms etc. During the summer months, the plants will prefer outside conditions rather then remaining in an enclosed glasshouse. Do not put the plants outside too early, as a cold snap can reduce the plant growth, and possibly subsequent flowering. Ensure conditions are maintained that are conducive to maximum growth.

  • Plants which have finished flowering, and which require repotting ;should be in their new mix as soon as possible. Once the new growths start growing, it is important that they grow strongly to full maturity if maximum flowering nest year is to be achieved. Small plants and non flowering specimens should bhave been potted by now; any still requiring attention should be attended to as soon as possible. Plants should generally remain in the same compost only 2 to 3 years smaller plants can be repotted every 6 to 12 months as they will respond to fresh compost by increasing their growth.
  • Do not expect top performance an pseudobulb growth and maximum spike production; if you neglect this job.
  • Whenever possible repot just as root growth commences in the spring, This ensuring the fastest possible plant recovery.

  • Slugs and snails may still affect the flowers and the new growths, and with the ;warmer dryer weather watch for red spider and false spider mite which could now start to become established. Look at your plants closely and occasional night check with a torch may even reveal some nocturnal visitors.

  • Those plants which have become re-established after repotting can be fertilised if they did not have a fertiliser included in the new mix, as can those plants which have not been touched. The use of a fertiliser containing high nitrogen is desirable. Such a fertiliser ensures maximum vegetative growth during the period when the plant naturally is trying to achieve this. A top dressing of a desertspoon full per 10 litre pot of the mix of 4 parts dried blood, 4 parts superphosphate and lone part of sulphate of potash can be beneficial. A proprietary product such as Lush or similar can be used, or, for example, Osmocote is suitable as a timed release fertiliser, one application releasing the elements over some months. With manufactured inorganic compounds are utilised, especially remember to apply at half to one third of the manufacturers recommended application rate. Also remember some slow release produces under high;glasshouse temperatures may release the elements faster then normal, even to the degree where the plant can be endangered. Try any new product on a number of spare plants for 12 months to ascertain they are suitable before treating the;whole collection..

 

 


Site established 9th May 1998