Greenhouse Update - January 2014

Cymbidium Orchid

We’ve been pricking out tomatoes sowed just before Christmas, which have been happy in our Vitopod Propagator – they’re all very healthy! To prick them out we used a dibber to gently loosen them from the seed trays and then whilst holding the seed leaves, we potted them on into individual 3 inch pots. The seedlings should grow well over the next few months, and will be planted out into a Vivigrow or Quadgrow in the middle of March.

The most spectacular site is our Cymbidium Orchid which has begun flowering. This genus of orchid is possibly the best known having been cultivated for around 2,500 years! The plant will grow happily in a pot outside or in a conservatory, however it will not like temperatures below 10°c and during the summer the leaves will need protection from direct sunlight.

To initiate the flowering stage of the orchid, the plant needs to experience a significant drop in night time temperatures, typically these temperatures will need to be below 15°c. To achieve this drop in temperature we moved the plant outdoors until the flower spike had developed, we then moved the plant back indoors where its flowers can be enjoyed.  As long as night time temperatures stay below 15°c the flowers will last for up to 8 weeks.

Our Aloe Vera plant growing in a Rain and Drain Exotics Planter has begun to flower. This flower from the Aloe is produced from one of the leaf nodes and grows vertical - the flower spike will eventually open revealing lots of individual yellow flowers which are perfectly shaped for the plants natural pollinator, a long beaked nectar drinking bird called a sunbird.

To see our Bananas, Papaya, Aloe Vera and other exotic plants – pop over to our visitor greenhouse in Mawdesley, Lancashire. You might even get a cup of tea and a biscuit!