Friday, February 15, 2008

February Bloom

I have a cold room. Actually, it's a guest bedroom that we don't heat because heat is expensive. The temperature hovers between 45-50 in winter, which is perfect for certain late winter bloomers like Clivia and Cymbidium orchids.

Imagine my joy to get out to PA last night, after 2 weeks away, to find the cold room full of bloom. The Clivia is just starting to open up, and two different Cymbidium are each sporting 2 gloriously full flower spikes.

The Cymbidium make me feel especially talented, since they're not easy to re-bloom in this climate. They require cool temps to flower, and bloom is inhibited by summer temperatures over 80 degrees. I move them outdoors in June, to a shady spot (a bench under a blue spruce) and leave them out till just before the first frost. Then, they go into the cold room until I see a bloom spike. Oddly, the third Cymbidium isn't blooming, under identical conditions. But I ought not complain.

Tomorrow I'll be lecturing at Martin Viette Nurseries (East Norwich, Long Island) at 11 and 1 on flowering houseplants (including both of the above!), and Thursday I leave for Seattle, where I'll be speaking Saturday and Sunday at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. So if you're in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello. And if you know a fabulous, off the beaten track place to grab a delicious bite in Seattle, please share!

2 Comments:

At February 16, 2008 at 6:02 PM , Blogger Leda said...

You MUST go to Pike's Place Market in Seattle! Used to be just seafood, but it's expanded and now it is one of the most famous food markets in the country. And yes, you can grab a bite to eat there.
Leda

 
At February 17, 2008 at 6:07 PM , Blogger Gardener of La Mancha said...

My orchids grow in a very cold sunroom and are blooming nicely, so I can testify that they like the cold (and I bet the flowers last longer in a cool temperature too).

 

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