Archive for November, 2008

More Black Magic Roses

Our black magic rose continues to bloom into November. Black magic is one my favorite roses in terms of its looks. Its flowers develop on very long straight stems that are ideal for cutting. Although black magic roses do not have much of a fragrance, they have a near perfect rose shape. And they hold their perfect rose shape for weeks unlike many other roses that open quickly and then drop their petals. For example, the yellow rose that I blogged about a few weeks ago opens and loses its petals in less than a week.

November 08 2008 | Roses | No Comments »

Fertilizing and Watering Orchids



Our purple Phalaenopsis orchid is in full bloom. My partner bought this orchid for me as a birthday gift last November from a local florist. After all of the original flowers died, he managed to get it to bloom again after repotting it in a larger container with tree bark and then watering and fertilizing it once a week.

Every week, he soaks our orchid plants in a water bath in our kitchen sink, as shown in the lower picture. He fills the sink up about halfway with a few gallons of water. He then adds about a teaspoon of orchid fertilizer to the water bath to form a weak solution. He lets the orchids soak in the water bath for about five minutes. After taking them out of the water bath, he lets them drain completely. Our orchid plant was virtually dormant before he began this fertilizing and watering routine. Since he started, it has grown several new leaves and generated the flowers shown in these pictures.

My sister gave us a second orchid plant last summer. It was in her apartment for some time, and she could not get it to bloom again after the original flowers died. My partner has also been soaking that orchid plant in the same water bath every week for the past several months. It too is now growing a new flower stem. This stem will probably grow for 5-6 months before it starts blooming.

November 04 2008 | Orchids | 1 Comment »

More Autumn Roses

The cooler weather has not stopped our roses from blooming yet. In the past week, yellow, red, white, orange, purple, and peach colored roses have been blooming in our yard. This picture shows a pink Color Magic hybrid tea rose that just started blooming again for the first time in about 2 months.

I just bought this Color Magic rose bush from a local discount home improvement store last spring for about $6.50. When I bought it, it was small, and it only had a few stubby canes. In fact, a woman who was standing next to me in line when I was waiting to purchase it told me that she would not have picked that rose based on how it looked at the time.

But I had a feeling that it had potential. I have found that roses respond well to a little TLC. And for that price, how could I go wrong? I try to buy roses that have a thick stalk and thick canes. I think that the thicker roses are more mature, and therefore more likely to grow quickly once they are transplanted into the yard.

Our Color Magic rose has grown to over 5 feet tall from about 1 foot tall in past 6 months, and its leaves are dark green and healthy looking. It has grown particularly fast since I increased the amount of water it was getting in September. I think I only fertilized it once back in early summer.

November 02 2008 | Roses | No Comments »

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