Posted in houseplants, loreeebee.ca

How to Make Your Orchids Rebloom

If you have you purchased (or been gifted) orchids with beautiful blooms, but the blooms are now gone, follow these easy steps to make them rebloom to their former glory.

Water

The easiest way to kill your orchids, and most other houseplants, is to overwater them.  The best way to water orchids is to take the pot to a sink, pour approximately 1/2 cup of water into the pot and then let ALL of the water drain out.  Do this every 7 to 10 days, letting the soil dry out in between watering.  Of course, this means your orchids should be in a pot that drains well.

Light

Another important requirement of orchids is the amount of sunlight they receive.  Direct sunlight is too harsh and will burn them, but too little sunlight will prevent them from flowering well.  Orchids prefer sunlight (not directly) from a south-facing window in the winter months, and an east or northwest exposure in the summer months.

Temperature

Preferred temperatures vary between types of orchids.  Read the labels on the ones you have to ensure optimal temperatures for your orchids. None of them like temperatures below 60 degrees F though, and none like to be near cold air drafts.  If you do not know whether your orchid is a cool, warm or intermediate type, keeping it between 65 and 80 degrees F should work.

Food

Keep in mind that the rest periods in between blooms allow for the plants to restore their energy levels.  After the blooms have faded and fallen off, wait until the stalk has completely turned brown before cutting it off at the point where it meets the plant.  

Food is important though to keep your orchids blooming their best.  There are commercial forms of orchid food available which contain a higher phosphate (the middle number) level than nitrogen (first number) and potash (third number) for optimal blooms. 

Feed your orchids every second watering while in bloom, otherwise once a month.

Repotting and Air Roots

Orchids may need repotting after two years, depending on how compacted its roots are. Most orchids are grown in clear plastic pot liners (that sit in more decorative pots) with lots of drainage holes. This makes it very easy to determine if your orchid needs repotting. Simply lift the pot liner out of its outer pot and check for crowded roots.

If you have air roots forming, you may need to repot, although air roots are common and not necessarily a bad thing. They do indicate a low humidity level though. If the air roots are white or pale green and firm, they are healthy and of no concern. Leave them alone. They absorb nutrients and moisture from the air. The green colour is from the chlorophyll which is essential for photosynthesis.

You can tell a lot about the health of your orchid by the colour of its roots. Green roots mean your orchid is healthy and has recently been watered. As they dry out, the roots will become paler in colour. If your roots are yellow or brown and appear shriveled or mushy, they have been overwatered. If roots are brown and crispy, they are dehydrated. Neither are healthy and should be removed, but only when your orchid is not blooming.

Conclusion

I just finished repotting and reevaluating all of my houseplants, including one orchid I received as a birthday present a few years ago. This orchid was not doing much, so I followed my own (researched) advice and moved it to the bright, indirect light of a south facing window. I also repotted it as it was pot bound and exhibiting air roots.

It now has a new leaf emerging; I can’t wait for new flowers!

Hopefully the tips above will help you keep your orchids looking great.  If you have put off buying them because you thought they were too difficult or fussy, give them a try.  They cannot be beat for their spectacular blooms!

Let me know if you have any other tips, I have to admit I am new to this reblooming orchid experience.

Posted in Canada, gardens, loreeebee.ca, weather

It’s not the temperature

“It’s not the temperature” is a common Canadian phrase, followed by either “it’s the windchill” in the winter, or “it’s the humidity” in the summer.  We Canadians tend to be very weather obsessed.

In this case,  however, I am talking about why I cover the base (crown) of my roses in my gardens…

It’s not just the cold temperature (although it is advisable to choose plants hardy to your area) that affects (kills) the roses, it’s the freeze and thaw cycles very common to Ontario weather that do them in.  The mounded earth helps prevent the rose crowns from heaving out of the ground in these freeze/thaw cycles.  Be sure to use clean soil (I purchase plain garden soil in easy to manage bags for this purpose) to avoid introducing mold, mildew, bacteria or insects and their eggs to the roses.

I counted twenty-two rose crowns to cover in my own gardens, lots more in my client’s….

Posted in health and wellness, lorieb.com, weather

Sciatic nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain, AKA sciatica, happens when the sciatic nerve is pinched, inflamed, or compressed.  The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back at the base of the spine down both legs (pale yellow in the picture)…

Sciatic_nerve2

picture from Wikipedia

Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by traumatic injury (like a car accident), pregnancy (fetus putting pressure on the nerve), spinal disc herniation (most common), tumors and even carrying a thick wallet in your back pocket! (piriformis syndrome)

There may be others, but these are the ones I read about when I googled “why do I have deep pain in my legs between my hips and my knees?”  I vaguely remember having the same problem when I was pregnant years ago, but sometimes I get this pain for no apparent reason.

My sciatic nerve appears to be affected by cold temperatures, cool and damp weather as well as swings in temperature.  The pain usually only lasts for a day, but last weekend I was miserable from Friday to Monday.   Advil helped, but as soon as it wore off the pain was back.  A topical cream containing capsaicin helped,  and I hear creams containing arnica do too but I have yet to try that .

Posted in houseplants, loreeebee.ca, nature

How to make your indoor orchids rebloom

If you have you purchased orchids with beautiful blooms, but the blooms are now gone, follow these easy steps to make them rebloom to their former glory.

Water:  The easiest way to kill your orchids, and most other houseplants, is to overwater them.  The best way to water orchids is to take the pot to a sink, pour approximately 1/2 cup of water into the pot and then let ALL of the water drain out.  Do this every 7 to 10 days, letting the soil dry out in between waterings.  Of course, this means your orchids should be in a pot that drains well.

Light:  Another important requirement of orchids is the amount of sunlight they receive.  Direct sunlight is too harsh and will burn them, but too little sunlight will prevent them from flowering well.  Orchids prefer sunlight (not directly) from a south-facing window in the winter months, and an east or northwest exposure in the summer months.

Temperature:   Preferred temperatures vary between types of orchids.  Read the labels on the ones you purchase to ensure optimal temperatures for your orchids. None of them like temperatures below 60 degrees F though and none like to be near cold air drafts.  If you do not know whether your orchid is a cool, warm or intermediate type, keeping it between 65 and 80 degrees F should work.

Food:  Keep in mind that the rest periods in between blooms allow for the plants to restore their energy levels.  After the blooms have faded and fallen off, wait until the stalk has completely turned brown before cutting it off at the point where it meets the plant.  Food is important though to keep your orchids blooming their best.  There are commercial products available for orchid food which contains a higher phosphate (the middle number) level than nitrogen (first number) and potash (third number) for optimal blooms.  Feed your orchids every second watering while in bloom, otherwise once a month.

Hopefully the tips above will help you keep your orchids looking great.  If you have put off buying them because you thought they were too difficult or fussy, give them a try.  They cannot be beat for their spectacular blooms!

pictures courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

copyscape picture

Posted in current events, food, weather

Superbowl Sunday BBQ’d Sausages

Although the temperature outside is very cold here again today, we decided to BBQ sausages for a pre Superbowl treat…

IMG828

That -18 degrees is Celsius, which converts to 0 degrees for those of you who like your temperature measured in  Fahrenheit.   We had to shovel a path through the snow piled on our back deck to get to the BBQ, and then pry the frozen cover off it, but thankfully it fired up quickly…

Every time I opened the lid of the BBQ, the inside temperature took a nose dive, so the sausages were cooked in no time on the highest temperature setting…

Luckily it’s warmer in Arizona for the Superbowl!