Alina W

Latest posts by Alina W

Phalaenopsis orchids

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 22:16

Should be fine near a west-facing window, Brenda.

In fact, if you have a net curtain in the way, it can go on a windowsill, but you do need the tray of pebbles.

Yes, the pot should be transparent so the roots get light, too. When the flowers have finished, cut the stem off at the first green "node" left on the flowering stem. A node is a little bump with a tiny raised edge across it. With luck, you will get more flowers coming from the node.

Phalaenopsis orchids

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 00:39

Hi Brenda.

Your orchid is happy indoors, but nowhere near a radiator. It likes a minimum of about 15C - think of it as a lot like an African violet in its temperature needs. It likes a bright but not sunny windowsill, and it must be warm, so don't trap it between the window and the curtain.

You'll notice it's potted in bark-like "soil" - you can't put it in normal compost. Water every 2-3 weeks depending on how warm it is, and let the water run through - never let it stand in water, and never, ever get water into the crown - it will rot quickly. Feed with half-strength plant food about every 3 weeks in summer. If the place you keep it has dry air, it'll help if you put it, in a base, on top of a tray of damp pebbles.

They're actually not difficult to grow as they need little attention, and the flowers last for weeks.

Hope that covers most things - enjoy!

Help. Not sleeping.

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 22:49

Sleep tight, Pauline.

And if you need any more ideas - slow breathing is another.

Force yourself to breathe in by your nose and out by your mouth 10 times, but slowly and deeply, concentrating on your breathing. By the tenth breath you will  (or should be) more relaxed, and hopefully sleepy.

Help. Not sleeping.

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 16:36

Can you still get milk with melatonin? That will help you sleep.

And to the person that said they knew they didn't get any deep sleep because they didn't dream, that's the wrong way round - dreams mean LIGHT sleep, dreamless is deep.

The only things I can suggest are what I do - drink a malted drink before going to bed, go there at the same time, listen to a quiet radio station and if you can't sleep - give it a set time (say 15 minutes) and if you're not sleepy, get up and stay up. Make the most of the extra time - it's better to use it constructively and feel you've done something rather than be tossing and turning and feeling wound up about it.

Good luck!

Bag the weeds!

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 12:12

I tend to cut the flower heads off weeds before trying to pull them out.

But I agree, there's pleanty of seeds in the ground anyway - it just makes me feel better!

Help with fuchsias please

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 12:10

The simplest solution is to cut off these tips the minute you see them, cutting back into clean, sound growth. Make sure you clean your secateurs afterwards.

If they re-appear next year, do the same. Yes, it'll lose flowers, but no more than you are already losing.

Plums Again

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 23:32

I think it's likely to be bruised, although you may not be able to see it.

Or are you storing it in too warm a place, perhaps?

Should my crab apple look like this?

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 14:22

It doesn't sound good, but a picture would help.

The blotches may be down to insect infestation.

Wasps eating apples.

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 12:19

Pick them early, before they're ripe. It's the only safe way, and they will ripen over time.

Cordyline dropping leaves.

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 12:17

If it does survive you might care to put it in its own pot if planting amongst other plants again, and in a very sandy, free-draining soil - that might keep it happier.

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