In mood for Adeniums

I told my plant dealers that I would lie low on buying orchids… However, I didn’t anticipate my purchasing impulse on Adeniums. Just look at those double-petaled beauties… no plant-loving mortal could resist taking them home…and yes, I brought home seven potted plants (Adeniums with Greek nicknames).

Home, Orchids

October first-time bloomers

For nearly five months since it arrived in my garden, I’ve been talking to a certain Phalaenopsis to show me her flowers. I guess the orchid finally obliged to my request and surprised me with its first blooms — large (about 6 inches wide) pink flowers. This was just a nondescript air-plant at Hermie’s garden so I didn’t know it’s a hybrid until it produced buds.

I must admit that I’ve struggled to make this orchid bloom. I’ve been moving it around my garden to find a safe place away from the snails. (Some unwelcome snails managed to munch two of the buds; how they ever got to a hanging plant…I could only speculate.) Also, the excessive rain in the past weeks threatened the buds to droop.

In addition, here’s the other first-time bloomers this October:

Home, Orchids

Wordless Wednesday: Dendrobium hybrid

This Dendrobium orchid is one of the birthday gifts from Sopronia, an orchid delear. When she brought it last August 8, the plant had two sprays of green/purple flowers. I was so attracted to its flowers because of purple coloring on the petals and lips.

Alas, I found one spray on the ground last Monday morning. What to do? I simply put it in a tall vase with a little water. My daughter put some colorful bio-gel granules to add an interesting touch.


Mottled Dancing-Ladies

This Dancing-Lady orchid variety yields beautiful flowers for the past 20 years in my garden.  It was just a burro-eared leaf and a small shoot back then when I got it as a barter plant from my plant buddies, either from Mrs. Vergara or Mrs. Tero in the 1990’s. It has been a delightful sight ever since this plant produced its first spray of yellow flowers with brown mottling.

Today, a spray of my Oncidium orchids starts blooming again and most of them were half-opened around 8 o’clock in the morning. Each flower is 3 cm wide in full bloom. The sepals and petals are heavily mottled with reddish-brown hue while the large yellow skirt-like lips have slight brown markings.

I have this variety for a long time but I must admit that up to now I’m still clueless of its name. However, I know that it requires morning sunlight so I put my Oncidiums in a shady area where the plants are safe from the heat of the midday sun.


Dendrobiums in bloom

After months of rest period, most varieties of my Dendrobium x Cattleya hybrids are in bloom this month. Most of the colorful flowers are 4 inches wide and some even have sweet-smelling scent like the Den. ‘Burana Pearl’. Their beautiful blooms are too good to keep so I’m sharing these photos.


Gladiolus flowers to remember Dads

Gladiolus is the perfect flower to celebrate Father’s Day because it symbolizes strength of character. These flowers look like a sword with their tall stalks. Hence, they’re named after the gladiators.

Here in my hometown, we called this flower by its genus name, Gladiolus. Though I know in some countries, they call this plant with names such as Sword Lily or Corn Lily.

Whatever they’re called, gardeners like me have room for these plants because they produce one of the most attractive garden flowers. Also, floral arrangers like Gladioli for their beautiful cut flowers last well.

On cue, my golden-yellow Gladiolus flowers started to bloom last Thursday, June 16, 2011. They’re just in time for Father’s Day. In the photos above, the petals reflected the early morning sunlight. It may be scentless but its attractive petals with orange blotches around the edges compensate for its lack of smell.

Gladiolus are perennial plants. They are members of the iris family. The flowers bloom throughout most of July and August. The yellow, orange and red-orange Gladioli in my garden are yet to bloom hopefully in the coming weeks.

I planted them near the fence because strong winds may damage the plants and knock them over. Despite my good intention to keep it safe, the plant poked its flower stalk out of the safe zone. They must’ve been in pursuit of the sun.

They are easy to grow. After the flowering period, I usually uproot the plant then remove the roots and the stalk, leaving the corm. Then,I would air dry the corm for 15 days.

When a 1 inch soot develops on top of the corm, I put it 2 inches beneath the sandy loam soil I’ve prepared. I don’t forget to water it frequently.

After 45 days from planting, it would bloom again.


Sun-loving Gumamelas

bi-color gumamela

The Hibiscus plants are locally known throughout the Philippines as the Gumamela.

pink hawaiian hibiscus

Though this plant has short-lived but continuing blooms, the scent-less Gumamela is one of the most widely cultivated of flowers here in my hometown.

white hibiscus with double petals

Presently, I have eleven shrubs of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis along my fence.

soft orange hibiscus flower; this plant was given by Mrs. Jabinez (Jabinez Garden, Ozamiz City)

Eight of my Gumamela shrubs are potted while three of them are planted on the ground. Moreover, nine of these flowering shrubs are hosts to some of my Dendrobium orchids.

Gumamela with red single petals and dark red center

These plants bloom throughout the year for I placed them in the area of my garden where they get a few hours of direct sun every day. I’ve noticed that the bloom life of these flowers are about 2-3 days, with a succession of blooms that last for months.

pink Gumamela with red center

More often, my Hibiscus plants produce gorgeous flowers in vibrant color in red, white, pink, yellow, peach, orange and purple. So for years, I’ve enjoyed their ruffled and trumpet-shaped blooms.

Gumamela, orange single petals with yellow outline

To get more blooms, the rule of the thumb is pinch and prune. Since I don’t want a huge shrub in my garden, I prune my Gumamelas when necessary.  Pinching their growing tips also helps them to branch out. I’ve planted the cuttings in black bags filled with sandy-loam soil.

peach Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers

Moreover, these plant are not only ornamental but medicinal as well. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is one of the plants listed on Philippine herbs.