Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2012
Regional Report

Clever Gardening Technique

Water Potted Plants by Submersion
The best way to water potted plants is to submerge them in a large bucket full of water. Indoor plants especially appreciate a thorough drenching. Add half-strength liquid fertilizer to the water every other watering for magnificent results. Allow plants to soak for no longer than 15 minutes or until bubbles no longer rise to the surface.

Favorite or New Plant

Orchid Cactus
My very favorite succulent plant is the orchid cactus (Epiphyllum spp). It is native to rain forests and produces masses of spectacular blooms in May and June. Entire plant societies are dedicated to this magnificent plant. Unlike cacti, epiphyllums require filtered light or partial shade to perform well. They are also extremely heavy feeders. Fertilizing every time you water with half-strength fertilizer will result in masses of 4 to 6 inch flowers. Plants do best in hanging pots, but containers set on pedestals or atop bannisters also work. The foliage grows very long, has no spines, and will produce flowers on each of the many lobes. The colors range from an amazing iridescent white to deep red with all shades of orange and purple in between.

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