Western Mountains and High Plains

December, 2010
Regional Report

Coax Your Orchid to Bloom

If your orchid is not re-blooming, it is most likely due to lack of sufficient light. Try supplementing with a plant light. Don't over-water or over-fertilize your plant. Let the growing medium dry out enough for the pot to feel light before watering thoroughly. Fertilize weekly at half strength.

Keep Amaryllis Growing

Contrary to popular belief, amaryllis doesn't need a dormant period to make it flower. After flowering, let the flower stem die naturally then remove it. As the leaves grow be sure to water weekly and fertilize with a flowering plant food monthly. In summer, place the plant outdoors in morning sunlight. Bring indoors in September to a sunny window and it will start its blooming cycle over again.

Fresh Basil

A great herb to grow on a sunny windowsill is basil. It is easy to start from seed and many varieties are available. Grow in a well-drained potting mixture in a clay pot with drainage. Basil can survive for several years in a pot.

Select Windbreak Trees

Young trees planted for windbreaks need plenty of water to get established. Consider a drip irrigation system before planting. Then select young, healthy trees that are sure bets to grow in adverse conditions. Consider tough trees like the thornless honeylocust, plains cottonwood, western hackberry, elm, and osage orange.

Check Southern Exposures

For those of you on the High Plains where the snow has been scarce, be sure to winter-water flowerbeds with southern exposures. With the lack of moisture, plants are vulnerable to severe dehydration and poor root development. Bring out the hose and use a "frog-eye" sprinkler on warm days.

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