One of nature’s true beauties would have to be the orchid. Their symmetrical flowers and range of colours and hues make them a firm favourite and a fascination amongst garden lovers.

Geoffrey and Lucy Spears are two people bitten by the orchid bug and have been members of the South Coast Orchid Club of South Australia for over 30 years.

What started out by a friend giving Geoff one orchid plant has turned his backyard, and his life, into one orchid filled obsession he loves with a passion.

Specializing in Cymbidium orchids, Geoff has always liked their large waxy flowers. He increases the spike length by tying the flowers to a vertical piece of elastic that stretches and lengthens the blooms. When it comes to feeding, Geoff’s advice is regular and use a dedicated orchid mix. Another thing to keep orchids blooming is light. 70% shade cloth is ideal. Definitely not full sun.

While orchids love to be crowded in a pot, once they outgrow the pot you can divide the plant. Spring is perfect time after flowering. Tip out the plant and cut off the bottom third of roots. Then saw through the main plant to leave at least 3 large bulbs at the base of the orchid which will send up blooms and 3 groups of leaves. Place the orchid with the bulbs pressed against the side of the pot and the leaves facing into the centre – this is the growing and spreading part of the plant. Fill with an open orchid mix as they love good drainage. Then apply an orchid fertilizer.


About The Author

In the Garden is an exciting new local South Australian TV program on Channel 9 this Summer & next Autumn showcasing the best ‘green’ stories this state has to tell. Check out the latest in garden trends, new plants and top tips to keep those gardens blooming.