callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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From the potting shed

A bitterly cold wind today, so I cravenly hid in the shed with all the unwashed pots, spiders and cobwebs, to repot my Smithiantha ‘Orange King’ babies. The link picture gives some idea of the beautiful leaves but doesn’t show the fab flowers. Nor does any other site on the Net, so watch this space later on. Smithiantha, sometimes known as Temple Bells, are like the achimenes, or Hot Water Plants. In the UK they are strictly houseplants.

The pots have spent the winter on top of the fridge, kept completely dry. When you crumble up the old dry compost, these fall out.

Each year you get more babies, without the effort of taking cuttings or collecting seed. I use half pots for these, filling them about two thirds full then arranging the little corms (not sure if that’s what they are, technically) on the surface and covering them. I used to cosset these, starting them off in the airing cupboard and keeping them indoors but experience and accident have shown that it’s not necessary. I put the pots in the greenhouse, water them and let them alone. Poor things, it’s so cold just now that I did cover them with a plastic lid. This method means later flowers, maybe September/October time, but they’re so gorgeous it’s worth the wait.

Here’s a cheerful sight on what is now a grey day.

I’ve already started the April gallery for those who like looking at plant pictures.
Tags: gardening, potting, smithiantha

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