Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting for the Bamboo Orchids to grow

The flower of a Bamboo Orchid. (image source: Wikipedia)
The spaces on both sides of the entrance to the farm is still sparsely planted. And I have not completely forgotten about it. From the very moment the first Triangle palm was installed, I have been thinking of what to put underneath and in between the rows of palms.

My blogger friend Africanaussie suggested that I use Ixora, a plant that doesn't mind aggressive trimming to keep it maintained. I so much appreciate the suggestion and I pondered about using it as well. My only problem with Ixora is that it's a very common plant in the country. Almost every garden, large or small has at least one to a point that almost nobody cares about it anymore.

Young Bamboo Orchids with other young plants in the nursery.
So I thought what else can I use? Then I remembered this one particular plant that happened to be blooming when I visited the farm last February. I was attracted by its unusual looks and the flowers resemble that of an orchid. But I didn't know its name then. It was only after reading Autumn Belle's entry that I got to know that plant.

The Bamboo Orchid (Arundina graminifolia) is not a native to the country. It was an introduced species and although it's quite popular it's not yet widely cultivated.

This ground orchid's reedy stems and grass-like leaves give its bamboo-like structure. It has a clumping habit so growing out of control or invading other spaces is not a big problem. The significant sized flowers develop at the top of the stem. This, I thought would be a good candidate plant to put in between the Triangle palms at the entrance to the farm.

More young Arundinas in the nursery.

Since we're on a very tight budget these days, buying is not a good option. So, I asked Mom if she could try to propagate them from our one and only clump of Bamboo Orchid. And off she went separating some of the offsets from the mother plant, individually putting each on separate black plastic bags. Those with significant roots she planted directly to the ground.

Mom thought these two are old enough to be planted to the ground.

The young plants shown on the three pictures above are either just two or three weeks old. And judging from their appearance they seem to be doing well. However, it might take several months (or years) before they grow to a significant height and volume and produce flowers. But as I have been slowly and painfully learning the hard way, all I can do (again) is wait. And waiting is torture to an impatient person like me.
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