Author Topic: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)  (Read 5808 times)

cardinalflower

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Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« on: April 12, 2006, 18:43:02 »
I bought some of these last year as bulbs, cos they looked great on the packet. Lovely white flowers with a hint of purple in the middle, a very exotic looking specimen!
Planted them around June in a large clay pot. After a few weeks they started growing, lovely lush strappy leaves and I waited and waited for the flowers. Nothing happened. The leaves started going freckly and by late autumn were dying down. So i thought maybe I might get something this year. I know it's only April and a friend said I should start seeing the leaves poke through around late May. Is this true?
Will I also get flowers this year as they didn't flower last Summer?
Also are these bulbs hardy as we had a cold winter and a cold Spring?
Hope they haven't rotted in the pot.  ???

Please help  :-[

jennym

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2006, 00:39:17 »
If these are what I think they are, they are now called Gladiolus callianthus (used to be called Acidanthera murielae). I grow these too - they are lovely.
Plant them now, in good rich compost in a nice big pot - say 12" diameter minimum. I find the leaves start showing around end of May. Flowers start around End of August, maybe September. Good clear whiteness to them that shows up well in the evening light, just the sort of thing to have near the house - the sort of flower that shows up well when you are having those late season barbeques!
I lift them when the leaves die down, maybe November, and store in a paper bag with a little dry compost in it, in the shed - they don't like getting wet and frosted, they aren't as hardy as normal gladioli. I did notice that Woolworths were doing some fairly cheaply recently.
I think this is a typical picture:
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 00:46:29 by jennym »

KevB

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 07:59:38 »
Hi Cardinal
In my opinion they're not worth the bother! lots of leaves and eventually a flower that doesn't last long!! there are far worthier flowers to nurture! but thats only me!
CHeers Kevb
If I wasn't Gardening I'd be shopping!! thank God for Gardening!!

jennym

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 10:45:30 »
Awwww KevB! You have to whisper sweetly to them  ;D
I get around 4 - 6 weeks flowers from mine I guess, and so welcome at that time of year.

cardinalflower

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 17:03:34 »
Yep jenny, those are the ones I should have had flowering. The pic is exactly like the one on the packaging of the bulbs. I left mine in large pots over winter so hope they are hardy!

Will keep an eye on the and see if any leaves poke through around may, if they do then i guess i might be in with a chance for flowers, if not then am chucking them out!

Thanks for all the advice

CF x

lilylover

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006, 18:35:02 »
Same thing here CF  :-\  Two years of leaves and no flowers. The annoying thing is I potted some for my mum at the same time....and they flowered . If they are a no show this year then it's compost time!  Mwah hahahaha!!!
Is it wrong to fancy Lucius Malfoy?

jeanaustin

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2006, 20:21:52 »
I've never been able to get these to flower in the second year - either by leaving in the pot in a frost free place or by drying off the bulbs and then replanting - always only got leaves so now I discard them after the first year and buy fresh corms.  I love them for their beautiful smell, especially in the evening.

cardinalflower

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2006, 22:50:08 »
jeanaustin - thats why i bought them as i read somewhere they have a beautiful scent in the evening and a magical flower  ::) Only flowers I have seen are in pics  :P
Am quite disappointed now and thinking of getting rid of em now as they are taking up valuable space in terracotta pots. I guess I could put those pots to good use and plant something else in. Hmmmmm  ::)

Deeds

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2006, 00:28:16 »
The problem with most of the cormss sold in packs at garden centres etc, is the fact that they are immature, and therefore certainly won't flower that well if at all.
It's such a shame that people are put off by the packet rubbish sold in garden centres, they are small and not stored correctly, but cheap.

I grow bulbs and corms for a living and I grow lots of these, the corms I sell are at least 4 -5 times the size of the ones normally available in shops, and for not many pennies more. Start off with decent bulbs in good condition and they are reliable, they need feedling, like most bulbs to bulk up to flower well again the next year.

They flower reliably in late August to September if they are planted as soon as all danger of frost in your area is over.  However they aren't hardy in most of the UK and can even be a bit tricky to overwinter in Cornwall.

The scent, specially in the evening is sublime.

cardinalflower

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 23:17:18 »
Deeds,
do you have a price list of the bulbs you sell or have a website. Would love to have a nosey at what you've got  :P

Deeds

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2006, 14:21:35 »
Cardinal flower, you have a pm :)

KevB

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2006, 22:53:05 »
Dont be shy Deeds, if you're good at something please share it with us all and save us from the dreaded Garden Centyres!!
More power to your elbow!!
Cheers kevb
If I wasn't Gardening I'd be shopping!! thank God for Gardening!!

Deeds

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2006, 14:21:28 »
Thanks KevB, I don't want to use this site for advertising my own business, as I don't relly feel comfortable about it, and don't want to use it for free advertising etc.

So maybe the best way I can think of doing it to make me feel better is to give you a link to the site, then if anyone places an order now or in the future (and tells me they found the site through A4A) I will make a donation of a percentage of the order value to A4A, hope that seems fair.

www.hiddenhousebulbs.com

cardinalflower

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2006, 20:32:49 »
Checked out the site, it's great. Some lovely specimens!  :D

Deeds

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2006, 23:29:18 »
Thank you - so pleased you like it.

 I have a new list coming on in a couple of weeks when I am sure of my stocks after a rotten winter.

cliff_the_gardener

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2006, 20:00:28 »
For me, one of the issues with bulbs, corms and tubers not flowering is that the bulbs done get fed.   Lets face it many of us just plant them and leave them to their own devices.  More often than not the do well but then some have problems.
I use a tomato feed weekly once the bulb is in flower.  Other option are to apply a 10:10:10 quick release feed.

Deeds

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Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2006, 15:50:31 »
As the flower is already formed within the bulbs (assuming it is flowering size) it's not essential to feed the bulb during the first season, but  it IS vital to feed them after flowering to ensure the bulbs get enough nourishment  to flower again the next year.

I always advise an addition of bonemeal at planting time, and the addition of compost, manure should be used very sparingly if at all when planting, as bulbs are very easily rotted by manure.

Allotments 4 All

Re: Peacock Orchids (Acidanthera)
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2006, 15:50:31 »