The Antique Heirloom Plants

The Antique Heirloom Plants
by Kent Higgins

Many people are familiar with antique furniture, but did you know that there are also antique plants? These plant species have survived for generations, and they are called heirloom plants. There is a wide variety when it comes to heirloom plant species, but the most popular of these is an orchid. Although many people, especially beginning gardeners, fear that they would kill an orchid plant and never dream of owning one, many varieties of orchids are actually easy to care for.

One popular heirloom orchid, the Paphiopedilum orchid, is a very low maintenance plant. These orchids have been popular for generations due to their big, bold flowers. These colorful flowers make a wonderful accessory in your home, brightening the whole room. Another type of heirloom orchid that you may want to consider is the Cattleya orchid. These orchids grow stalks with clusters of small blossoms. They come in colors ranging from yellow and pink to simple white orchids. These are very striking plants, even in less bold colors.

Once you have selected an orchid, you’ll need orchid potting mix, a clay pot, a tray, and some small pebbles. When you purchase your orchid, it will probably come in a small plastic pot, or with bare roots. To re-pot your orchid, fill your clay pot with the orchid potting mix, and then simply plant your orchid into the mix. Use the tray filled with small stones underneath your pot, to help catch the draining water.

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To water your orchid, place it under room temperature running water for around two minutes. Because sitting in water is one of the easiest ways to kill an orchid, make sure that the potting mix has time to drain thoroughly. Now, place the pot on the tray, and then place your orchid in an area of your home that does not receive direct sunlight. Once per week, check your orchid. If the orchid potting mix is dry, you should water your orchid again by placing it under running water.

If you do not want to grow or to care for orchids, there are many other heirloom plants to choose from, including flower bulbs. These plants are very hardy, and can endure years of neglect. One of the most popular heirloom bulbs is the daffodil. There is a surprising variety of daffodils available, from the smaller true daffodils to the larger narcissus. Many have wonderful scents, or unique petal shapes that can turn down even the most expensive orchids such as Vanda or the moth orchid. Hyacinth flowers are known for their beautiful colors and strong fragrance.

Once you have purchased your flower bulbs, you’ll need to plant them. You’ll need a container, some potting soil, and a cold spot to store your bulbs during the winter months. Fill your container with potting soil, and plant your bulbs with the narrow end facing up. Keep your container in a cold area for the winter, and then bring your bulbs inside during the early spring, placing them in a sunny window. Water it regularly, and your bulbs will soon sprout. After they bloom, you can plant your bulbs out in the garden. Otherwise, you can also discard the bulbs after they are done blooming, and buy new ones next year.

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