Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

January, 2006
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Moth Orchids
Widely available in discount department and home improvement stores, Phalaenopsis orchids, commonly called moth orchids, are not just a pretty, short-lived houseplant. With only modest care they are easy to keep growing and blooming for many years to come. First and foremost is to have a source of bright light. If you don't have a window providing that, consider a fluorescent plant light unit. Moth orchids do well with typical house temperatures in the 70s, with slightly cooler nights. Although they can survive with moderate humidity, they do best if the pots are set on trays of pebbles kept moist. Let the growing medium dry out slightly between thorough waterings, and use a balanced water-soluble houseplant or orchid fertilizer. Repot in late spring or early summer if the plant is becoming overgrown or the potting medium starts to break down. Commercial growers offer a wide range of flower colors besides the basic white, including various shades of pink, green, purple, and yellow, plus ones with stripes.

Tool or Gardening Product

For anyone who has been using a push mower, garden tiller, or string trimmer and looked down at their feet only to notice ratty, old sneakers, it might be time to consider a pair of LawnGrips, a garden shoe designed for safety as well as comfort. LawnGrips have a patented outsole that offers exceptional traction to support pushing, turning, and stopping, while easily shedding grass clippings and soil. The shoes have a steel toe under a rugged, molded rubber outer toe. The upper is made of water-resistant, full-grain leather with a hook-and-loop closure and a neoprene collar to keep grass and soil out of the shoes. The composite insole is both cushioning and supportive. Besides the slip-on model, there is also a 6-inch boot with added protection and support. LawnGrips are available in both men's and women's whole and half sizes, starting at $89.95 plus shipping. For further information, go to:


Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Water Hibiscus"