Important new cultural suggestions:
For wintering Vireyas inside the home, the following conditions are essential for growing and blooming.
*Humidity: either use a small humidifier or one of those "rocks and waterfall" bowls. Spraying once a day with water is not enough in our dry winter environments.
Good air movement is very important: use a small fan 12 hours a day, if possible.
*Adequate light: use supplemental light if necessary to provide a bright 12 hour day.
Lower night-time temperature; Vireyas are rhododendrons and rhododendrons like warm days and cool nights.
Outside summer environments will differ but the above suggestions still apply as goals.
For six months - -
Growing tips from The Avant Gardener, June 2011
"About 30m years ago at Michigan State University, researchers discovered that alfalfa contains a fatty acid alcohol which stimulates plant growth, even in very minute amounts. All attempts to isolate or synthesize this chemical, triacontanol, have been unsuccessful so far".
About 25 years ago, we here at Bovees Nursery, read about this and began adding alfalfa to the fertilizer we make and use here at the Nursery, with excellent results.
Mulching or digging in chopped alfalfa, or alfalfa meal or pellets produces more vigorous growth, larger flowers, and higher crop yield. Alfalfa tea shows similar results. Alfalfa meal and pellets are sold at farm stores.
If you can't locate a local source for alfalfa, our fertilizer is priced at $5.00 for a 4 pound bag. It includes alfalfa meal and canola meal as the nitrogen sources. At first we used cotton seed meal in our fertilizer but felt that cotton seed meal had been exposed to excessive pesticides which we wanted to avoid, so we switched to Canola seed meal.
1 pint of mix will pot a 1 yr. into a 2 yr.
3 cups will move a 2 yr. into a 3 yr.
2 quarts will put a 3 yr. into a gallon pot.
FOR VIREYA GROWERS
Here at Bovees we know how hard it is sometimes to get the proper potting materials so we are offering a few items that we use in our Vireya mix. We are providing these items in 1 gallon sizes. You can also buy our potting mix already made up.
All sold and shipped by the US gallon
Chunky Peat Moss $2.50
Perlite (Horticultural Grade) $2.00
Pumice (Central Oregon) $2.50
Orchid Bark (very good) $2.00
(1/4 to 1/2 inch size)
Bovees custom Vireya
potting mix. $2.00 per quart
Square Anderson pots, tall bands
2 3/8 x 5 inches. We root
our cuttings in these. $0.15
2 7/8 x5 inches. Transplant $0.20
into or for small plants.
3 5/8 x 6 inches. Used to $0.35
grow on bigger plants. 2 & 3 year old ones.
NOTES : We use chunky peat moss but you do not have to. If you want to use any of the fine particle peat moss just add a little bit more Perlite.
What is Perlite? Perlite is a naturally occurring mineral that pops when furnaced. Each particle has a large, irregular surface area enclosing numerous tiny closed air cells. Perlite is lightweight, sterile, chemically inert, permanent, non-toxic, incombustible, rot and vermin resistant, asbestos-free and has a neutral pH.
Pumice is also a natural material. Ours comes from central Oregon and has been sifted to remove most of the fines. Pumice is much the same as Perlite but much heavier.
Orchid bark is Douglas fir bark that has been sifted and sorted to size. There are very few fine particles in good Orchid bark. Ours has also been heat treated. Great stuff.
Our Vireya potting mix uses 1 part of each item (except 2 parts orchid bark).
You pay only the material cost and UPS Ground Service. No handling or packing charge for these materials. On these items we do not plan on making any money, but hope to provide you with a service.