Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I've been growing orchids for over twenty years and when I say growing, I mean that I buy them and if they die I throw them out and if they look like they'll survive, I keep them and encourage them to bloom again.  I occasionally repot them, spray or fertilize, but mostly put them in a likely window and neglect them.  They seem to like this treatment.

The type of orchids I grow are Phalaenopsis (moth orchid).  I have been successful in getting these to survive and rebloom in most instances.  Whenever I've tried another variety, it hasn't worked out very well.  I can't keep the big Cattleyas alive and while Dendrobiums will survive and grow new branches, they never bloom again for me.

So I stick with what I know.  Phalaenopsis orchids are the ones you see in the grocery stores, at Costco, and at Trader Joe's for $13.00.  They've become so commonplace and so affordable that you really can buy one, enjoy the blooms (which usually last for months) and then throw it away and get another when the blossoms are done.  Or you can do what I do and endure the look of the green, leggy leaves and various roots which grow up into the air until you're rewarded (possibly) with a spike and another show of flowers.  When a spike starts to grow it's really exciting because you know you did something right.  If the leaves get very limp and/or yellow, you know you did something wrong (most likely over watered) and you might as well give up and toss it.

I have two orchids blooming in my kitchen window right now and they've intertwined their blossoms.  I managed to get a photo last night.  I think they're beautiful and hope that this show will last for another few months.

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