We are not all perfect plant parents. Believe me, I wish I was. What I love about plant parenthood is the certain conundrums we come across. Something wilts? “Are you thirsty?!” “Oh, it’s too bright” or the ever so common (at least in my household), “What the hell is wrong with you?!?” I killed many of orchids before, then one day, BAM, one survived. And is still thriving! Said orchid was given to me by Wade Williams, of all people (Prison Break, anyone?!).
I have phalaenopsis orchid currently trying to die on my watch. Every day is better for this guy below.
I sphag and bagged this one. Now this method keeps the roots and moss moist in order to encourage root growth. The plant will have time to focus on roots then eventually start to look better and better. It’s roots were almost non exsistent when I put him in his ICU. Word to the wise-when buying orchids from anywhere-check for the plug right at the base. I have no idea it’s purpose, and I frankly DGAF because they suck. Remove it pronto! I went to repot this guy and realized several months after keeping him there was a plug at the base. So I am crossing my fingers it stays alive.
Now for best part…
I started experimenting with different species (other than phal’s) recently. I had been eyeballing some less common variety’s for several months. I found a vanda at a crazy little greenhouse called Secret Garden Rare Plants (or Florida Star Nursery) in Marianna, FL . The little thing was 10 bucks and I figured I’d give it a shot.
I started it off inside, thinking that was best. I started seeing yellow leaves. It just did not look happy. Upon further research, and questions among orchid groups; turns out Florida is the best place for these suckers. They need to be outside. For those of you folks who know nothing of Vanda’s, like myself, they LOVE humidity, sun, and water. Best if outside with under some shade (mine is under crepe mrytle). I left some sphagnum moss in the basket for a couple of days, then removed it all. Vanda’s prefer to grow bare root. I let it soak in water for 20-40 minutes a day. I checked it yesterday and we have a 2 tiny flower spikes!!!
I went a bit crazy this past weekend. I added quite a few babies to my collections. I won’t see blooms for some time, but that is okay by me. Part of the fun with the younger plants is keeping them alive and finally being rewarded by the pretty flowers (even if it might be 3-7 years later). Below are the new orchids I have acquired over the past month or so. I have tried to add what the eventual flower will look like.
I am been hesitant to order jewel orchids (or orchids of any species) online. I was so happy to see both varieties at the orchid booth by Florida Star Nurseries. These are so neat. They have velvetly leaves, do well in lower light and actually prefer to be keep moist compared to most other varieties I have own currently. They do eventually flower for a short period, but the leaves are what the main attraction is to these.
Last, but definitely not least…
This guy is a vining vanilla orchid (I have one inside and 1 outside for experimental purposes). They get absolutely huge, meaning vines 10+ feet. What is neat about these guys, is that they will produce an actual vanilla bean. Once the plant flowers, you actually have to hand pollinate the flowers to get great beans. Luckily I have time to research that a bit more.