Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orchids Celestial

"There are orchids terrestrial and orchids celestial...." So says Mr. Sanders, Britain's most distinguished authority on Orchids (120 years ago.*)

Woman does not live by bread alone. Plentifully garnished baked potatoes, maybe, but definitely not bread.

I marched into the grocery store hell bent on the idea of staying within my bare bones [read: BORING] budget when what should I encounter but an orchid sale. This is hardly fair, I grumbled to myself, as I stood there drooling over those luscious purple petals.

You'd think I could get through the first half of the first month without blowing my budget but no can do!

Meet the new love of my life! Phalaenopsis something or other.

I've always been a little afraid of orchids. Convinced they'd be quite easy to kill. That's why I was digging around online for orchid instructions when I discovered this marvelous article, published by the New York Times in 1888. Click here to read it.

* Orchids celestial.... Mr. Sanders, was talking about my orchid and how it lives in the high tree canopies in it's natural environment. That's what inspired me to haul the pretty girl out onto the deck to let her feel high in the sky, if only for a moment, before it got too cold.


KC said...

Well then, good luck! It is beautiful and if you need more than luck our friend Wunx is an expert. I give her mine after they bloom so she can give them mouth to mouth or whatever it is she does to keep them going.

Wunx~ said...

Ooh, ooh, where are the orchids on sale?!?

Unknown said...

MMMM, I too love phalenopsis, and can't wait for mine to wake up and start flowering. I showed your photos to them, but all they did was yawn and keep resting.

Granny J said...

Pretty! Especially against the snowy mountain range. Lovely contrast.

Iron Needles said...

I cannot wait for you to tell me how to get my two sleepy orchids to start flowering again. Do tell!

James Stapley said...

Iron Needles -

I suspect a lot of people don't have their Phalaenopsis reflower because their houses are too warm year round. Apparently, Phalaenopsis need a drop in temperatures to around 15 degrees C for about a month in order to initiate flower spikes. If your heater's thermostat is set way above that, I think you won't see blooms. There may be a day length component to it as well.

That said, they're fairly tropical plants and really don't like going much below 10C.

They should usually dry out a little between waterings, and appreciate regular fertilising with a suitable orchid fertiliser; water should always be room temperature or very slightly warm. They appreciate fairly high humidity and don't like the dryness of heated homes!

Good luck and be patient :)