Tag Archive | orchids

Orchid Memories and Orchid Varieties

phalaenopsisOrchids are not only beautiful, but they may also trigger a wonderful memory. When I was a child, my mother always wore an orchid corsage to church on Easter Sunday. My brother would pick it up on Saturday from the nearest florist (twenty miles away), and it would be stored in the side door of the refrigerator. It was pinned on Mom’s dress after she had secured her hat with bobby pins and before she slipped on her cloth gloves.

I have the most common orchid variety, the Phalaenopsis, not the type Mom wore as a corsage. For a wonderful look at the mind-blowing number of orchid types, check out a compendium of the orchid family created by FTD.

Have fun checking out the amazing photographs. Perhaps it will trigger some lovely memories, too.

orchid

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What Do I Do With This Beautiful Orchid?

phalaenopsis

phalaenopsis

The exotic beauty of orchids intimidated me into thinking they’d be difficult to grow and maintain. But as I wrote in my last post, I found a deal that I couldn’t refuse on some beautiful blooming orchids. Now that the holiday season is over, I wondering how I’m going to care these beauties. I did some research about orchid care and will share a few basic tips and helpful websites that I have found.

First, find out what kind of orchid you have. There are many, many varieties out there, but the most popular orchids found in the garden section of the hardware stores are the phalaenopsis, also called a moth orchid, the dendrobium, also called a cane orchid, or the cattleya. The two blooming orchids I purchased during the holidays are phalaenopsis. However, last year I bought a tiny cattleya in the “needs lots of love immediately” houseplant section of Lowe’s. It hasn’t bloomed since I got it. Evidently it needed a whole lotta love! If a name tag wasn’t with your orchid, here is a great website that has pictures to help you identify it. http://aboutorchids.com/identify/index.html

 

cattleya

cattleya

One of the most important tips I learned is to leave your orchid alone until it has finished blooming. By leave it alone, I mean don’t repot it, don’t fertilize it, and don’t overwater it. When it comes to water, less is more. Water it once a week, but make sure the pot drains properly. Don’t let the orchid stand in water. Don’t get water on the leaves. If you do, wipe the water off them. I know, that’s lots of “don’ts.” I’ll try to be more positive.

Do keep the orchid in a sunny room, but not in direct sunlight.

Do keep it away from drafts and vents.

After your orchid has bloomed, check its container. If it’s not in a pot with holes, re-pot it in one. Also, it’s helpful if your pot is a clear plastic so the roots of the orchid are visible. Orchids with green roots are healthy. Those with gray roots need more water, and those with dark roots are over-watered. If you re-pot, be sure to use a medium specific for orchids. Orchids like their roots in bark rather than dirt.

orchid roots

Orchids usually need fertilizer to re-bloom. Like watering, it should be used sparingly. Use fertilizer when the orchid is in its growing season which is after it has bloomed. I plan to use an orchid fertilizer rather than creating my own because I don’t have any experience with orchids. I’m going to play it safe.

I hope this information helps all of you who have these beautiful flowers. For more detailed information about their care please check out the American Orchid Society  https://www.aos.org/ .  May your orchids brighten your winter!

moth orchid

Add Orchids to Your Christmas Decor

phalaenopsis

When you think of Christmas flowers, chances are poinsettias are the first one to come to mind. It used to be they came in either red or white, but now they are available in pink, blue, lavender—a variety of colors, and adorned with glitter. Other traditional holiday flowers include Christmas Cactuses with their beautiful pink blooms and amaryllis that come in cheerful reds, pinks, whites, and stripes. If you’re looking for a last minute gift, many are on sale right now.

 

Christmas decor

Actually, it was a great sale that led me to purchase my favorite Christmas flower of 2014: an orchid. I happened to be at a Home Depot a couple of weeks ago and found phalaenopsis orchids for $5 each. I used great self-restraint and bought only two. At first thought, orchids and Christmas don’t seem to mix. But I believe beautiful flowers of any variety will accent any occasion or season.

white phalaenopsis

 

purple phalaenopsis
If you have some orchids on sale in your area, don’t wait to buy them until after the holidays because they don’t seem “Christmasy.” Perhaps a flower that stops us in our tracks is just what we need during the Christmas rush.

christmas orchids

May the peace of Christmas be in your hearts and homes.