Saturday, April 19, 2008

My first Orchid and I got it to bloom!!!

Right off the get go, I have to say I got a little lazy this week with my blog......I have joined the Rock Band / Guitar hero Craze. OMG it is addictive!! And so much fun!! I promise to make more time for my plants and my blog.....bad plant mommy, I have neglected them too all week. Being a Rock Star is hard


Back in March I decided that I had to have an orchid. I am pretty cheap so I was not willing to pay any more than ten or fifteen dollars. Some Orchids can cost more than a hundred dollars. I wasn't going to spend that much on a plant until I was sure I could care for it properly and get it to bloom again. I got this particular Orchid for less than ten dollars because it had already bloomed, and at the time looked like a twig in a pot. They were all marked down so I took advantage and bought one. I didn't even know what color the Orchid was going to be. The pic below was taken when I first bought my Orchid around the middle of March.

I really didn't think it would bloom again so quickly, but it seemed to take off as soon as I brought it home. I was a tad worried that I couldn't provide ideal conditions for an Orchid, so I am really excited to see it flower. I consider myself successful with my more "challenging" flowering plants, when I have gotten them to re flower. There is no way I am going to keep buying the same plants, if I can not get them to flower. Buying them in bloom from a store doesn't count for me, since my conditions in my home are totally different than from where that plant was raised. I need to see and prove to myself that I will see flowers again, especially if that is why I buy the plant (AV's, Azaleas, mini Roses, Gardenia...etc)

As for requirements, I must be doing okay. They are known to like humidity (I have a humidifier). Depending on the type of Orchid, they like light, some more than others (mine is in an East window). They like to have somewhat regular feeding (I use 20-20-20 diluted, so approx 5-5-5, when it gets watered). They also like to a temperature dip in the evenings.

Ideally during the day they like temps between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. At night they would prefer to be a few degrees cooler from 10 to 17 degrees (this is said to help induce flowering). Since it is starting to get warmer outside, I have been keeping the window open a bit every night giving the Orchid fresh, cooler air, and also encouraging air circulation. They like a chunky, free draining mix. Orchid growers use a variety of growing mediums including coir (coconut husk), fir bark, sphagnum moss, perlite and I am sure there are others that I am not familiar with.

Once they have finished flowering, cut the stem about halfway, and they may continue to grow more flowers. I am overjoyed that I didn't kill gives me a reason to get Maybe even splurge and get a fancy dancy one. If I am going to spend that much money on a plant, I need to know I have a chance at keeping it alive.

And finally......I jinxed the weather. I was wearing sandals last week, there was next to no snow left on the ground. Temps were hovering a little over freezing, so I thought it was a good time to put my white azalea outside, since it needs a cold period (I read somewhere that if it wasn't hardy here, which it isn't, to put it outside when temps start reaching a little over freezing. Well wouldn't you know that night, yesterday and today, it has not stopped snowing. This is the 3rd day of snow, there are winter storm warnings for most of the province......and my azalea probably froze to death.....only time will tell. I shouldn't have pushed Mother Nature (maybe she is jealous of Rockband


Wicked Gardener said...

Guitar hero has claimed the lives of many a garden. Kudos on the orchid, it is beautiful.

No Rain said...

Congrats on the orchid! I don't know many people who have had any luck getting them to bloom again. I can't believe your weather. It's going to be 99 degrees here in a couple of days. Now, if we could just get something in between your weather and mine....

My LIttle Family: said...

Congratulationson getting your phalanopsis to bloom again! It's a great orchid to start a collection ;) Vickie

mike in fort pierce fl said...

Just found your blog. WoW great pictures. Congrats on your first orchid success. Were I live any dummy can grow them. Mine live on the back porch. I find blogs like yours some of my most favorite blogs to read. The challenges you face with the cold. I was born in FL and have 0 experience with cold and snow. My only challenge is to remember to water. Again great blog I will be back to watch your flowers bloom.