Wednesday, March 02, 2005
one of my first blooming orchids
My first orchid was a gift from a Christmas party 5 years ago. It was your standard "white" one - a large, white Moth or Phalaenopsis orchid. I promptly tried to kill it by watering it twice a week in its foil-wrapped pot. After a month of this torture, I picked up Sunset's orchid guide and realized with horror that I was doing everything wrong. I repotted Sarah, named after the woman who had given me the plant, by trimming the dead roots [very many black writhing spongy things], placing her in a sunny spot and restraining myself from watering her for several weeks.
She didn't bloom again for 2 years.
I blame it on the light conditions at the time. I was living in an apartment which received afternoon light from one large western window, not enough to brighten Sarah's corner of the room. Other orchids acquired during those years didn't bloom after I brought them home either.
The apartment was too small and dark for my orchids, 2 cats and my sanity. Finally, I bought a house. I specifically chose one with a very sunny location, even if it meant being fried to a crisp in the summer. The orchids love it here! They bloom like mad, making up for all the time they were repressed. My cats magically began getting along, playfully [or so I think] swatting and chasing after each other.
As for Sarah, she is the hardiest and healthiest of all my orchids, of which there are many now. They are scattered all over the house and on the front porch. Its's been said that orchids are hard to grow. I disagree - mine are very accomodating now. They just need a lot of light and regular watering just like every other house plant.
However...there is something to be said about an orchid that is willing to bloom for you year after year. It usually only blooms once. When it does so, you feel quite special and very, very smug.