Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Glutton for Punishment

I was on my way to work today, as I emerged from the Subway at the Bowling Green stop in Battery Park, I saw this man selling orchids at the park and literally stopped in my tracks. Did that sign really say $10????? I had to take a closer look. I love orchids. I mean L O V E. I've bought them several times in the past. But I have so little luck with growing them. The first two orchids that I ever purchased, I killed from overwatering. Orchids don't like too much water. They will suffer from root rot. And I pretty much killed them from overwatering. Then at the beginning of this year, I bought another orchid. Luckily, I learned my lesson with overwatering, and this orchid plant is still alive and thriving. It has yet to rebloom though. Do you grow orchids? How do you get it to bloom again? What's your best advice?
At $10 a plant, I couldn't resist and bought one. Am I a glutton for punishment or what? Here's my new orchid plant, it's a gorgeous striped purple color and it currently has 3 stems of blooms! I hope I can keep this one alive. One can hope! :)

7 comments:

  1. I seem to kill every orchid I buy too. There is some good care information on the web, just takes a little homework. Enjoy your new orchid and good luck with it.

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  2. I think I've killed mine. It was doing fine on my kitchen windowsill, but then I moved it out to the patio and now it looks like it's rotting.

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  3. Always enjoy reading your posts. We have loads of orchids dotted about the house, and they have all flowered continually for five or six years now. We have found that keeping them a little stressed by not repotting, and watering sparingly is the secret. They musn't sit in water. Have a good week.

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  4. Moth orchids are actually not that fussy as long as you follow a few important points. First of all, you need to place your pot over an overflow dish filled with rocks: this will let the water drain out of your pot, and keep moisture in the air surrounding the orchid. Orchids may prefer to have dry feet, but they like humid air. Second of all, you need to leave the orchid in a bright but indirectly lit spot. This usually means a north-east or north-west facing window. North-east is ideal, as it will get bright morning sun, but not the scorching heat of the afternoon. North is a little too dark, and south is much too bright. Once a week, dunk the pot in a weak solution of seaweed or fish emulsion: a half or a third of the recommended rate. Let soak for 10-15 minutes, and drain.
    As soon as your new orchid stops flowering, you need to cut the flowering stem just under the last flower. Most importantly, you need to change the growing medium. NOT change it into a bigger pot, as orchids rather like being pot bound. Lots of growers will use Spanish moss to propagate their orchids because it holds on to fertilizers, which allows the plant to flower gloriously in shops, but it also holds on to water, which can lead to over-watering. The best orchid growing medium contain NO soil at all. I accidentally bought one last year that had broken down too much in the shop (the wood chips had basically turned into compost), and nearly killed done of my orchids. Should you notice that an orchid is doing poorly, take it out of the pot, and check its roots. If you see any rotting or dead roots, cut them off, and plant into fresh medium. Keep the medium relatively dry for the first few weeks, but make sure the saucer is filled at all times.
    I've had orchids for years, and they usually do well. Hope this helps!



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  5. I've just noticed that you keep your orchids over a heat vent, This will not be a problem as long as the plant sits atop a filled saucer, otherwise, the air will be much too dry for it to flourish.

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