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Just a little orchid bragging


I don’t often talk about houseplants here, and on the rare occasion that I do, it’s done reluctantly. I’m just not all that comfortable with them, and I certainly don’t have the passion for them that I have for all the great things that grow outdoors. 

I have a few houseplants that get special treatment and seem to be enjoying the attention this year, but most of them just suffer through winter until it is warm enough for them to go outside where they are much, much happier. 

I’m about to show you something I don’t know I’ve ever been a part of before, but before I do, I want to assure you, what’s happening here probably has nothing to do with me, so you might be able to do it too.

Check out my orchids.


They are both phalenopsis, which is probably the most grower-friendly orchid you can find (and why they are not difficult to find). The small, slightly lime colored one I believe is a miniature variety, picked up last fall for a whopping $3 at the grocery store. The other, however, was a really lovely gift I received in December 2018. Since I received it, I believe it has always had at least one flower blooming. But never has it bloomed like this.

They are sitting on the kitchen table where they get bright but very indirect light (probably good), and the occasional blast of cold from the nearby door (undoubtedly bad). 

phalenopsis orchid

Both are in their original pots growing in sphagnum moss, although the orange one will need repotting soon. Every weekend I stick my finger in there and feel the moss to see if there’s still moisture in there. If they feel dry (about every week for the little guy and every other for the big guy), they get a blurp of warm water and sit in the sink until it’s done running out the bottom. I’m a firm believer that the worst thing that happened to orchids was a marketing ploy telling people to stick ice cubes in them. They are tropical plants and if you give them ice they will enact their revenge on you by dramatically dying when you have company coming over. 

In a month or so I might start giving them a bit of orchid fertilizer on every other watering (or when I remember).

Like I said, I don’t take credit for what’s happening on my kitchen table right now. But here, in these grayest days of winter, you can bet I’m taking pleasure in it.

12 Responses

  1. If you love orchids, I encourage you to join your local orchid Society – they would love to have you! Your not taking credit for your orchid flowering reminds me of a question I asked the membership at my orchid Society once. I asked, ‘Please raise your hand if you take the blame if one of your orchids dies’. 95% of the audience raised their hands. Then I asked, ‘how many of you take credit when your orchid flowers?’ Maybe 10% raised their hands. Then I asked them, ‘Why are you taking the pain without the pleasure??’ I reminded them that if it is was their ‘fault’ when a plant does poorly or dies, then they also need to take the credit when a plant does well, is happy and flowers! After all you want your hobby to be enjoyable! I also remind new orchid growers that we have ALL killed plants – and anyone who hasn’t killed a plant – isn’t TRYING HARD enough! Enjoy!

  2. Please keep us posted! I have an orchid that I received as a gift 4 years ago. It did reflower ( but not like yours). I finally had to repot it and now leaves are dropping!

  3. I highly recommend checking out Orchids by Hausermann in the Chicago suburbs. They have an excellent selection of the varieties you can’t find in the grocery store or big box stores.

    1. Our master gardener group took a trip there after the Chicago Flower Show one year. I was sad to miss it, but rumor had it that the bus was full of orchids on the way home. My mom picked up a dendrobian that blooms every year and it’s so stunning.

  4. How lovely and, as you stated, such a bright spot of color on a gloomy day! I have decided to get an orchid myself, to go in my master bathroom, which receives bright but indirect light, as you have in your kitchen table area. Wish me luck!

  5. I finally figured out the trick for keeping my orchids alive in my office at work. Finally, they are thriving! Going from living in south Florida where orchids are easily kept to figuring out how to keep them indoors was a trick but after a lot of grocery store clearance orchids bit the dust, I think I’ve finally got it! I’m also not a huge houseplant person but I do like a few around.

  6. These are just magnificent. Orchids have always been a fail for me. Thank you for the tips. You’re right, Sometimes the best flower surprises have nothing to do with us!

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