Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Trying my Hand at Caring for an Orchid

I got the most gorgeous early birthday gift last month. It's from my sister, Sonia and had to be very early since orchids can only be bought in spring, (at least in our area). She knows I love orchids, and decided to surprise me with one this year. A three-month early gift.

It's still in full bloom and as beautiful as when I got it in early May. And shows no signs of losing its flowers.

There are many different types of orchids, ranging in a variety of colours, leaves and blooms. Some are easy to grow, others not so much. Mine is in the phalaenopsis family, and relatively easy to grow. It has thick leaves  with an elegant, arching spray of blooms.

There are about 60 species of phalaenopsis; they are native to tropical Asian countries including the Philippines, Borneo and Java. These plants have been extensively hybridized, and there are thousands of phalaenopsis hybrids, ranging from the stark, classic white hybrid (often called a moth orchid) to jewel-like miniatures with clouds of yellow and candy pink blooms.

I've heard of many people who tried growing orchids, but once they stopped blooming they were unable to keep them alive, let alone getting them to bloom again. I'll try my best to keep mine healthy and hopefully it will repay me with flowers again, some time after it loses the ones it has now. I bought special orchid food for it and have it beside an west window. In the books I've read about growing orchids, I learned that's where they usually thrive.

Did you ever try growing an orchid? Please share your story in the comment section.

5 comments:

sancha rai said...

That is really a wonderful gift ever gifted to you by you sister as mentioned...keep it safe...thanks

Melodie Davis said...

My daughter received one from her work colleagues when she left the bank to go to grad school. She left it at our home for awhile and I was amazed that it bloomed for maybe 5-6 months until the flowers gradually faded and fell, starting with the top down. I didn't know either that there were some relatively easy to nurture. We kept this in our bathroom which has sunlight all day from a solar tube; seemed to work.

Linda Maendel said...

Melodie, did it die after it lost its blooms?

Anonymous said...

I rec'd an orchid as a gift about 2 years ago. It did bloom again but not as profusely and I think it is sending out a shoot right now to bloom again. I understand they need some fertilizer, so I gave a little of what I had. I also think it needs re-potted,as roots are growing above the bark chips?? Not a lot of info on care of orchids beyond the light and water requirements.

Linda Maendel said...

Good for you, for getting it to bloom again, Anonymous. Yes, the book I had, suggested re-potting your orchid after it stopped blooming and replacing the old bark chips and moss. Walmart sells orchid mix used for re-potting.