Thursday, April 9, 2009

I wonder where the flowers iz?

In theory, spring has sprung here in Michigan, even if I did have to shovel the driveway last week. The tulip bulbs I planted last fall have managed to poke through the layers of mulch and snow, so I should get some pretty flowers by the end of the month. I am impatient, though. I want warmer weather now! I want pretty colors now! Good thing I have my orchids.

When we moved back from England, I thought I might try growing orchids. The Spousal Unit even installed a very nice greenhouse window over the kitchen sink, so I could keep them (mostly) out of the reach of silly kitties, who like to nibble on greenery and knock pots over. I have about half a dozen orchids, both cattleyas and phalaenopses, which are usually the easiest to grow. I call the one on the left "Old Faithful." It was the first orchid I bought, and I got it at a Sam's Club at least five years ago. Every year without fail it reblooms, sending up a spike that has at least a dozen flowers on it. For the last couple of years, Old Faithful has sent up a second spike, either at the same time or later, during the summer. Not bad for a non-fancy phalaenopsis I bought on a whim.

I haven't had as good luck with getting my cattleyas to rebloom, or even survive. I bought one the year after I got OF, and it didn't do anything but collect kitty bites until last spring, when it finally gave me lovely, delicate, bright-orange blossoms. Another one I bought shrivelled up and died. :-( But I keep watering and being patient, in the hopes I'll get more blossoms someday.

I've had better luck with this other phalaenopsis, which I'm pretty sure I bought at an orchid show. I love to go to orchid shows, although I have to restrain myself from buying more plants when I don't have any space left in my greenhouse window. Even though I forgot to repot this one last summer, and it's a little cramped in its current home, it has favored me with flowers this spring. It sent up a spike even before Old Faithful, and the spike split in two, so I'll get double the blossoms. On mornings like today, when I get up and it's still dark and freezing outside, I like the reminder that growing season is coming, and soon enough I'll be complaining about all the pruning and weeding and planting I'll have to do!


  1. My green-thumbed mother left two orchids in my brown-thumbed charge when she left Michigan in October. There are no flowers left on them, but they haven't shriveled yet, which I consider a victory.

  2. My word verification for that comment was "buhful" which is what my toddler calls pretty flowers.

  3. Actually, my orchid growing friends tell me stressing them (by being crowded in the pot or getting barely enough water) can cause them to bloom. So you might have done a good thing by not repotting.