Orchids in my windowsill!
I bought an orchid about 12 years ago for my office and have been afflicted by orchid fever since then. Not only are the flowers unexpectedly beautiful, the plants can be very interesting and rewarding to grow as well. These are some of my orchids that I like to put by my kitchen sink so I have something nice to look at when I'm cleaning. I have all kinds of different types of orchids. My favorite or easiest ones to grow and bloom in my area are the Cattleya variety. I had an amazing one but I killed it. I am now looking for a new one that is mostly white with maybe a highlight of purple.
The ones I have now are Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Oncidium, Cymbidium, and Epidendrum.
Stop back as I post updates on what is going on with them.
*update April 2, 2014 we lost most of my orchids during our house fire. Now I have a reason to buy more. So, every cloud does have a silver lining!
**All photos on this lens are mine taken with my iPhone unless otherwise noted!**
Pantone Announces 2014 Color of the Year
Sending up a spike
This is the most exciting time of growing orchids. When you see a spike going up from your plant. It is such an exciting time. The anticipation is half of the fun! This is the time when you want to secure the spike to a bamboo stick. The makes sure your plant doesn't sag or go off in a direction that doesn't work well. You do not want to manipulate it too much. A nice soft piece of yarn or one of these butterfly clips work well too. Just make sure there are no sharp edges. I allowed this orchid to grow towards the light but once it solidifies, I will turn it around so I can better enjoy the process.
Mystery Orchid Getting Ready to Bloom! - January - March 2013Click thumbnail to view full-size
My favorite - a beautiful Dendrobium with white flowers and a blush of pink. I think they look nice in our sitting area, don't you?
These orchids are very interesting they grow as spikes with small leaves. The blooms come out of the spikes.
Gardens By The Bay
Singapore's newest attraction
On my recent trip for work to Singapore, I visited not only the National Orchid Garden in the Botanical Gardens, but I also went to the new Gardens by the bay. This is a must go to attraction for anyone travelling to Singapore. Spend at least 1/2 a day and then walk over the bridge through the Sands hotel and visit the Marina Bay shopping mall and casino. Yes, you heard me right. There is a casino in the middle of the mall. But make sure you bring your passport. Foreigners must present their passport to enter.
The Gardens by the bay are among one of my favorite places I have ever visited. Imagine enormous greenhouses laid out to teach you about different environments and plants and a greenhouse that houses a 4 story hill complete with an enormous waterfall!
A Closer Look!
This plant is so nice. The flowers have a nice color and the fragrance has a slight hint of lilac.
Getting Ready to Bloom
Note the distribution of the buds and the spots. You can see this will be a spotted flower.
Check back soon to see the blooms!
American Orchid Society
A great resource!
One of the first thing you may want to do is to join the A.O.S. As a member, you receive their amazing monthly magazine and access to their website. Their website is packed full of information about orchids. What you need to grow them and make them flower. It will tell you all about all the different types of orchids, tips to help you understand orchids and will direct you to your local club!
Beginning To Bloom!
I had a great surprise this morning! My orchid is now beginning to bloom. Check back soon and I will post when it is fully bloomed!
The First Bud In Full Bloom!!!
So it opened really fast. This morning it was just two petals open by the end of the day the whole flower opened wide. You can see it has beautiful color and form. I'll post another picture when all of the buds have bloomed. This has been a fun orchid to grow. Very easy. It just took keeping it watered and lightly fertilized. I didn't use anyting special, just miracle grow a couple of drops in a pint of water every other time I watered it. And no special growing environment. Just sitting on my windowsill above my sink.
What you need!
More Photos Of Beautiful PlantsClick thumbnail to view full-size
A Few Tips
The main thing is that I like to go to the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate and go and get a nice plant with healthy roots. Sometimes you can buy them just the plant and not in dirt. If I get a potted plant I like to get one that hasn't bloomed yet so I can enjoy the process at home. I dont' mind if the buds are there but not the flowers. The lowers on some plants will last a month so you can have a great experience for a long time. If you buy it in flower you do not know how long it has been flowering.
Usually,I do not buy them at places like Home Depot but I can't stand to not take a peek and last time I was there I found an orchid that had only spiked with some buds on it. I brought it home and put it in a bigger ceramic pot with some moss covering it over. It grew about 1 1/2 weeks more and it ended up blooming for over 6 weeks and had a total of 77 buds that bloomed. It was a beautiful yellow/amber/golden/orange flower. Unfortunately, we went on a trip and it dried out!!!!! I think that sometimes those stores get them from nurseries that over fertilze them to force them to bloom but then it kills the plant.
Don't over or underwater and do not over fertilize. Only buy an orchid that you know what it is. They should have a tag or stick that tells you the species or hybrid. When you bring it home, log into the AOS.org website and find out how it likes to be taken care of.
Don't be intimidated by orchids! They are not that hard and actually seem to do better when you sort of ignore them!
Just have FUN!
Who do you love?
There are more but these are the most common.