Monday, July 15, 2013

Caring for an Orchid

The orchid is the most beautiful, the most sophisticated, and a most demanding plant.  Some growers believe that the plant is easy to care for in the right environment.  It will bloom for a long time. Since the shelves at the garden centers are still lacking vegetables, I had to go and get a small light purple colored orchid.

At one time, my husband and I attended an orchid show where we bought a couple of blooming plants.  We bought books on caring for orchids; we bought special moss, terra cotta pots, and we bought special fertilizer.  We followed the instructions to the letter.  You know what happened?

To grow an orchid, imagine it living in the rain forest where it is damp, rainy, and dark on the forest floor.  The orchid has managed to find its way to the tree tops where it obtains moisture, nourishment, and air circulation.  It is an epiphyte, not a parasite, that has attached itself to another surface such as a tree trunk.

As soon as I came home with my orchid, I transferred it to a small basket so that the root can get some air circulation.  I placed a few rocks at the bottom of the basket to hold it in place, then I filled the basket with cedar chips and Spanish moss.  The orchid was placed near the screened in windows in the summer kitchen away from direct sunshine and exposed to plenty of humidity fit fir a rainforest.  Today's humidity is only 77%.

Proper feeding of the orchid gets a bit tricky.  Every two weeks or so, it should be fed with liquid foliage food; and every 4 to 6 weeks it should be fed with a liquid blossom boasting food.  Once a month the root system should be flushed and cleansed of food debris.  Is this a special diet, or what?

Most of the time I drink chilled tap water but this little orchid's thirst should be quenched with tepid non chlorinated water.  It is important that the root system remain moist but not overly wet.

I have had this orchid for almost two weeks and the blooms are dropping and when the last bloom is gone, I will cut the stalk.  There is something growing from the root system. It may be a "spike" or it may be a part of the root.  It's living! I am going to let this beauty surprise me.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Please leave a message below.

No comments:

Post a Comment