My Orchid Blooms Again

Imagine my surprise when this orchid rebloomed.

Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis also is known as a moth plant

Sure, in theory, they re-bloom, but that’s not been my experience. I received this orchid as a gift in November 2016. Ā I’ve been lulled into purchasing one or two over the years, but they’re pricey and usually end the same way.

Orchids are gorgeous when in bloom, and they don’t require much fuss. Eventually, like all flowering plants, the blooms drop away. What’s left is a small set of shiny green leaves. They look nice for a while, but apparently, I neglect them and the leaves fall off one by one. I’m left with compost-filler and a small, empty pot.

Phalaenopsis

Light filtering through the Phalaenopsis bloom

I don’t mind admitting that its a bit guilt-inducing when you lose a house plant. I have my green thumb reputation to uphold! It was ridiculously validating to round the corner behind my couch last November and find my orchid in bloom, three years after the plant moved in. Furthermore, it continued to bloom well into February of this year. February!

Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis

Of course, I can’t take all the credit, but after some reading, I’ll let you know what I did right. I moved the orchid close to a window that receives filtered light. There are other plants in the corner, which help create humidity. I stopped watering with my watering can and let a few icecubes melt on the surface instead. Orchids need oxygen at the roots and they don’t like sitting in water.

Those small changes paid off in a big and beautiful way.

My next project will be trying to revive an African Violet. Our foster kitten sat on it. That said, Little Bit went to her permanent home in early January and the violet is still hanging on.

I remain hopeful.

Little Bit Foster Kitty

Little Bit lounging as one does

 

28 thoughts on “My Orchid Blooms Again

  1. I’m a notorious orchid slayer Alys. I get the one long blooming period when the plant is first gifted (they are always gifted, I wouldn’t waste my money knowing the inevitable outcome of that investment) and when that is done it is a long slow slog downhill as the plant slowly gives up the ghost….. Danella on the other hand keeps them going for years and does nothing different to what I do. I take it personally! The only time I ever amazed myself and everyone else was about 25 years ago when I had my first orchid. It was quite a large flowering plant I had purchased from an orchid show and when it finished flowering and began to look quite sad I popped it out onto my deck in a sheltered spot, beside a huge floor to ceiling window. Over the winter and spring I watched as it not only came back to life but also multiplied and eventually, having been transferred into the largest bucket I could find, bore a hundred stems overflowing with blooms that lasted for forever and continued to last until I shifted and it promptly died….. That set the tone really. Perhaps I’ll try ice cubes on the one I have now which is on the way out…… xoxo

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    • Pauline “orchid slayer” cracked me up! I also get the indignation of doing everything right and still failing while someone else makes it looks so easy. I love the story of your transplanted orchid and it’s happy prolonged life. In the end, though, done. Sigh. Please report back on the ice cube experiment. I’m using this trick outside too with my small potted succulents. xo

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  2. Well done! It’s a beautiful bloom. I have the other sort of orchid in pots in the backyard. I consistently neglect them, and usually get a couple of flower spikes. Neglect seems to be the way to go.
    That is a great photo of Little Bit!

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    • She won everyone’s hearts, that is for sure. It was comical catching her in the act of sitting on the violets in the kitchen window. They’re in a small pot! I scooped her up instantly but the damage to those tender leaves was done. The violets were also a gift from the same neighbor that does animal rescue. It’s funny how things overlap in life.

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  3. I can take no credit for it, but mine bloom every year. I do live in the tropics, so obviously they feel at home, I have them in daylight but indirectly, and I water them rarely, about an eggcupful at a time. I also cut back the flower stems to the root once they’ve turned brown, and wash the leaves off from time to time so they stay shiny. I may have to try icecubes too!

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    • Kate, your environment is well-suited for orchids. I’m glad they live in your home and bloom year after year. I need to make a better ritual with my houseplants. I used to have dozens when I rented, but now that we have a garden, more of my attention is outside.

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  4. I’m also an excellent orchid mother. You can buy them here for around 7 or 8 euros – much less than for a bunch of flowers – and they last forever. I have one on its third blooming.
    Little Bit I would have found it hard to part with even if she had crushed my African Violet.

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    • You *are* an excellent orchid mother. How wonderful, too, that you can get them for a song. I think they’re gorgeous when in bloom, and so varied. We have a local Chinese restaurant that also sells orchids. When I talk to the owner, it’s clear that the restaurant is his bread and butter, but those orchids are his passion. Some of them sell for over $100US.

      The longer we had Little Bit, the harder it was to see her go. She arrived in mid-November and went to her permanent home in early January. I’m not at all cut out for fostering, but I’m glad we did our part, bridging her life on the street to a good home with a young college student and her parents. Our three resident cats relaxed again once she was gone. I know they would have all settle in eventually, but we have such a nice rhythm with the three of them, at least most of the time.

      How are your moving plans coming along? I’ve been thinking about you and what a huge undertaking this must be.

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    • Little Bit warmed our hearts while she was here. We were happy she found a forever home, but we missed her immediately. That said, our three resident cats all settled down once the kitten was out of their hair.

      In other news, I just purchased your two books from your site link. I’m looking forward to reading them, and then I’ll share them in my Little Free Library.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. it’s always touch & go with us and orchids too.
    Oh and how cute is Little Bit !!!! I don’t think I could have beared to say goodbye!

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    • After reading several comments on people’s various successes, I’m reminded, too, that plants do best when you can replicate the original environment. San Jose is semi-arid with low humidity, so we’re pushing that boulder uphill. šŸ™‚ As for Little Bit, it was a painful goodbye. We have three cats already, so adding a fourth wasn’t pratical. She was rescued by a homeless woman where I volunteer and I took her in knowing she would need a permanent home. I had help from a rescue agency placing her, but it took six weeks. She is a sweetie and we all miss her.

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  6. What a beautiful flower on that orchid plant! My son is an expert with them. He sprays them daily one squirt to keep them moist. It seems to work for him. My daughter is trying to grow them in her room. Not much lives in here. Too dark most of the time. I gave away all my orchids before I could kill them. My son left them behind. If I could have one that looked like yours, I might try again. Probably not though. šŸ™‚ Did you get any rain??

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    • Ah, another orchid expert. Misting is a great idea for increaing humidity. I just don’t seem to be able to stick with it. Your daughter might have luck using a grow light. I read a bit about that yesteday. I’m a lazy houseplant caregiver.

      Our “rain” could best be described as drizzle. It was a bit heavier in the east bay, but San Jose’s rainfall has been dismal. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday

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  7. How pretty is that! Bravo Ms Green Thumb. Pauline made me laugh up there, at least she had one memorable orchid moment, all be it 20 years ago, ha! šŸ˜€ Well, I haven’t any indoor plants except on my french desk fairy garden. These nutty cats can’t keep their fluffy paws off anything green. I had to visit my Valentine Flowers in the powder room, LOL So romantic xxxooo

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    • LOL I love the image of you visiting your flowers in the powder room. You make me laugh. Pauline also made me laugh. Perhaps you can treat yourself to one of those Get Smart domes of silence for special occassion plants and flowers. šŸ™‚ xo

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