Well, it’s my birthday so I figure I can brag a bit about my orchid collection. The majority of the 70+ orchids I own are “rescues” from my florist friends who cut the flower spikes for flower arrangements. The rest are gifts and rescues from friends and random purchases, most of which have not bloomed in over a year so I don’t even remember what they look like any more. These are what I have in bloom for at the moment. I am particularly proud of this year’s crop, as they are mostly rebloooms under my care. Only a few small ones are recent purchases.
My pretty flower carts by the window. The top shelf are all rescues from my friend who produces a lot of wedding arrangements, so I wasn’t surprised to see all white blooms. They look quite amazing together, I must admit
This white one was a rescue from the Safeway near my house. When I took her home, she only had two wilting flowers, and most of her roots were rotting, as is the case with many orchids sold in grocery stores. I put her in water culture, and decided to not cut off the spike completely because I want to see how fast she can rebloom, but also because I am a cruel person 😀 I spent a good 20 minutes bargaining with the cashier to give me a discount, which she finally gave in and sent this girl home with me at half price. Her roots are still somewhat pathetic, but look at those blooms! They are nearly as big as my palm.
This is the hyperactive, super fragrant Phal. Jade Green. This girl was given to me as a housewarming present last May. At the time, she had four flower spikes full of blooms, and a very new one forming at the base of the plant, which I didn’t see and broke off. She was packed in a combination of small bark chips and peat moss. The blooms wilted pretty quickly, so I repotted her to water culture but only cut off one spike and left the rest on. The first few weeks in water culture was nerve wracking because her old roots that were rotting kept going mushy, while a few that looked good quickly dried off. The only sliver of hope I had was that she developed a small bud that actually bloomed. After about a month of constantly chopping off dead roots and changing water, she finally developed a new leaf, and the roots got better. I have had her in water culture, soaking a couple of days and drying a couple of days, ever since. This season, she threw out two new spikes and two secondary spikes.
I call this one the Weirdo because the spike was initially all curled up inside a tiny leaf. This one was also a rescue from another florist friend. It was pretty beat up and had a really big terminal spike. I was hoping for a keiki, but no, the Weirdo just gave me a long spike with a shorter secondary one. When I repotted it, I ran out of glass vase so I flopped it inside a mixed nuts container, which has since become its home.
The Weirdo with its secondary spike and army of buds.
This is the Weirdo last week. Most of the buds have opened.
Now onto a mini. I believe I purchased this one from IKEA. It rebloomed for me last year with 7 tiny flowers, but they lasted over 5 months. This little one has a robust root system, stiff shiny leaves, and the blooms are also hardy. I love the white rim around the dark blooms.
A Tolumnia, one of my purchases from the San Francisco Orchid Expo in late February. This one is just loosely potted with sphagnum moss inside a plastic basket. I soak this one every 4 – 5 days; the moss really help to retain water, and because it is very loosely packed, I hope it doesn’t choke the roots.
Another angle of the blooming Tolumnia. Can’t you tell I like the little ones?
This one is called Dendrobium Nano Chip. I must confess that I bought the plant just because of the name (it sounded high tech). That and the tiny size.
Finally, these two orange tinies. The taller one was another gift from a friend of mine, and it has a tag that says “Francesca” but I’m not sure if that’s the name of the orchid or not. They are both mini phalaenopsis, and the shorter one has two spikes.
I still have a few more plants in spike. Hopefully they will bloom soon and I can do another Blooming Update.