Sunday, February 8, 2015

Let's start at the very beginning

I used to have a black thumb. I was convinced that everything I grew would eventually die, you know that story. I grew orchids because my mom had an orchid. She passed away, I inherited all of her plants, and because I was still in school at the time, I left it in the care of family friends who I knew could keep plants alive. She loved that orchid and I really didn't want to kill it. So I tried and I tried with various orchids but no luck. There was no way I was going to take possession of her orchid if I kept killing them!

Four years ago, I moved into my current apartment. This place has 12 ft ceilings and east and south facing windows. Yup, I get lots of natural light, lucky me! The window sills are also deep and great for sitting plants on. I bought my last (or so I thought) orchid from Home Depot. It's one of those NOID phalaenopsis orchids because it's pretty generic and bred to survive the hardy neglect that most people will apply to it. I call it my Home Depot Orchid. If I couldn't keep it alive, I was done. If I could manage to get it to spike again, I could then go and buy another orchid. That was the deal.

I knew with a previous orchid, out of sight, out of mind and I could go months without watering it because I had forgotten about it. It died eventually. That was not going to happen with Home Depot Orchid, especially with all the space on my window sills. So I watered it weekly and sometimes would let it go a little longer. The flowers on the spike eventually shriveled and fell off and then the true test began.

Because it sits on my window sill and my windows aren't exactly the most energy efficient, lo and behold, when the weather started changing and we started to get shifts between day and night time temperatures, a spike developed! I was so excited when I saw that spike. IT LOVES ME! IT REALLY LOVES ME! I'M DOING IT RIGHT!

I staked it out and those new spikes, they're flexible but to a certain extent so I ended up breaking of the tip in my attempt to spike it. Oops. But again, it was happy so it sent up another spike.

Home Depot Orchid

And so, orchid acquisition began.

It's been a couple of years since then and a few spikes have come and gone. Home Depot Orchid has been repotted a couple of times and survived each of those experiences. The roots look good and healthy. This winter, we've had some really wacky day to day temperature fluctuations so there is currently a spike growing. The buds are developing and I can't wait to see them open.

Home Depot Orchid - spike close up