My Favorite Orchid Baby
Sometimes you just totally surprise yourself.
I remember when one of my best friends gave me my first orchid years ago. It was a purple spotted phalaenopsis she had picked up at Home Depot. I thought to myself, “I will probably kill this in a week.”
To my amazement, it bloomed continuously in my studio for at least six months.
Since then, I have been amazed how I have had orchids bloom continuously even for years. I am not quite sure what my secret is – if I did, I would probably write a book or give seminars. I could offer you various theories.
Here are a few of my theories:
- I think if you really love someone or something, it will tend to thrive under your care.
- There is no substitute for paying attention. I don’t read orchid manuals. I just watch my orchids and pay attention to what they need.
- Environment is the most powerful factor for both plants and humans. I think my orchids love my studio, with its giant glass windows, hours of natural sunlight, view of my outdoor fountain and tranquil energy.
- That’s about all I know, as I have orchid fertilizer but seldom remember to use it.
I have many favorite orchid babies, but the chartreuse cattelya orchid may actually be my all-time favorite.
I purchased it at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It was closed up in a bud and I purposefully picked an orchid that would be a surprise color for me. I didn’t want to know until I brought it home and it actually bloomed.
When it finally opened, I was completely amazed that something so beautiful could actually be living in my home.
I felt so honored.
Then, as doubtful as I am about my own abilities, after the initial blooms faded, I thought, “Well, that is it for me. I guess that is the best I can hope for!”
You can see that I need to work on my positive thinking.
I kept it on my shelf and kept watering it when I would think about it.
Then low and behold, it bloomed a second time.
“Maybe this is it,” I wondered to myself.
You can see I still needed to work on my positive thinking.
The second set of blooms faded. I wasn’t sure what to do, as I have never had the guts to repot an orchid even though I have once taken myself and a few of my orchid babies to a workshop, only to decide that repotting felt terribly intimidating.
But I left the pot on the shelf and kept watering.
Then, to my surprise and delight, a new bloom appeared in early December.
I was just getting ready to go on a trip. I could hardly believe that I had a third set of chartreuse cattelya orchid blooms, only to have to go away and not stay home and enjoy every moment.
I came home and the flower was still blooming.
It bloomed for about six weeks, and then just this past week I ceremoniously set the fallen blooms outside, as if laying a dear friend to rest at a funeral wake.
I am not sure what I have done in my life to be honored by the presence of such sacred beauty, but I am so thankful for it!