Monday, December 21, 2009
Orchids and OCD
Didn't get another blog posted last week here on my own blog. I had two last Thursday in other places. I blogged at Whipped Out about making salsa from scratch (or from tomatoes, onions & peppers, if you can't get any scratch (Ba-dum-ching!)), and I also blogged at To Be Read the same day. So you can go read those posts.
I was coming home from the parents' on Thursday when those blogs posted, so I wasn't in a position to tell you about them--and I've kind of been on a computer break since then.
Do y'all ever do that? Just stay away from the computer, because you know if you log in, you won't get away for Hours, and you just have to much to do to take that much time at the machine? Anyway, I was Verra busy over the weekend--well, except for my major nap Sunday afternoon. If you don't take a nap on Sunday, the whole week doesn't work. So I napped. ;)
Had an all-morning doctor appt. Friday a.m., then errands--got about 6 books from library. One I think I own. Read the library book again anyway.
Saturday, I repotted my orchids--or maybe I did that on Friday afternoon. Somewhere in there. I had bought a grocery-store orchid (phalaenopsis) about a year and a half ago, and it survived my neglect over the winter in the house. (I don't remember if the flowers are like the ones in the picture, or of they have more white on them with the purple just in the middle, but they're similar...) This spring, it made a baby orchid on the flower stalk I neglectfully didn't cut off. So neglect isn't necessarily bad!
I didn't know what to do with the baby plant, so I just left it there. And sometime in the late spring/early summer, I bought another orchid from the grocery store, because the one I got for my anniversary died. (It wasn't potted right, and its roots rotted. I do know that orchids Have to have drain holes in their pots.) The new one had similar flowers. And I stuck them on my outside wire plant stand, watered them occasionally, and finally brought them inside the first weekend in December, because snow was predicted.
That was when I noticed that the newer orchid had new buds coming out on the flower stem I hadn't cut off this plant either. (Grocery store orchids are usually blooming when you buy them. Don't cut off their flower stems!!) So I decided that I ought to go to the library and get a book on orchids and see what I needed to do to put the baby in its new pot and how to take care of the things properly. I figured I was doing the right stuff, but I wanted to KNOW I was doing the right stuff. I guess I'm a little OCD like that. I tend to look up books about things I want to know how to do, and read everything I can about them. Then I try to do things right--but I tend to win more from benign neglect than anything...
Anyway, I discovered that if a phalaenopsis isn't blooming for you, that if you let it deal with cooler evenings, down in the 45-50F range (7 - 10C), a lot of times it will put on flower buds and bloom. Huh. So by leaving the plants outside till it actually threatened to freeze, I was doing the Right thing to get flowers. How 'bout that...
I also learned that I just had to cut off my baby from its stem and put it in a pot. Since my baby had already made four aerial roots, it is a little ahead of other rootless babies--but I put rooting hormone on the stem anyway. :) And I bought a Home Depot orchid. A cattleya, but it's supposed to make sprays of flowers, not singles. (I think they're supposed to sort of look like the ones in this lower picture.) I'm getting brave and adventurous, branching out from the grocery-store easy-grow moth orchids...
Wish me luck with my new enthusiasms.
My 15-year-old Christmas cactus died here in the Land of Great Humidity. It just rotted. And I couldn't keep the bougainvilleas watered. They grow GREAT in the ground, but I'm not planting a bougainvillea until I have my own house. There are some 10 foot tall bush ones on the way to the beach... Anyway, wish me luck. When/if the buds bloom I will post them.
Do y'all have any plant obsessions? Any stellar specimens? Something really cool on your windowsill? Sometimes, just keeping a mother-in-law's tongue alive is an accomplishment...
EDIT: Actually, I looked at the label on the plant in this picture, and I think this is Exactly the plant I bought. This is Slc. Jewel Box 'Dark Waters.' Slc. stands for (something I don't remember) laelocattleya, meaning it's a hybrid. Anyway, I think this is what is on the label on the plant I bought... So. Cross your fingers that I can convince it to bloom. :)