Post-Move Update: Orchids Lost, Orchids Gained

Orchids in their new home

I finally got my internet connection set up, nearly two weeks after moving into my new place. You know that that means: back to blogging! Because I’ve been away from the computer for awhile, this is gonna be a pretty epic post.

My orchids all did well on moving day, which was two weeks ago as of tomorrow. I packed the plants in several boxes but left the tops open; my boyfriend and I moved them ourselves in a U-Haul van along with his saltwater fish and corals, which he placed temporarily in giant buckets of water. This cargo was too precious to allow our movers to handle.

As I mentioned before, I have my very own Orchid Room in our new Park Slope apartment! The Orchid Room is a small room (6′ x 7′) just off the living room that some people might use for an office, a nursery, or a walk-in closet. Not me — this room is all about my plants! Here’s a look into the OR from the living room:

My Very Own Orchid Room!

You may wonder why there is a baby gate in the doorway, as I have no children. No human kids, anyway; I have a cat and my boyfriend has a cat. My cat Zoe couldn’t be less interested in plants, but my boyfriend’s cat Walter is a Plant Eater. A very handsome one at that:

Walter the Cat

Now, Walter is so charming that he can pretty much get away with murder. But one thing I can’t abide is having this furry roommate of mine chomping on my orchids! Walter is in good health, but he can’t jump very high because he has a big, pendulous belly. So our solution was to get a baby gate for the OR (which, by the way, SUCKED to install!) that he can’t jump over. Problem solved.

The OR room is so small that it’s difficult to get a decent photo of, but here’s one view of it:

My Orchid Room

The furniture in the room is from my grandmother’s house in West Virginia, which I received last year after she passed away. The orchids are currently covering the surfaces of both the vanity table and the matching dresser, but I do actually use the vanity table for putting on makeup and such, so I’m going to get separate shelves for the orchids. During an epic shitshow of a 4+ hour Ikea shopping trip last Saturday, I found a shelf from their “Gorm” line that is perfect for my needs, but OF COURSE the store was out of freakin’ stock of the damn thing (can you tell I hate that place?!).

In the living room we have a faux fireplace with a mantle over it, which I thought was was the perfect place to display some pretty orchids – my phal that’s currently in bloom and my two zygopetalums:

Yep, I was watching Rachael Ray

So now a little bad news. Last weekend as I was doing my weekly Sunday morning orchid-watering routine, I determined that two of my orchids were beyond saving: the Odontoglossum Geyser Gold that I got at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the mini yellow phal that my boyfriend recently picked up for me at Home Depot. It hurts to toss my orchids, but these had to go. The odontoglossum had developed some sort of mold issue that I tried to remedy by spraying it with a Neem oil solution, but the plant just kept going downhill. The mini phal had started losing its leaves and I found that its roots were in horrible shape. I cut away all the rotten roots, which left the plant with basically nothing. When its one remaining leaf started to die, I knew the orchid’s time had come. So, my orchid kill count is now up to four – two of which I bought at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden…hmmm, maybe I won’t be making any more plant purchases there.

At least I have some good news to counter my losses. Since moving into my new place, I’ve acquired three new orchids! The first is the Iwanagara Appleblossom (my Orchid of the Week pick) that I bought at Lowe’s the day after we moved. It’s one of those Better-Gro orchids that comes in netted packaging. The other two new orchids were housewarming plants that my bf and I picked out during our Ikea adventure last weekend – the highlight of the trip, for sure! He selected a beautiful lady slipper and I selected something that looks like an oncidium. I’m not entirely sure what it is – it could be a Beallara, Wilsonara, Colmanara, just a regular oncidium, or even something else. I’m going to post photos on the OrchidBoard to get some help identifying it. Anyway, here are photos of my three new babies:

Iwanagara Appleblossom

Paphiopedilum (Lady Slipper)

Closeup of NOID Oncidium Bloom

Here’s a full view of the new NOID oncidium plant, which has small blooms that pack a nice fragrant punch:

NOID Oncidium

So there you have it! You win some, you lose some. My orchid collection is now at 22 and most seem to be doing pretty well – there is a lot of new root and leaf growth going on, so that’s a great sign. My original rescue orchid – an Ikea phal – now has SIX great roots and TWO new leaves growing after having been potted in a black plastic net pot with sphagnum moss for awhile:

Ikea Rescue Phal

And, the Orchid That Won’t Die is STILL KICKING!!! It hasn’t started to grow any new roots, but it hasn’t gone downhill either. Un-freakin-believable. There is no way I can give up on it now. Maybe it will start to thrive in our new home. I sure love my new neighborhood and my new apartment and am SO GLAD that the move is over!

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