Brooklyn Orchids

My New Orchid Setup in DC

Now that we’ve settled into our apartment in DC, I thought I would share my new orchid growing setup here. We’re rending a condo on the top floor of a 4-ish story building (the bottom floor is an English basement). Our apartment gets mostly northern exposure, which is not great for orchids, but one room has a brighter, eastern-facing window…and we have a loft and several skylights!

Phal that I treated myself to from our new neighborhood Whole Foods that opened up a couple weeks after our move.

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How to Cut a Phalaenopsis Orchid Spike

Phals at NYBG Orchid Show 2012

So you have a beautiful Phalaenopsis orchid, but its blooms are starting to wilt and fall off. What do you do now?! First of all, don’t freak out and throw your plant in the garbage; fading flowers are totally normal and they do NOT mean that your orchid is dying! Orchids can live for years and years and years with the proper care. Part of this proper care is knowing when and where to cut the flower spike. This is one of the most common questions I get in the comments section of my blog posts, so I thought it would be helpful to write about how to proceed once your Phal (the most widely available type of orchid) has finished blooming.

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Blog Neglect and Orchid Collection Update

Dear Orchid Blog,

I’m aware that I’ve totally neglected you as of late. I promise to be a better blog caretaker.

Sincerely,

Me.

With that out of the way, I’d like to give a quick update on some of the growth that is going on in my orchid collection, starting with my NOID Oncidium that is going to bloom soon!

Lots of buds developing

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So Much Orchid Growth!

I have a bunch of good news about my orchids and one bit of bad news, so I’ll start with the bad news first: I lost my Paphiopedilum Wizard of Oz ‘Hausermann’s Toto’ AM/AOS x [Paph. Candy Apple x Paph. Pulsar]. It had been doing very poorly for quite some time, and just didn’t seem to want to recover, so two weeks ago I sent it to the great orchid farm in the sky.  🙁 Orchid kill count: eight (I think??).

In much happier news, I have a lot of good growth going with a bunch of my orchids! Let’s take a look:

My Dendrobium aggregatum has 2 new sprouts

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Blooms and Spikes and Leaves—Oh My!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any updates on my orchid collection because there hasn’t been a whole lot going on other than the blooming of the mystery dendrobium, which, by the way, now has two blooms. Each has taken on a more pinkish and greenish tinge in the throat than when they first opened. The faint coloring is a little hard to capture in a photo, but you get the idea:

Beautiful mystery blooms!

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Basic Orchid Supplies for the Home Grower

Photo credit: otolithe (olivier roux), Flickr

When I first started buying orchids for my home, I wished I had a list of basic supplies to have on hand. So to help out other beginner orchid growers, I’ve created that very list. Also, I just like making lists, so this post is a fun one for me!

Potting Medium

Orchid newbies usually end up with phalaenopsis orchids; the best type of potting medium for that kind of orchid is either a bark mixture, sphagnum moss, or a combination of the two. First Rays has a really good article about choosing potting media for your orchid plants.

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