My New Phal from Home Depot

Pretty magenta phal

Today, I went into Manhattan to wander around the Garden District and possibly get a new orchid or two. I was just really, really in the mood for a new one, because none of my orchids are currently in bloom (though two are currently in spike!). While the flower shops on W. 28th St. have a large selection of orchids, they make me a little uncomfortable because you can’t set foot in one without being asked if you need help by about five separate employees. The situation sort of reminds me of the people who stand outside of restaurants in Little Italy and Little India, the ones who try desperately to get every passerby to come in and eat there. It reeks of desperation.

Anyway…so I was again reminded that the orchids in the Garden District are a bit out of my budget at the moment. I did good and left the area without making any purchases. Though I was tempted by some really lovely Dendrobiums and perfect Zygopetalums at one of the stores. I do love me some Zygos!

Then it dawned on me that I was a few short blocks from the Home Depot on 23rd St. Home Depot has cheap orchids so I totally had to go…but only after a pit stop at Qdoba Mexican Grill (cheese quesadilla!) for lunch. Home Depot had plenty of decent looking phals to choose from, most of them in the pink/purple family. There were a couple that I really liked—sort of a light purplish pink with a bright white lip—but of course those plants weren’t among the healthy-looking ones: yellowed leaves, dried out roots.  No thanks. I ended up selecting this NOID dark magenta beauty from Just Add Ice Orchids (note: don’t follow their watering instructions!), which I brought home for just under $17:

Many blooms on this one

The color of the blooms appears brighter in the photos than it is in real life. I absolutely love the speckles on the blooms’ lips; they’re such a nice little detail. And the yellow decorative pot that it came in (see photo at top of this post) complements that bit of yellow in the flowers so well. Probably just a happy accident. 🙂

Speckled lip

Even the backs of these blooms are pretty:

Back of my new blooms

I repotted the orchid this afternoon, because 1) it’s good practice to do so with new orchids to cut away any rotten roots, and 2) it was potted in a mixture of bark and potting soil. Probably about 80% soil and 20% bark. Really, Just Add Ice Orchids? You should know better than to plant epiphytes in potting soil. Epiphytes like phalaenopsis orchids are air plants that grow off of other things such as tree trunks or rocks; they do not thrive in soil because it doesn’t allow enough air movement. When I took the orchid out of its pot I found a pretty good root system, so luckily it appears that I took this baby home before it had time to rot.  🙂  It’s now potted up nicely in an orchid bark mix and I’m displaying it on the mantle in my living room. There are lots of buds and a couple side shoots, so *hopefully* there will be even more beautiful blooms to look at soon!

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