Scratching the Orchid Itch

Okay, I’ll admit it. When none of my orchids are in bloom, I have a strong desire to buy more because I like to have something blooming in my home. On Tuesday, I ended up buying a new Phal at Home Depot in Manhattan. The very next day, I finished my volunteer shift with KittyKind at the Petco in Union Square and decided to check out the orchid selection at Trader Joe’s…you know, cuz it was so close by and all.

TJ’s had a pretty nice selection of healthy looking orchids, including lots of Phals, some Oncidiums (I almost bought a second Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy!), and Paphs. I ended up selecting a small Phal for only $9.99. It’s healthy looking with two spikes and nice sturdy, grassy green foliage. See?

New TJ's Phal
Whoa…Double Orchid Spikes all the way!

There are currently three blooms open, and they are white with a lovely blush tinge and a peachy speckled-and-striped lip. This orchid did come with a tag, which says “medium white with blush”. Wow, I couldn’t have figured that out myself. So helpful. Anyway, here’s a close-up of one of the blooms:

White with blush blooms
White with blush blooms

When I first brought the orchid home it had lots of swelling buds on both spikes:

Multiple orchid buds
So many buds!

But as of this morning it looks like some of the smaller, newer buds are starting to blast. They have turned darker in color and look like they are drying out and starting to shrivel:

Orchid bud blast
Possible bud blast

I wonder if the bud blast is due to my repotting this plant as soon as I got it home? I know that repotting orchids in bloom can lead to loss of blooms. It could also just be due to a change in the orchid’s environment. At least I know that I got rid of the few rotten roots on this plant when I repotted it, and I didn’t pack in the sphagnum moss nearly as tightly as it had been when I bought it.

Each spike is starting to grow a side spike, so with a little luck maybe those will become fruitful and bloom for me. Regardless, my two new Phals make me so happy!

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  1. Hello Brooklyn Orchids! We recommend waiting until your Just Add Ice Orchid is finished blooming before repotting. Premature orchid flower loss could also be a result of sudden temperature changes, low temperatures, when the plant is too dry, or when the plant’s roots are experiencing problems. Check the color of your orchid’s roots.  Well-watered roots should be a healthy green color, while grayish-white roots indicate more water is needed.  Hope this help!

    1. Hi Devyn – I actually have no idea what that plant is, aside from being a succulent…but it has since died. 🙁 Funny how I seem to kill plants that aren’t orchids.

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