A Very Belated Update: My Orchids, and Visiting Orchid Farms

It’s been way, way too long since I last updated this blog and for that I apologize. I’ve actually been traveling quite a bit this summer: Puerto Rico, San Diego, Minneapolis, and most recently, LA and Santa Barbara. But I’m finally getting settled back in and feeling like I have a moment to write a blog post. Plus, I have some fun updates on my own orchid collection to share with you!

First (and most exciting), my NOID Oncidium from Ikea is in spike! This is the second time that it has spiked for me. There are a ton of little spike offshoots growing off of the main spike, so I’m looking forward to seeing tons of beautiful little fragrant flowers in the next few weeks:

Blooms coming soon!

Next up is the one surviving Epidendrum cutting that I took from my boyfriend’s parents’ house in Southern Cali last May. It showed no signs of growth at all until late this spring, when a new shoot began to pop out of the base. The new shoot is a skinny little thing, but it’s now taller than the original cutting that I brought home. I’ll chalk this one up as a success…so far.

Cutting on the right, new growth on the left

The Phal that I bought at the Union Square Greenmarket hasn’t been doing so well. Its leaves have been turning yellow and dropping off, and it doesn’t have much of a root system left. Recently I noticed that it is putting out a basal keiki—I suppose in a self-preservation effort. Let’s hope it works; I love this Phal to death. It’s spiked and re-bloomed twice for me and was doing so well for so long. This is probably the orchid I’ve had the longest, and I really want this guy to make it!

Basal keiki among roots

On my most recent trip, I went to a wedding in Santa Barbara (at San Ysidro Ranch…gorgeous place!). The morning after the wedding, we stopped at a couple orchid farms on the drive back down to the LA area: Westerlay Orchids and Gallup & Stribling Orchids. The first place only had a small retail selection, mostly Phalaenopsis, but their orchids were beautiful and affordable. This unique mini Phal caught my eye and only cost $8 (but I didn’t buy it):


Westerlay also had some beautiful yellow striped Phals. I’ve never seen anything like this before:

Beautiful yellow striping

G&S, however, had a much larger retail selection. They specialize in Cymbidiums and literally have 48 acres of growing Cyms. Here’s just a portion of one of the growing spaces:

Acres of Cymbidiums

Some of my other favorite pics from G&S:

This dragonfly was just hanging out on an orchid
Me surrounded by orchids
A wonderfully fragrant Oncidium Pacific Sunrise ‘Hakalau’

And I ended up buying two orchids to bring home with me! The first is an Oncidium Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy with 5 spikes (no blooms just yet). I have had one of these before (from Trader Joe’s) and I got it to spike and bloom once, but then it died. Hoping this one fares better:

My Oncidium Twinkle ‘Fragrance Fantasy”

The second is an Oncidium Pacific Sunrise ‘Hakalau’—one of these fragrant yellow orchids from the photo above. I purposely chose one that wasn’t in bloom, because I didn’t want to travel with something so delicate. They did have a number of these in bloom, and the flowers are beautiful AND have a lovely, strong fragrance. I’m hoping for the best for this little guy:

My Oncidium Pacific Sunrise ‘Hakalau’

I had no trouble bringing the two new orchids home with me on the plane. The last time I brought an orchid on a plane, it wilted and then died within a month. So send good growing thoughts my way for these two pretty plants!

More updates to come soon…I promise.

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  1. First I wanna say thank you for a great blog! I picked up a lot about growing orchids from you blog. Second, winter is coming and I have 2 lovely orchids at home. I am an orchid newbie living in NYC and I am wondering if I need to get a little greenhouse for my 2 orchids to get through the winter? They are indoor plants. Thank you!

    1. Hi Cherry, thanks for the kind words! I find that many apartments in NYC are very warm in the winter, so I wouldn’t think you’ll need a greenhouse. I do recommend picking up a humidity meter (you can find them for not much money at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s) so that you can monitor the humidity level around your orchids. If it starts to get dry, you can always get a humidifier to help bump it back up. Happy growing!

  2. Siiiiiigh I hate when my comments vanish.

    I recently started a Phalaenopsis collection (as a start) and am doing research to give my three orchids a fighting chance.

    From what I understand, the basal keiki is supposed to grow and replace the other plant, so I’m thinking its existence is a good thing.


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