Brooklyn Orchids

Phalaenopsis Blooming Season is in Full Swing!

This is why I grow orchids: I currently have five in bloom—four Phalaenopsis and (FINALLY) my Oncidium Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy! It’s such a great feeling to see those buds swell and burst open with gorgeous flowers. Two of the Phals in bloom are ones that I previously mentioned, the mama and baby. Here’s a pic of the mama in full bloom (apologies for the poor lighting):

Mama Phal's cascade of flowers
Mama Phal’s cascade of flowers

My fuchsia Phal from Ikea—one of the orchids I’ve had for the longest—has rebloomed again, but for some reason the spike is short (about 7-8″) and there are only three buds. The first bud has not opened, but the second one is fully open. Very strange…I’m not sure what’s going on with the first and third bud, but I hope they don’t blast. Regardless, I have one beauty to admire right now (you can see droopy bud #3 to the right of the flower):

A lonely but pretty flower
A lonely but pretty flower

Next up is one of the two white Phals that my friend bestowed upon me a couple years ago after she received them potted together as a gift and didn’t know what to do with them. I potted the orchids separately and have been caring for them (one in my home and one at my boyfriend’s office). The one at home is doing fantastically, with two big fat flowers as of this morning and a bunch more to come:

Pure beauty
Pure beauty

I took some photos of the first bud as it was opening and it reminded me of the Flying Nun:

It feels a little pervy peering in there, no?
It feels a little pervy peering in there, no?

Let’s compare to the actual Flying Nun:

Amirite?!

I guess Phals were discovered way before the Flying Nun TV show came out, otherwise they’d probably be known as the Flying Nun Orchid instead of the Moth Orchid.

Also, there’s some weird shit going on at the tip of this white Phal’s spike. Where a bud typically forms, there’s a blobby misshapen growth:

What the what??
What the what??

I really have no idea where this is going, so we’ll see…I kinda hope it turns into a weirdo mutant flower. That might be pretty cool.

I’ve saved the best for last. The Oncidium Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy that I bought in California last September has, at long last, begun blooming. You may recall that the orchid already had several spikes when I brought it home, and the spikes and buds have been developing painstakingly slowly. Seriously, I yelled at the plant once because it was taking so long to bloom (but then I felt bad for yelling at it and have been extra nice to it ever since). Late last week, the first bud opened! And it was glorious: a tiny, sunny yellow flower with a bright orange-red center:

Surprise! A yellow bloom.
Surprise! A yellow bloom.

I didn’t know what color the flowers would be when I bought the plant, and I’ve been dying to find out. I’m very happy with the outcome! This type of orchid is known for its fragrance, but when I sniff the flowers I don’t really get much of a scent. There are only about six blooms open so far, so maybe when more of them open there will be a strong fragrance. There are LOTS of buds still developing and I can’t wait to see this guy in full bloom!

Two of my other Phals are currently in spike (one with just a single bud…but I’ll take one flower over no flowers). Because a couple of my Phals have produced short spikes with minimal buds, it’s high time I did some research on what might be causing this to happen. At least I’ve got some amazing flowers to admire in my home—and I will be making a trip to the 2013 Orchid Show soon, so stay tuned for a post about that!

 

4 thoughts on “Phalaenopsis Blooming Season is in Full Swing!

  1. One orchid blog I read recently discovered that it was her cat secretly chewing on the spikes that was making buds pop out in weird places, side mini spikes, misshapen things going on almost like yours. She seriously didn’t know what it could be, bc it was happening to multiple plants and she never saw bugs or anything. Finally she caught the cat in the act!
    Do you have any critter friends that may be chewing on your orchids?

    1. Interesting…I actually have that orchid (as well as most of my orchids) in a room that’s blocked off with a baby gate so that Walter the cat can’t get to them. If he had access, he would chew on them for sure! Since this blobby thing is at the tip of the spike and it’s just this one plant, I feel like it may be some sort of mutation. Unless I have a secret flying mouserat nighttime visitor.

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