A Greenhouse of Blooms
In mid-January, I shared some of the orchid blooms that had opened up in our greenhouse. A lot more action has happened since then—even more orchids have bloomed. So I’m back with fresh photos…including two orchids that I’ve had for 11 years without blooming once! Before we take a look at all of them, please enjoy this shot of a bright, sunny winter afternoon inside the greenhouse:
If you’re interested in some short, soothing videos of my blooms, I’ve made three Reels on Instagram. I haven’t joined TikTok and don’t plan to, because it’s hard enough to keep up with all the other social medias! Though I’m sure there’s probably a good OrchidTok community out there.
First is the Dendrobium aggregatum that I bought from Lowe’s in January 2010. And it has never bloomed for me…until now. Eleven years later, here we are:
I first noticed the spike and buds while watering my orchids on Valentine’s Day. This one really snuck by me…I didn’t even see the spike until it was two inches long with a tight cluster of buds!
It only took about two weeks for the buds to spread out, enlarge, and open up into the sunny yellow flowers you see above. Here’s a shot of the full plant, which has been potted in a basket with sphagnum moss for many years:
I’m not kidding when I tell you I did a happy dance upon discovering the spike and buds. Eleven years!! That’s a very long time to wait for an orchid to bloom. WORTH IT.
Speaking of eleven years, my other orchid that recently bloomed for the first time is the Phalaenopsis Yellow Butterfly ‘Amber’ from my first Orchids by Hausermann order in March 2010. This is another plant that I waited very patiently on, and I’m absolutely loving these gorgeous pale yellow blooms:
What is it with my yellow orchids taking one thousand million years to bloom for me? I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
I also have three red NOID Phals in bloom; one of them is a keiki that I removed from one of the others. One of these red beauties has four blooms and the others have two each. The blooms all look the same, and they are such a pretty, rich red (which appears more pink in this photo than it does in person):
My NOID Tolumnia from Lowe’s has also been in bloom for several weeks now. This lil guy has bloomed for me before, but it’s been years and I couldn’t remember what the flowers looked like. There are only two blooms on this little plant, but I enjoy them immensely.
The Phalaenopsis Venosa ‘CH’ that was in bloom when I received my Hausermann’s order last summer is blooming again! There are only two flowers on this plant right now, but I just love them so much. The yellow outline, the hot pink striping on the lip, the overall flower shape. Stunning.
A side shoot on my Phalaenopsis Star April’s Coming ‘M230’ from Hausermann’s has also started blooming! Three of the blooms have opened, and there are several more growing along the side spike. The flower’s shape and coloring is so unique, and I absolutely love this plant too!
Another exciting bloom is this white NOID Phal that I rescued from a friend ten years ago. She received an orchid as a gift from a vendor at work and didn’t know what to do with it. So I took it, and it turned out to be two Phals potted together. I separated them; one eventually died but the other grew a keiki, which I removed and potted on its own. This mother Phal hasn’t bloomed for many years, so I was thrilled to see these big white flowers again:
And its keiki has bloomed for the first time! There are only two flowers, but I’ll take two flowers over zero flowers any day.
All in all, I currently have 17 orchids in bloom, with two more Phals in bud and one in spike. I brought seven of the orchids inside so we can enjoy their beauty in our house.
It’s truly so, SO rewarding to finally have so many orchids blooming simultaneously! Over the many years of apartment living (both in Brooklyn and in our first place in DC) I’d have a few orchids bloom here and there, but the plants overall were surviving, not thriving. They’re clearly much happier in the backyard greenhouse.
On a personal note, I’m writing this post on the one year anniversary of the last time I ate dinner at a restaurant. I’m now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine here, but have had a couple unsuccessful attempts to register for a vaccine appointment. The appointments are hard to come by because DC just doesn’t have enough supply for the demand. So for now I’m continuing to stay home, and I mask up and social distance on the rare occasions that I do need to go somewhere. At least vaccines are here, and we can slowly start getting back to some sense of normalcy. I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy, wherever you are!