Celebrating 2022 with New Blooms!

New Year, New Blooms

Happy 2022! February is still a little way off, so I’m gonna say it’s still okay to wish folks a Happy New Year. 🙂  Winter is in full swing, and orchid blooming season has begun inside my greenhouse! So it’s time to share photos of the current blooms in my collection.

First up is the Bletilla striata variegata! This is one of the three terrestrial orchids that my husband got me for my birthday last year. I had a hard time taking good photos of these blooms; this is the best I’ve got:

Bletilla striata blooms

I ended up leaving all three of these orchids in their pots in the back yard instead of planting them in the ground. When the temperature started to drop in late fall, I moved them into the greenhouse. Their blooming season is typically in April or May, but because they’re in a warm environment, one of them decided to bloom already! The other two Bletillas have also put out new shoots, so I’m guessing they might also bloom early. I’m curious if they’ll also bloom in the spring, once I move them back outside. We shall see…

Probably the most exciting development in my greenhouse is that my Rhynchostylis gigantea ‘Plai’ has bloomed for the first time in nearly 11 years. Yes, you read that correctly: eleven years! I bought this Better-Gro orchid from Lowe’s in April 2011. If you click here you can see the info card that came with the orchid, which incorrectly identified it as Rhynchostylis gigantea ‘Peach.’ Clearly, the blooms do not match the photo on that card. But they are GORGEOUS:

Rhynchostylis gigantea blooms

I have a tag with my own handwriting inside the pot that says Rhynchostylis gigantea ‘Plai’ x Rhynchostylis gigantea ‘Plai.’ I’ve googled it and this appears to be the correct ID. In my original post about this orchid, you can see a manufacturer tag in the pot. So that must have had the correct orchid name on it, and I must have replaced it with my own tag somewhere along the way.

This orchid’s spike development was really fun to watch. Click through the slideshow below to see its progress, which took about a month and a half from the time the spike began poking out to the time its first buds opened right after the New Year:

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My Phalaenopsis Evarise Blue Angel has also put out a new spike that recently began blooming. I absolutely love the little flowers on this sequential bloomer!

Phal Evarise Blue Angel

Also, my two NOID white Phals from Trader Joe’s are blooming again. Each has two spikes! Here are the first few blooms on one of the Phals:

NOID White Phal blooms

And several blooms on the other plant:

White NOID Phal blooms

The second spike on each of the white Phals is behind the first in terms of development, so in theory, I’ll have blooms for longer because the second spikes’ buds aren’t ready to open yet. More flowering time for me!  😀

Last but not least is my Phalaenopsis Star April’s Coming ‘M230’, which I got from Orchids by Hausermann in 2020. This orchid has two long, arching spikes with plenty of buds, a couple of which just opened this week. I absolutely love that blush color in the center of the flowers and the flattened side lobes of the lip, which make for a unique look.

Phal Star April's Coming

The majority of my Phalaenopsis orchids are currently in spike, so I will have many more blooms to show off in the next couple of months. Seeing my orchids bloom never gets old! And it’s even more special when they bloom for the first time after a number of years, like my Rhynchostylis.

I hope you’re all enjoying a good start to 2022 and staying healthy despite the omicron variant of COVID-19. Omicron hit DC really hard late last year, but fortunately the numbers are starting to decrease here.

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I don’t care: please get vaccinated and boosted, as it’s the best way to protect yourself and others from severe illness, hospitalization, and death. You can order four free rapid test kits for your household from the government via this link. And it’s recommended that everyone upgrade to N95 or KN95 masks if they can, as they offer much better protection than cloth or surgical masks alone.

Stay safe and healthy, folks!

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