Update on Phal Rescue Attempt

Remember awhile back when I tried the ‘sphag-n-bag’ method of rescuing a Phalaenopsis orchid, but aborted the effort after a couple of days? After I had removed the orchid from the bag, I potted it in a terracotta pot with sphagnum moss. Based on the advice I got on the Orchid Board, I then decided that the orchid would be better off potted in something that would get better air flow, so I bought a black plastic net pot like this:

The pot only cost me $.80 at a local gardening supply store. Win!

I took the risk of repotting the poor plant yet again (I had been effing with it a lot lately) and placed it into the net pot with moist sphagnum moss. It’s been doing ok like this for the past few weeks – at least, no turn for the worse – and just the other day I inspected it to see if there was any new root growth. Lo and behold, I found a tiny green nubbin at the base of the crown, so it appears that a new root is growing! I may have saved this poor sad plant after all.

I hope I haven’t jinxed the orchid’s health by posting about it just now. More updates to come, whether good or bad.

My new orchids. Let me show you them.

Yay!! My Hausermann orchids arrived a couple hours ago via UPS. Of course I sat around inside all day waiting for them to show up, but it’s nasty outside so I can’t complain.

I had a mini panic attack this afternoon while waiting for the package (side note: now that I’m watching The Wire, “package” makes me think of heroin) because I suddenly wasn’t sure if the orchids would arrive in pots. I didn’t have five extra pots lying around the house and didn’t want to have to make an emergency run to Home Depot in the rain. Plus, the orchids I’d ordered were on sale so I thought maybe pots wouldn’t be included.

Fortunately all of my new plants came potted. I’ve already repotted each one so that I could check out their roots, and I took lots of pictures to post here. So I guess this is a sort of “orchid unboxing” post…how nerdy am I??

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Spring Has Sprung; My Hausermann Orchids Have Shipped

Yes!! A sign that spring is on the horizon: I just received an email notification that my orchids from Orchids by Hausermann have shipped!

I wrote Hausermann’s customer service a few weeks ago to find out when they might ship my orchids. With all the crappy cold weather and snow we’ve had, they said it wasn’t warm enough for them to safely ship my plants. Yet another reason to hate winter.

But now the plants are on their way and I’m excited! I’ll post all about my new orchids as soon as they arrive. I hope they make it to Brooklyn ok—this is my first experience with an online orchid order.

Great Ikea Find: Lady Slipper Orchid

Along with the month of March came a lovely day in Brooklyn: sunny with temperatures in the 40s (as I type this my weather widget says it’s 49 degrees)! I’ve been hibernating in my apartment a lot because of all the shitty weather we’ve been having—February 2010 broke the record for snowiest month ever in NYC. Ugh, all this white stuff is not for me. So when I got up this morning and realized how nice it was outside, I decided to take a long stroll—something I haven’t done in awhile.

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My Recent BBG Visit and Orchid Purchases

One of the best parts of Funemployment is having the opportunity to take advantage of deals like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s Free Winter Weekdays (which ends March 2). Once I discovered I could visit without paying a dime I knew I HAD to go see their orchid collection, which is in bloom between November and March. The orchid collection is located in the Aquatic House portion of the Steinhardt Conservatory, which I had somehow completely bypassed during my previous BBG visits.

So a couple weeks ago I made my way to the BBG, armed with my fully charged digital camera. I was the only visitor inside the Aquatic House at the time and it was so peaceful to have the whole place to myself. The house isn’t all that big, but there are a ton of orchid plants inside and it is definitely tropical in there; I had to take my puffy winter coat off immediately. There were plenty of Vandas in bloom:

Purple Vanda orchid

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Sphag-n-Bag Abort!

Last week I shared what led to my first Phal rescue attempt via sphag-n-bag. This is how it looked five days after going into the bag:

Orchid sphag-n-bag

Yeah, not so good, huh? One of the leaves started turning yellow which is certainly not a good sign.  The sphagnum already appeared kind of dried out but I wasn’t sure if I should open the bag to moisten it. The instructions had said to “place it in a warm, shady location and walk away.”

I headed over to the Orchid Board and asked for some advice – the members over there have always been really helpful to me in the the past. I posted a couple photos and the first response that came in said to take my Phal out of the bag right away, that it didn’t look like it needed to be sphagged-n-bagged in the first place. Then Ray himself from First Ray‘s chimed in and agreed, suggesting that my orchid just looks like it’s not getting the water it needs.

With that advice in mind, I took the orchid out of the bag, removed the yellow leaf, then potted it up with sphagnum moss. I placed it in a smaller pot than before since the root system is so small.  It’s probably not a good idea for me to be messing so much with this poor little plant, so I’m going to leave it alone for awhile and hope that it starts to develop some heartier roots.

More updates to come!