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!

Rescuing an Orchid: Sphag-n-Bag

Last summer I bought a Phalaenopsis at Ikea in Red Hook that turned out to be 2 plants potted together. It took me a couple weeks to realize that there were actually 2 orchids because I didn’t immediately check the roots or repot them. I had read online that planting 2 orchids together is not recommended, so I split them up.

One of the orchids has been doing really well. Bloomed for a month or so, rested for awhile, then produced side shoots and bloomed again. Here’s how it looks today:

Phalaenopsis in bloom

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My First Online Orchid Order

In my first post I mentioned that I have nine orchids in my home. Well, at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future, five more orchids will be added to my collection!

I’d been eyeing some of the sale orchids at Orchids By Hausermann for awhile, and one day I finally broke down and ordered some – for a grand total of $48.80 including shipping. That’s less than $10 per orchid!

Unfortunately, I didn’t consider the fact that I was placing this order in the dead of winter when weather conditions are not exactly ideal for shipping orchids. Hausermann’s policy is to wait till it warms up to ship them, so I’m sitting here on pins & needles waiting for warmer weather. I do appreciate that they take shipping safety into consideration – it shows that they’re serious about orchids and customer satisfaction!

The orchids that will one day arrive at my door are:

Paphiopedilum Vini

Paphiopedilum Vini

Phalaenopsis Laurel Blau ‘Hugs & Kisses’

Phalaenopsis Laurel Blau 'Hugs & Kisses'

Phalaenopsis Yellow Butterfly ‘Amber’

Phalaenopsis Yellow Butterfly 'Amber'

Tolumnia Golden Sunset ‘Red’

Tolumnia Golden Sunset 'Red'

Zygopetalum (Blue Blazes x Blue Blazes)

Zygopetalum (Blue Blazes x Blue Blazes)

Photos above are all from Hausermann’s website. None of these orchids will be in bloom when they arrive, so it will be fun to see how long it takes me to get them to show their pretty flowers. Each one should look similar to the photo. I’m excited to try growing different types of orchids aside from the ever-popular phals (though of course I have plenty of those!).

You can count on a blog post from me as soon as these lovely guys arrive!