It’s been way, way too long since I last updated this blog and for that I apologize. I’ve actually been traveling quite a bit this summer: Puerto Rico, San Diego, Minneapolis, and most recently, LA and Santa Barbara. But I’m finally getting settled back in and feeling like I have a moment to write a blog post. Plus, I have some fun updates on my own orchid collection to share with you!
First (and most exciting), my NOID Oncidium from Ikea is in spike! This is the second time that it has spiked for me. There are a ton of little spike offshoots growing off of the main spike, so I’m looking forward to seeing tons of beautiful little fragrant flowers in the next few weeks:
Like all living things, orchids need nutrition. Feeding (fertilizing) your orchid is an important part of caring for it and making sure that it lives a long and healthy life. This post about how to fertilize an orchid is waaaaayyy overdue…but better late than never, right? I’m going to talk specifically about fertilizing Phalaenopsis (moth) orchids because Phals are the most common orchids for beginners, available everywhere from corner delis to Home Depot, Ikea, and Trader Joe’s.
So you have a beautiful Phalaenopsis orchid, but its blooms are starting to wilt and fall off. What do you do now?! First of all, don’t freak out and throw your plant in the garbage; fading flowers are totally normal and they do NOT mean that your orchid is dying! Orchids can live for years and years and years with the proper care. Part of this proper care is knowing when and where to cut the flower spike. This is one of the most common questions I get in the comments section of my blog posts, so I thought it would be helpful to write about how to proceed once your Phal (the most widely available type of orchid) has finished blooming.
I’ve tried growing three different Paphiopedilums (lady slippers) and have killed two out of those three. The third, however, has been chugging along happily and put up a spike a little while ago. And now, I’m so proud to say that it is currently in bloom, with one fully opened flower and two developing buds!
I last posted an update on my Phalaenopsis orchid keiki grow experiment on September 1—almost three months ago! Since then many of the keikis have been growing quite nicely, developing roots (and, surprisingly, even a couple of spikes!) and today I decided it was high time to remove some of them and pot them on their own.
The first keiki had sprouted two good roots about three inches in lengths, along with a couple other new roots and a spike! I figured the spike was a sign that this guy was definitely ready for its own pot. The mother plant has her own spike as well.
So in the interest of helping orchid growers out even more, I decided to do another post on this topic, this time with LOTS of photo examples to help better illuminate what a root looks like and what a spike looks like. If you haven’t read my original post, I recommend doing so before you dive into this one. All the below photos are of orchids in my own collection. Because you’ll see more roots growing from your orchid than spikes, let’s begin with root pics: