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!

An Orchid Book Collection Grows in Brooklyn

Yesterday I went to a book sale at the Park Slope United Methodist Church and picked up eight books for $9 (!!!). One of my favorite finds was The Best Orchids for Indoors, part of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guides series. Retail price for this book is $9.95—though it’s currently on sale for $8.95 here – but I got it for $1.50. That’s right—one dollar and fifty cents worth of orchid-y goodness!

The Best Orchids for Indoors book

This BBG guide is my third book about orchids. The first one that I purchased is Reader’s Digest Orchids for Every Home by Wilma and Brian Rittershausen. I found it at a craphole bookstore at an outlet mall north of Austin, TX while I was visiting family, and if memory serves me correctly it cost me somewhere between $7-9. Price listed on the inside cover is $27.95, so I got a pretty great deal.  🙂

Reader's Digest Orchids for Every Home

The second orchid book added to my collection was a holiday gift from my boyfriends’ parents: Bloom-Again Orchids by Judy White. I especially like the way this book presents information on how to care for orchids – very useful for a newbie like me.

Bloom-Again Orchids by judywhite

I’ve always been a book lover so it makes sense that I’m now starting to pick up some orchid books. I guess it’s all part of the orchid addiction!

 

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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Choose Orchids for a Long-Lasting Valentine Gift

Are you looking for a last-minute gift for your loved one today? Consider an orchid. Sure, a dozen red roses are THE thing to get your Valentine, but roses wilt and die so quickly. Orchids can last for years if you treat them right – and they aren’t nearly as hard to care for as some people think.

Stop by your local Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, Ikea, or florist and they will likely have some phalaenopsis orchids to choose from. Phals are the easiest orchids to grow in the home. Bonus: they can be a whole lot cheaper than a bunch of roses! TJs, for example, sells many beautiful orchids for under $20. I got this pretty fuchsia phal at Ikea for $15 last spring and it has already produced side shoots and rebloomed for me:

Valentine's Day Orchid

Share the orchid love on Valentine’s Day and you’ll be rewarded for months (and maybe years) to come!

The Orchid Show at NYBG

I am so incredibly excited to go to this year’s Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden when it opens. This year’s show is called Cuba in Flower. Last year’s theme was Brazil and it was also my first visit to the garden’s annual orchid show. I was so wowed by what I saw that it kicked off this fun obsession hobby of mine.

The 2010 show runs from February 27 through April 11. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors/students, $8 for children, and free for members and children under 2. I fully plan to go more than once and really explore.

The NYBG has posted some videos of their show preparations. The most recent video is below – and by the way, how adorable is the opening graphic?! Kudos to the graphic designer for that.

You can see my extensive photoset from the NYBG 2009 Orchid Show on Flickr here.  Lots of orchid photos  and more. The day that I went was so gloomy out, but inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory was like orchid nerd heaven! I can’t wait for February 27!

Psychopsis Orchid, NYBG Orchid Show 2009
Psychopsis, NYBG Orchid Show 2009

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!