It’s so exciting to finally have blooms around the house! My Brassavola nodosa, a birthday gift from my husband, has three lovely blooms that opened up a couple days ago:
Over the holidays last year I received a lovely gift from my in-laws: a gift certificate for Santa Barbara Orchid Estate. My husband and I visited the place way back in May 2011; it was my first ever visit to an orchid nursery, and I loved it. I didn’t buy anything when we visited because I was worried about transporting orchids safely on a plane (which I have since done successfully). So I was excited to have the opportunity to have some orchids shipped directly to me from the estate!
Apparently, writing about the orchid of this week this morning put me in an orchid hunting mood, because after I wrote that post, I took a walk to the Ikea in Red Hook (it’s sooo gorgeous out today!) to see what their orchid selection was like. It was crap. So I took the bus back toward Park Slope and on the way there I popped into Lowe’s to see if they happened to have any good orchids. And they did! I couldn’t stop myself…I ended up leaving with THREE new orchids! I promptly repotted them when I got home, like the good orchid geek that I am. All three are those Better-Gro orchids that come packaged in net and plastic, and each cost $13.97. Behold my post-repotted haul:
Last week I gave in to the lure of 20% off orchids at Orchids by Hausermann and ordered four more beauties to add to my collection. On Friday afternoon, my newest additions arrived!! They all look like they’re in good shape, and one of them even has a small spike growing! Click on the photos below to see larger versions.
The Encyclia cochleata is the largest of the four, and it’s still a pretty small plant, about 10″ tall at most. Here’s a closer look at it:
The Huntleya heteroclita is so much smaller than I expected. Huntleyas are in the same family as Zygopetalums, and the two Zygos in my collection are literally about 10 times larger than this Huntleya! It may just be a seedling, I’m actually not sure. But it’s a cutie:
The smallest of my new orchids, however, is the Phalaenopsis violacea, which arrived in a 2″ pot:
Last but not least is the Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica, which has a small spike growing from its base! I will be SO THRILLED if this plant blooms soon!!
You can see the little mitten-shaped spike in this close-up:
I haven’t repotted any of my new orchids yet (BAD!!) but I am going to do so this week to make sure all is ok with the plants’ roots.
In other news, this morning I finally bought a thermometer/humidity meter for my Orchid Room so that I can actually start to monitor these things; I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile! Already, I see that the humidity in the room is just over 50% so I think I’m going to get a small humidifier.
I was looking at orchid porn photos yesterday evening because I was bored and still nursing a cold. To make myself feel better, I went to one of my favorite online stores: Orchids by Hausermann, and immediately discovered that they are running a summer sale on orchids—all orders are 20% off between July 18 and August 15!
So…you can see where this is headed. The orchid addiction is bad enough at full price—especially on Hausermann’s, which has some pretty good prices to begin with. But a 20% discount? I’m hopeless. Here are the four orchids that I ordered, with photos from Hausermann’s website:
1. Huntleya heteroclita – originally $7.99, $6.39 with discount. This one might have to make the next edition of Unfortunate Orchid Names. I’d never heard of Huntleya before, and after doing some research I discovered it’s in the same subtribe as Zygopetalum, which is one of my favorite types of orchids. No wonder I was immediately attracted to this one.
2. Encyclia cochleata – originally $10, $8 with discount. This orchid was my very first Orchid of the Week selection. I REALLY hope I can get this one to bloom. The flowers are so incredibly unique and adorable!
3. Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica ‘Egyptian Lore’ x self – originally $10, $8 with discount
4. Phalaenopsis violacea (Malaysia x var. Borneo) – originally $15, $12 with discount. I chose this variety as Orchid of the Week recently.
Guess what? I felt better after placing my orchid order. 😛 Now I wait on pins and needles for my shipment to arrive. If you’ve got an orchid itch that needs to be scratched, make sure you take advantage of Hausermann’s summer sale ASAP*!
*I just want to note that I write about Hausermann’s simply because I like the site. I don’t have any sort of deal with them whatsoever. Even with the FTC blog regulations it can be hard to tell who is in bed with whom, so I wanted to make that clear. 🙂
The other night I was lying in bed and thought it would be fun to do a new feature on my blog where we take a look at a different type of orchid each week. The breadth of variety within the orchid family is astounding and I’m constantly finding out about orchids that I’ve never seen before.
So I’m going to feature a different orchid each Friday, partly for educational purposes, but mostly for marveling at pretty orchid photos. 🙂 Just one of the sources I’ll use to select orchids for these posts is 300 Orchids: Species, Hybrids & Varieties in Cultivation by Jane Boosey, which in and of itself holds tons of photos and information about orchids I’ve never even heard of. And (duh) it only has 300 kinds! According to Wikipedia there are up to 26,000 species of orchids…which, in my mind, may as well be infinity.
Alright, so after that windup, the the orchid I’ve chosen for the first Orchid of the Week installment is Encyclia cochleata, aka Prosthechea cochleata. According to Bloom-Again Orchids by judywhite, the name may even be changed again, to Anacheilium cochleatum.
This orchid is also known as the cockleshell orchid or the octopus orchid; the reason why is pretty clear. The blooms can be fragrant and the plant is a native grower in Florida (where it is endangered), among other countries like Colombia and Venezuela. I just think it’s freakin’ adorable — I mean look at it! This is one of the more unique-looking orchids that I’ve come across so far (with my fairly limited orchid knowledge).
This orchid variety tends to have long-lasting blooms and can even have blooms throughout most of the year. How cool is that!? I would definitely like to try growing an Encyclia cochleata at some point in my life. 🙂