Brooklyn Orchids

How to Identify Healthy vs. Unhealthy Roots

Roots are the basis of any orchid plant. It’s very important for your orchid to have a robust root system; the orchid takes in water and nutrients through its roots which in turn allows the whole plant to grow, thrive, and ultimately put out those beautiful blooms.

First I’ll take a moment to show you what roots look like on the most common orchid, the Phalaenopsis (aka moth orchid). Phal roots, when healthy and moist, are a nice green color, like so:

Healthy wet orchid root

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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!

 

Welcome to Brooklyn Orchids

Pink Vanda Orchid
Vanda blooming at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

I’ve been obsessing about orchids for about a year now and I’m still a total newbie.  I love orchids so much that I decided to start a blog about them – and here we are. I’ll be sharing photos (my own & others’), information, links, things I’ve learned, and stories about my own orchids as I try my very hardest not to kill them.

A little bit about me: I’ve been living in NYC since December 2002. Currently, I live in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and have been in my apartment for a little over a year. My apartment gets really great southern exposure so it has been a good environment for growing orchids. Right now, I am the proud owner of nine orchids (I’ll post photos & info about each of these separately):

  • Five phalaenopsis – two from Ikea, one from Home Depot, one from Trader Joe’s, one from a vendor at the Union Square Greenmarket (I *think* it’s Fantastic Gardens, need to find out for sure)
  • One oncidium from TJs
  • Two dendrobium – one from TJs, one from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • One odontoglossom from the BBG

My kill count is two, my first orchids ever (both phals).  🙁  I don’t think either of them were healthy when I bought them, because I didn’t know what to look for when buying orchids. I’ve learned a lot since then and most of my orchids seem to be doing well now!

I’m really looking forward to writing about orchids and sharing my passion for them. I hope you enjoy this blog and I’d love to hear your orchid stories in the comments.

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