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 finally got my internet connection set up, nearly two weeks after moving into my new place. You know that that means: back to blogging! Because I’ve been away from the computer for awhile, this is gonna be a pretty epic post.
My orchids all did well on moving day, which was two weeks ago as of tomorrow. I packed the plants in several boxes but left the tops open; my boyfriend and I moved them ourselves in a U-Haul van along with his saltwater fish and corals, which he placed temporarily in giant buckets of water. This cargo was too precious to allow our movers to handle.
In honor of Independence Day, this week I chose an orchid native to the United States: Cypripedium reginae. This orchid is very similar in appearance to lady slipper orchids like Paphiopedilums and Phragmipediums – and it’s so American that it’s the state flower of Minnesota. Look how beautiful this Cypripedium reginae is, with its velvety pink, pouchy sack (my inner 12 year-old is giggling right now):
This terrestrial lady slipper orchid grows wild in the U.S., mostly in the upper Midwest and the Northeast. The Cypripedium reginae thrives in damp, shady environments like bogs and swamps. Flickr member pverdonk found some gorgeous specimens growing wild by the side of a highway in Michigan:
If you ever happen to see wild orchids like the Cypripedium, it’s important to note that it is illegal to pick them or dig the plant up. I know I’d be tempted to take a wild orchid home if I came across one, but this flower and others are protected by state laws. So in the name of conservation (and, of course, abiding the law), make sure you simply take a picture; it’ll last longer anyway. 🙂
P.S. I have spotty internet service in my new apartment at the moment, so once I have internet all set up for good next week I’ll do a proper update on my orchids!
Yay!! My Hausermann orchids arrived a couple hours ago via UPS. Of course I sat around inside all day waiting for them to show up, but it’s nasty outside so I can’t complain.
I had a mini panic attack this afternoon while waiting for the package (side note: now that I’m watching The Wire, “package” makes me think of heroin) because I suddenly wasn’t sure if the orchids would arrive in pots. I didn’t have five extra pots lying around the house and didn’t want to have to make an emergency run to Home Depot in the rain. Plus, the orchids I’d ordered were on sale so I thought maybe pots wouldn’t be included.
Fortunately all of my new plants came potted. I’ve already repotted each one so that I could check out their roots, and I took lots of pictures to post here. So I guess this is a sort of “orchid unboxing” post…how nerdy am I??
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.