Orchid Loss, Orchid Blooms

I went away for Thanksgiving weekend and returned to find an aphid infestation on the two (somewhat) pricey orchids that I bought at Lowe’s a few weeks ago. MAJOR SAD FACE! It looked like the aphids had started in the Miltonidium and then spread to the Miltassia, and were also beginning to spread to the phal sitting next to them on the mantle. The poor Miltonidium was crawling with them:

Aphids munching my Miltonidium

I figure the plant must have had a tiny infestation of aphids when I first brought it home that I totally missed, and they just multiplied. I’m really lucky that I had these plants outside of my orchid room, otherwise I’d have a major problem on my hands. The aphids only got to three plants instead of almost thirty. Christ.

The infestation was so bad that, painfully, I threw away the Miltonidium and the Miltassia, pots and all. I REALLY hated doing this, for many reasons, but I thought it was probably my best bet in terms of preventing those little buggers from spreading. So my newest orchids are my latest casualties. Fortunately, the aphids had just barely started in on the phal, so I washed them off of the plant and it seems to be ok. I think I’ll be able to salvage that one.

But in much, much happier news, I discovered this yesterday morning:

Blooms are opening!

The blooms on my Oncidium Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy are FINALLY opening! I first noticed spikes growing on this plant back in mid-August. One of the spikes actually turned brown so I cut it off, but I still have two healthy looking spikes, this one with only three buds on it. Two of which have now opened and the third is beginning to open.

What I thought was amazing was the speed with which these little blooms opened. By mid-afternoon the buds looked like this:

The buds are almost fully open!

And then by evening, this is what I found:

Tiny, beautiful flowers

Amazing, isn’t it? This *almost* makes up for the loss of my two gorgeous orchids. I wonder why this one spike is only putting out three flowers…when I bought this Oncidium last year at Trader Joe’s, it had a one spike and with LOTS of flowers. It looks like the second spike on this plant will produce more than three blooms, though, so that’s good.

So, nice job, Oncidium! And, RIP Miltonidium and Miltassia. SUCK IT, aphids. I hate you.  🙁

Expanding My Orchid Collection…Again

This morning when I was still in bed, my boyfriend texted me with this photo of mini oncidiums that he saw for $9 while running an errand at Lowe’s:

Mini oncidiums!

Well, that got me out of bed pretty quickly. I ate yogurt and cereal and gulped down some coffee, then went on the orchid hunt. Conveniently, this Lowe’s is only about a 10 minute walk from my house. And suddenly, I was in orchid heaven…

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