Phalaenopsis Blooming Season is in Full Swing!

This is why I grow orchids: I currently have five in bloom—four Phalaenopsis and (FINALLY) my Oncidium Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy! It’s such a great feeling to see those buds swell and burst open with gorgeous flowers. Two of the Phals in bloom are ones that I previously mentioned, the mama and baby. Here’s a pic of the mama in full bloom (apologies for the poor lighting):

Mama Phal's cascade of flowers
Mama Phal’s cascade of flowers
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Blog Housekeeping, Brooklyn Orchids 2013 Calendar Now Available, and December Spike Report

My mom’s beautiful, fragrant Brassavola nodosa in bloom over Thanksgiving

Exciting things are afoot here at Brooklyn Orchids. First and foremost, I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally switched over to my own my boyfriend’s website host, which will allow me a lot more flexibility in customizing my site. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and with the help of my wonderful boyfriend (thankyouthankyouthankyou my dear!!), the time is now.

What does this mean for you as a reader? So far, not much, but you can expect to start seeing some changes here and there. I’m not very well versed in web tech stuff, so it’s going to take me awhile to figure how to do what I want to do around here. In the meantime, if you see anything weird going on with my blog, please don’t hesitate to comment and let me know!

The next announcement I have is that the Brooklyn Orchids 2013 Calendar is now available in my Zazzle store! The calendar is $23.00 and includes twelve months of my original orchid photography, mostly from my visit to the Orchid Show this past spring. It makes a great holiday gift for the orchid fiend in your life (and a great gift for yourself, of course!). I’ve also added a bunch of great new products to my store, including a variety of orchid iPhone cases, iPad cases, Kindle cases, and aluminum water bottles. I’m going to be adding even more products to the store soon. If you have any requests for a specific orchid photo of mine on a particular product, please let me know!

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A Very Belated Update: My Orchids, and Visiting Orchid Farms

It’s been way, way too long since I last updated this blog and for that I apologize. I’ve actually been traveling quite a bit this summer: Puerto Rico, San Diego, Minneapolis, and most recently, LA and Santa Barbara. But I’m finally getting settled back in and feeling like I have a moment to write a blog post. Plus, I have some fun updates on my own orchid collection to share with you!

First (and most exciting), my NOID Oncidium from Ikea is in spike! This is the second time that it has spiked for me. There are a ton of little spike offshoots growing off of the main spike, so I’m looking forward to seeing tons of beautiful little fragrant flowers in the next few weeks:

Blooms coming soon!
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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.  🙁

Blooms and Spikes and Leaves—Oh My!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any updates on my orchid collection because there hasn’t been a whole lot going on other than the blooming of the mystery dendrobium, which, by the way, now has two blooms. Each has taken on a more pinkish and greenish tinge in the throat than when they first opened. The faint coloring is a little hard to capture in a photo, but you get the idea:

Beautiful mystery blooms!
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