Brooklyn Orchids

My First Orchid Bloom of 2013!

I woke up this morning to find this happy little flower (yep, I’m channeling Bob Ross) on one of my Phals from Trader Joe’s:

No filter...pretty little guy.
No filter…pretty little guy.

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How to Recognize Orchid Roots and Orchid Spikes, Part Deux: Photos!

I’m finding that my post about how to identify whether you have an orchid spike or a root is my most viewed post by far. For example, just in the past week, my spike* vs. root post has been viewed nearly 6x as many times as my second most viewed post of the week. Clearly, “is it a root or is it a spike?” is a big question for new orchid owners!

So in the interest of helping orchid growers out even more, I decided to do another post on this topic, this time with LOTS of photo examples to help better illuminate what a root looks like and what a spike looks like. If you haven’t read my original post, I recommend doing so before you dive into this one. All the below photos are of orchids in my own collection. Because you’ll see more roots growing from your orchid than spikes, let’s begin with root pics:

Two roots emerging from the base of a Phalaenopsis

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Brooklyn Orchids Bloom & Spike Report

I totally missed my Orchid of the Week post last Friday, because I was hard at work on a freelance project. Whoops.

I also missed my Sunday morning orchid watering session yesterday, so I watered them this morning instead. And I discovered that a pretty bloom on one of my Phals opened up overnight!

Pink Phal in bloom
Love the white outline of this one

There are also lots of beautiful blooms on this orchid’s side shoot:

White Phal blooming
Delicate white and pink blooms

A couple weeks ago, I noticed what looked like not one, but two side shoots from this orchid’s growing spike:

Side shoots on an orchid spike
Hmm…could it be?

I thought the growths had that flattened-at-the-tip mitten shape that is characteristic of spikes, rather than the fuller shape of a bud. And I was right! Here’s what the spike and side shoots look like today—you can really see the difference between growing buds and side shoots in this pic (buds on top, shoots on bottom):

Two side shoots on a moth orchid spike
More blooms to come!!

Yet another one of my Phals is starting to grow a side shoot. It stopped blooming a month or so ago, so I cut the spike to try and force it to bloom again. Doing this really works! Here’s proof:

Side shoot on a cut orchid spike
New side shoot growth

A couple of my other Phals in spike have swelling buds, so I’m going to have lots of blooms in the near future. It’s so very exciting to see my patience paying off!!

Orchid of the Week: Phalaenopsis Amboinensis

Yikes, I’ve been seriously shirking my orchid blogging duties. I don’t even want to look back and see when I last did an Orchid of the Week blog. Well, because today is the last day of 2010 I figured I should get in one final blog post this year. And I’ve chosen to feature Phalaenopsis amboinensis, one which I have in my personal collection—and mine is beginning to spike!!

This orchid is native to Indonesia and has small, star-shaped waxy blooms with tiger-like striping. Take a look at this specimen (not mine):

Photo credit: orchidspecies.com

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Precious Little Jewels & Spikes

Whoops…I forgot to do an Orchid of the Week post last Friday. For shame!

After my Lowe’s orchid shopping extravaganza last week, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for my new tolumnia’s blooms to open. I did my regular Sunday morning orchid watering session yesterday and noticed that one of the buds was starting to open!

Such amazing, velvety petals!

And this morning, I got up to discover the fully opened, gorgeous bloom:

My first Tolumnia bloom

How beautiful is that?? A couple of the other buds are beginning to open, so in the next few days I’ll have several little beauties. Woohoo!!

Also on the Woohoo!! front, I noticed that yet ANOTHER one of my phals is starting to put out a spike. I guess phal blooming season is coming up—they do generally bloom in the winter. So I currently have three phals that are throwing spikes. The newest one that I discovered is the one that I bought at the Union Square Greenmarket about a year and a half ago. This will already be the second spike that it has put out for me—it spiked and bloomed earlier this year. You can see the very beginning of this orchid’s spike in this image: it’s the small light green bit in the middle:

Spike starting to break through

And just for fun, an updated photo of my peloric phal’s spike:

It’s very clearly a spike now!

That’s all for now. So much orchid excitement in my house these days! So many exclamation points are necessary!

Another New Spike Looks Like…Um…

Man, I have lots of stuff going on with my orchids. I posted the other day about all kinds of new growth on my orchids. Just today I noticed that one of my Phals is putting out a spike—and it’s not the Phal that I mentioned at the end of my earlier post (I think that growth is really just a root). I had noticed this little nub coming out of the base of the plant and thought it was a root, but only a couple days later it has clearly taken on the form of a spike.

Of course I’m aware of what the burgeoning spike looks like in the below photo. Hello! I’m the one who posts things like Unfortunate Orchid Names…how could I not notice? Don’t worry, this hasn’t turned into a porn blog. 😛

Teeheehee

You can see that this new growth is a totally different color from the plant’s roots, which are green. Some of my other orchids’ roots are green but are tipped with reddish-maroon so I didn’t really think anything of this thing when I first saw it. Until today, when I saw the mitten-like form beginning to develop. Then I remembered that the orchid’s spike that it had when I bought it was more of a brownish-red color than a green color like some Phals. See?

Brownish Phal spike

So, add another YAY to the round of YAYs for my orchids!!

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