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. 😛


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!!

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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Scratching the Orchid Itch

Okay, I’ll admit it. When none of my orchids are in bloom, I have a strong desire to buy more because I like to have something blooming in my home. On Tuesday, I ended up buying a new Phal at Home Depot in Manhattan. The very next day, I finished my volunteer shift with KittyKind at the Petco in Union Square and decided to check out the orchid selection at Trader Joe’s…you know, cuz it was so close by and all.

TJ’s had a pretty nice selection of healthy looking orchids, including lots of Phals, some Oncidiums (I almost bought a second Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy!), and Paphs. I ended up selecting a small Phal for only $9.99. It’s healthy looking with two spikes and nice sturdy, grassy green foliage. See?

New TJ's Phal
Whoa…Double Orchid Spikes all the way!

There are currently three blooms open, and they are white with a lovely blush tinge and a peachy speckled-and-striped lip. This orchid did come with a tag, which says “medium white with blush”. Wow, I couldn’t have figured that out myself. So helpful. Anyway, here’s a close-up of one of the blooms:

White with blush blooms
White with blush blooms

When I first brought the orchid home it had lots of swelling buds on both spikes:

Multiple orchid buds
So many buds!

But as of this morning it looks like some of the smaller, newer buds are starting to blast. They have turned darker in color and look like they are drying out and starting to shrivel:

Orchid bud blast
Possible bud blast

I wonder if the bud blast is due to my repotting this plant as soon as I got it home? I know that repotting orchids in bloom can lead to loss of blooms. It could also just be due to a change in the orchid’s environment. At least I know that I got rid of the few rotten roots on this plant when I repotted it, and I didn’t pack in the sphagnum moss nearly as tightly as it had been when I bought it.

Each spike is starting to grow a side spike, so with a little luck maybe those will become fruitful and bloom for me. Regardless, my two new Phals make me so happy!

My New Phal from Home Depot

Pretty magenta phal

Today, I went into Manhattan to wander around the Garden District and possibly get a new orchid or two. I was just really, really in the mood for a new one, because none of my orchids are currently in bloom (though two are currently in spike!). While the flower shops on W. 28th St. have a large selection of orchids, they make me a little uncomfortable because you can’t set foot in one without being asked if you need help by about five separate employees. The situation sort of reminds me of the people who stand outside of restaurants in Little Italy and Little India, the ones who try desperately to get every passerby to come in and eat there. It reeks of desperation.

Anyway…so I was again reminded that the orchids in the Garden District are a bit out of my budget at the moment. I did good and left the area without making any purchases. Though I was tempted by some really lovely Dendrobiums and perfect Zygopetalums at one of the stores. I do love me some Zygos!

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Meet My Newest Orchids

Last week I gave in to the lure of 20% off orchids at Orchids by Hausermann and ordered four more beauties to add to my collection. On Friday afternoon, my newest additions arrived!! They all look like they’re in good shape, and one of them even has a small spike growing! Click on the photos below to see larger versions.

Newest Orchid Additions!
From L to R: Encyclia cochleata, Phal hieroglyphica, Huntleya heteroclita, Phal violacea

The Encyclia cochleata is the largest of the four, and it’s still a pretty small plant, about 10″ tall at most. Here’s a closer look at it:

Encyclia cochleata
My Encyclia cochleata

The Huntleya heteroclita is so much smaller than I expected. Huntleyas are in the same family as Zygopetalums, and the two Zygos in my collection are literally about 10 times larger than this Huntleya! It may just be a seedling, I’m actually not sure. But it’s a cutie:

Huntleya heteroclita
Teeny Huntleya heteroclita

The smallest of my new orchids, however, is the Phalaenopsis violacea, which arrived in a 2″ pot:

Phal violacea
Adorable Phal violacea

Last but not least is the Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica, which has a small spike growing from its base! I will be SO THRILLED if this plant blooms soon!!

Phal hieroglyphica
Phal hieroglyphica

You can see the little mitten-shaped spike in this close-up:

Phal hieroglyphica spike
Phal hieroglyphica spike!

I haven’t repotted any of my new orchids yet (BAD!!) but I am going to do so this week to make sure all is ok with the plants’ roots.

In other news, this morning I finally bought a thermometer/humidity meter for my Orchid Room so that I can actually start to monitor these things; I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile! Already, I see that the humidity in the room is just over 50% so I think I’m going to get a small humidifier.

Hausermann’s Summer Sale: 20% off Orchids!

Orchid Sale!

I was looking at orchid porn photos yesterday evening because I was bored and still nursing a cold. To make myself feel better, I went to one of my favorite online stores: Orchids by Hausermann, and immediately discovered that they are running a summer sale on orchids—all orders are 20% off between July 18 and August 15!

So…you can see where this is headed. The orchid addiction is bad enough at full price—especially on Hausermann’s, which has some pretty good prices to begin with. But a 20% discount? I’m hopeless. Here are the four orchids that I ordered, with photos from Hausermann’s website:

1. Huntleya heteroclita – originally $7.99, $6.39 with discount. This one might have to make the next edition of Unfortunate Orchid Names. I’d never heard of Huntleya before, and after doing some research I discovered it’s in the same subtribe as Zygopetalum, which is one of my favorite types of orchids. No wonder I was immediately attracted to this one.

2. Encyclia cochleata – originally $10, $8 with discount. This orchid was my very first Orchid of the Week selection. I REALLY hope I can get this one to bloom. The flowers are so incredibly unique and adorable!

3. Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica ‘Egyptian Lore’ x self – originally $10, $8 with discount

4. Phalaenopsis violacea (Malaysia x var. Borneo) – originally $15, $12 with discount. I chose this variety as Orchid of the Week recently.

Guess what? I felt better after placing my orchid order. 😛 Now I wait on pins and needles for my shipment to arrive. If you’ve got an orchid itch that needs to be scratched, make sure you take advantage of Hausermann’s summer sale ASAP*!

*I just want to note that I write about Hausermann’s simply because I like the site. I don’t have any sort of deal with them whatsoever. Even with the FTC blog regulations it can be hard to tell who is in bed with whom, so I wanted to make that clear.  🙂