6.11.2017

Orchids 2017

This is the last bloom on my orchid for spring 2017. In its wilted state, it is a pretty sorry sight.
The last orchid bloom of spring 2017
It makes me a little sad when the blooms fall away because they are so lovely and delicate and I know it will be a while before the plant produces another set of blooms.
Spring 2017 orchid at peak
 The blooms this year were extra special. Dot, the resident kitty, decided to walk on the orchid shelf and managed to knock the orchid pots to the floor last fall after blooming season. There was damage to both plants and I was not sure they would recover enough to bloom. One did not bloom, but I am hopeful it will bloom again in the future.

Close up of first bloom of the season
The plant that did bloom, bloomed in late February and has lasted until now, which is about two months longer than usual. I expect the last boom to fall off any moment. They are like tree leaves, once the blooms start to fall they all drop. Sometimes I have kept the blooms. They will dry and look nice in a flat dish, last season I put them on top of the potting mixture in the plant. Maybe that was a good thing because the plant that made the beautiful flower stem with the blooms also created a Keikis on the other flower stem.     
Spring 2017 Keikis
Keikis, Hawaiian for baby, usually do not bloom for about two years. Friends tell me I am really good with orchids, however, I am sure it has less to do with me and more to do with the environment. Orchids like bright, indirect light, in a warm humid environment. I live in an arid dry environment, but I have a south facing room that heats up nicely, especially in the winter. I keep the orchids where they get bright natural light but no direct sunlight.  

When they outgrew their original pots I moved them from the potting bark mixture to bare roots in glass vases. I set up a watering schedule reminder on my calendar and soak the roots for 30 minutes once each week. Because they are in vases, if it gets extra hot, I will splash about a tablespoon of water over the roots and into the vase during the week. This water will evaporate around the plant creating a slightly more humid mini environment for them. I think they are happy in this environment because they reward me with blooms and new plants and that makes me happy.