I love orchids, and a few years ago, my sister sent this one to me. I don't remember why she sent it to me, but I do know that I was very happy to receive it. I believe this is a Phalaenopsis Orchid, but I couldn't swear to it. Originally, this orchid lived in a really cool wicker basket, until I ruined it, so now it lives in this recycled Amaryllis pot.
Anyway, this orchid was gorgeous when it arrived, but sadly, it never bloomed again. I couldn't figure out what I did wrong; the leaves started crisping up and the stems started dying back. One day, my sister looked at my pitiful plant and yelled at me, "I thought you were the gardener in this family? What on earth have you done to that orchid?!"
Oops. I had a confession to make: I told my sister that although I love orchids, I actually had no idea how to take care of them. I knew that they needed to be babied, but I didn't have the patience to take care of it. Obviously, she wasn't pleased with me.
The very next day, my sister called and wanted to know why I kept my orchid on my kitchen radiator. I didn't have a very good answer for her – and I could hear her calling me an idiot in her head. She told me that I was killing my orchid and I needed to move it pronto. According to my sister, my dining room window was the perfect spot (a shaded South-facing window).
Relunctantly, I did as I was told. (But, I wasn't happy about it! Who really wants to be bossed around by their younger sister? I'm the bossy older sister, and she was stepping on my turf!) Much to my (humbled) surprise, my orchid started growing again!
Right before Thanksgiving, I saw all of these weird, spindly-looking things climbing out of the pot. They were a bit freaky, so I was happy to read that they were just the roots of my orchid and that this is a normal occurence. (FYI – I also learned that I don't have to repot my orchid until the actual body reaches the edges of the pot.) For awhile, the creepy-looking roots kept on growing, and growing, and growing – but nothing else really happened.
When it came time to decorate for the Holidays, I went to move my orchid off of the sideboard, but stopped mid-move. Something had happened! The leaves were healthy and green, the roots were long and firm, and…a second stem had appeared! Out of nowhere, my poor pitiful orchid had made a complete turnaround and now I had two stems – and – they both had little buds on them!
It might sound dorky, but I was in awe. I still don't know why this little plant stayed with me all this time, but I'm happy it did. My orchid is even more beautiful than the day it first arrived! Thank you Little Sister for kicking me in the pants!
Good links about Orchids: