Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Gonna Bloom

Oh, the sun is shining, the grass is white, and my paph orchid is going to bloom.  I am in heaven this morning (well, I'd prefer green grass, but two out of three ain't bad).

I have been growing orchids for several years now.  I only have around twenty five due to lack of space inside and no greenhouse outside.  I have also been battling mealy bugs that I believe came in on a new orchid last spring and have lost a few small ones not strong enough to fight the infestation.

Anyway, I have had this particular orchid for three years.  My son Scott bought it for me in bloom one Easter.  He thought it was cool.  It is.  Its Latin name is Paphiopedilum.  It is commonly called "Lady Slipper" orchid.

The following year I had no luck getting it to bloom and I was worried that I could not manage it in my home environment.  But last winter I saw a bud emerge.  I was so excited.  I had the same reaction this morning when I opened the blind to let in the sun and saw the start of a new bud.  I am ecstatic.

You get one flower with this plant, not the array of blossoms as seen on something like a Phalaenopsis.  Those tend to make up the majority of my orchids, although I also have Dendrobiums and and Miltonians.   The Miltonians are called "Pansy Orchids"  due to their resemblance to pansies.  But as you can see below, this is one big flower.

It is so very tempting to keep buying them, but the routine of checking for problems, Making sure they have enough but not too much water, enough light but no harsh sun, etc., helps me keep my credit card in my wallet and enjoy what I currently have.  That is, until the Spring Orchid Show.

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