The Orchid Hospital

Mary's picture

Sometimes we start something without realizing how it is going to evolve – the potted plant that becomes a garden, or the new hobby you know will eventually bankrupt you, etc., you get the idea… that happened to us. I spotted a darling orchid while waiting in a grocery checkout lane. I was not shopping for orchids, it was the furthest thing from my mind, I will however, admit to being desperate for a sign of life during our long Wisconsin winter, but I did not know at the time the orchid would be that sign.

It was a very pretty plant and in the dead of winter, it called out to me as a sign of hope for spring, with lots of flowers, the colors being beautiful white with pink spots, yellow centers. It was the perfect thing to cheer up the kitchen while waiting for the snow to melt.

It survived the cold ride home, and looked so nice, cheering us with the flowers, which seemed to go on and on. After two months, tragedy, the blooms fell off and then after six weeks, redemption – it bloomed again! The only thing to do was to get another orchid, in a different color – this time a big pink one, which did just fine. Then a friend went south for the winter and said she was going to throw out her orchid, so I offered to take it, and what a mess. Big problem, it had to come out of a very small pot. So I got planting ‘medium’ (they don’t grow in dirt) and tried to get it out of the pot – it would not budge – it couldn’t even get water, so a knife around the edge finally loosened it enough to pull out a mass of stuff that practically filled a gallon ice cream pail. It was re-potted in a larger pot and now has new leaves, for a start.

Then came the largest one – a giant pot, over two gallons, with three separate orchids in it. It was the remains of a marriage, and although it had had good care, it was struggling. After a second household move, it came to live with us and now two of the three plants have new stems with buds and about eight buds each. One plant only has one new leaf but it will be fine, in time. The kitchen table is getting crowded; there are now six orchid plants, all getting light in the east windows and thriving. The original orchid is the best so far and now has 28 blooms. It looks like a bouquet on a stem. I think they like having friends around, just like us… Take a look at the picture attached. I am a proud orchid mama.

Please feel free to share your story, we will feel better if we are not alone with our little obsessions! Feel free to share your orchid pictures!

Remember, it’s rChance to Thrive, Every Day and in Every Way!

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