I've seen the "Just Add Ice" orchids in the stores before and thought to myself, "Yeah, sure." I even bought one awhile back and discarded the ice information, because everything in me says that putting ice on orchids just has to be wrong.
Tonight, we made our weekly trip to Van Wert for groceries and a little Christmas shopping and while in Walmart, there they were again. Lots of them. Looking lovely as orchids are wont to do and what's this? They're marked down to $10. Oh why, Walmart? Why must you tempt me so?
I walked past them and down a couple of aisles, but the yellow and pink one that caught my eye was stuck in my brain and just wouldn't get out. I walked back to look at it again and noticed it was the only one like it among the whites, magentas, and pale greens. It had two flowering spikes, with auxiliary shoots on each one. Big, fat, frosted green roots touted its health.
So I, possessing a gardener's mind and no willpower, picked it up and put it in my shopping cart, right next to the shampoo and cat food, which we actually needed. Sure, that's $10 that I could better spend elsewhere, but I have a super duper system of cutting corners in one place so I can spend it in another. I'll figure something out that negates that $10 so the orchid will end up being free! I'm really good at this - trust me.
But about this ice thing... Now that I'd bought my second one, I decided to check this out and try doing what they recommend, which is to add three ice cubes to the top of the pot once a week. They'll even e-mail you to remind you that it's time to ice your orchid.
Just Add Ice Orchids is a business located in Oberlin, Ohio (hey, I've been there!). They get their orchids from Green Circle Growers and Mid-American Growers, two of the largest greenhouse operations in the Midwest. They have partnered with P. Allen Smith to bring a plant with a reputation for being fussy to the general public, to get them to try their hand at growing an orchid as easily as possible.
Not everyone is a believer. Read the comments following an article published in August by Greenhouse Grower, and you'll see what I mean. Experienced orchid growers say watering with ice is a no-no. Consumers who have given it a try have had success. I tend to ask the same thing of the experienced as the consumers do: "Have you tried it?" My guess is that the naysayers have not, because it would never occur to them to do so.
Well, I'm trying it this time. I've killed orchids doing it "the right way," so if I kill it with ice, who's to say the ice would be to blame? And for $10, I'll still have this lovely orchid sitting on the plant stand beside me for at least as long as a fresh bouquet costing the same amount of money or more, probably longer. For me, it's a win either way.