Saturday, February 2, 2008

Surprise and Success With Orchids

With so many different things growing in the gardens here at Our Little Acre, there are always fun surprises now and then. Peonies reappearing after an absence of ten years. English Daisies blooming in the middle of winter. Sometimes it happens in the house, too.

Remember the yellow kalanchoe that I've been waiting for its buds to open? It happened earlier this week, and imagine my surprise when it wasn't yellow, but white!

How did that happen? Did it wake up one day and decide it didn't like being yellow anymore? It's still pretty, but there's not even a hint of the cheery yellow it once was. Not only that, but the yellow was a double and this is clearly a single. Did it somehow revert to something earlier in its heritage? Or have I lost my mind and don't remember buying the white one? And if so, what happened to the yellow one? Scary...

In other surprises, two of the orchids are spiking! I noticed some time ago that my Miltassia Shelob 'Tolkien' was doing something down in between a couple of leaves. That 'something' is now large enough for me to safely say it's a flower spike. It seems to be growing very slowly, so it will probably be some time before it looks like it did when I first bought it a year and a half ago. This bloom is worth waiting for, though, don't you agree?

The other orchid putting forth a spike is the very first orchid I ever purchased, an unknown Phalaenopsis. This will be the second time it's bloomed since I bought it two years ago. It was in bloom then of course, and again in April of last year. As slowly as these grow, it will likely be April until I have a bloom this time, too.

Lovely orchid surprises - always worth waiting for. And their blooms last much longer than most other flowers' blooms do. I never thought I could make an orchid happy. This is one time I'm glad to admit I was wrong! In all honesty, I don't do anything special with them, even to the point that you could say I ignore them most of the time, so there must be a bit of luck involved.

There is a slight down side to having success with orchids, though. It makes you want to have more, and I do NOT need more houseplants. But when you're a gardener, that's never a good reason not to buy a new plant, is it?


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Golly Kylee, you are going to have all kinds of blooms for the 15th.

I have had the bad luck of plant blooms turning colors on me. I don't know what causes this. It is very frustrating to me.

I love the orchid. It is deifinitely worth the wait. Orchids give such pleasure for so long with their blooms.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

P.S. You have my permission to purchase as many houseplants as you want. tee hee..

Shady Gardener said...

I'll second Lisa! You are definitely a nurturing spirit! ;-) (I must try growing an orchid again!)

kate said...

Hi Kylee,

If I had such good fortune with orchids, I'd just have to have more. Obviously you've got the knack and the perfect spot for them. The bloom on the 'Tolkien' is unbelievably gorgeous. A gardener can never have too many houseplants (even if that does mean turning a room into a plant haven)!

Hmmm... I wonder if little gremlins have been causing confusion with the Kalanchoe. That is definitely not a cheery yellow colour. I like the white though. It's pretty in its own right ... definitely gremlins. I'm putting most everything down to gremlins these days, including the temperatures.

Katie said...

Hi Kylee,

Good job with the orchids! I think they get such a bad wrap for being fussy, but they're quite easy actually!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

You can never have enough Orchids Kylee, so get yourself some more. ;-)

I think the Kalanchoe reverted back to its original self, that happens some times.

Carol Michel said...

Kylee, I wish more gardeners would try orchids inside. You are right, they require no special treatment and their blooms last quite a long time. As for that Kalanchoe... blame the garden fairies. One or two probably came in when you brought in the houseplants last fall. There is no telling what else they will do to "trick" you!

Randy said...

Kylee, it amazes me that you can find so many interesting things to blog about at what I consider to be such a very dreary and depressing time of the year. I admire you and you have inspired me to try harder. Maybe, just maybe, I shall buy me an orchid. BTW the rose in my profile picture is a very, very, very old rose that has been in my family for three generations. When my grandmother had it, it was a beautiful yellow. Now that I have it, the blooms are the most incredible shade of Ivory.

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ These won't be blooming by the 15th. Orchids are pretty slow growers, most of them, so maybe in March?

And okay, if I buy an orchid today when the girls and Romie and I visit the Ft. Wayne Botanical Gardens, it's ALL YOUR FAULT! ;-)

Shady Gardener ~ So do I need to spread the blame around a little now? LOL. Yes, try one! I think you'll be surprised. Just remember to ignore it once you've got it. Well, throw a little water at it now and then...

Kate ~ Yes, gremlins. That must be it. And I'm right with you on the weather thing.

Katie ~ I've found that out! And that's a very dangerous thing. Most of them are not cheap. :-(

Yolanda Elizabet ~ Yes, I agree. That kalanchoe must have been white somewhere back in its lineage. And single. So maybe it went through a divorce? LOL.
Okay, so now you get to share some of the orchid blame, too, if I end up with a new one. There's enough blame to go around.

Carol ~ Gremlins and fairies. I just can't control them. You know what DID come in with the Kalanchoe when I brought it in? Earthworms. Twice, we found an earthworm inching its way across the carpet in the family room where the Kalanchoe is, shortly after bringing them up from the cool basement. There was soil below the pot, which is on a plant stand, and there's no other way they could have gotten in. I had dug the Kalanchoe from the garden and put it in the pot to bring in the house. Probably the warmth of the family room brought them out. ICK!

Jamie (I'm guessing it's Jamie!)~ Well, thank you. If you knew me in real life, you wouldn't be surprised that I can find things to blog about. I can talk with the best of 'em. And I can segue from anything to anything. If there's the least little tidbit of a connection from one thing to another, I can find it and switch the conversation. LOL. My mom passed that talent on to me. ;-)
You MUST try an orchid! Get a phalaenopsis. They seem to be the easiest, from what people say.
Is that a scan of your rose? Beautiful! Flowers seem to have minds of their own, don't they?

Unknown said...

Nicely done, Kylee! I've been going to go down to see some friends who breed orchids and buy a couple of the easier ones from them, since my phalaenopsis has been doing so well, only I've learned one of them is having surgery tomorrow for bladder cancer, so I don't want to bother them right now. They have so many glorious orchids, I should just post some images even though I don't remember what all the photos are...

Barbara said...

I love your orchids. Mine have just come into flower for the 3rd year running. I agree success makes one want to buy more.

Kerri said...

After seeing these lovely orchids I'm dreaming of having some of my own. The 'Tolkien' is exquisite!
The kalanchoe is pretty even in white.
I enjoyed reading about your lilac and reappearing peony :)
And those white African violets shining with iridescence...gorgeous!
Fun memories of your hometown. How nice to go back for a visit.

Anonymous said...

I love orchids too. They help make the dreary days of winter a little more bearable.

Randy said...

The picture of the rose is actually an infrared shot Jamie took one night. I maintain the blog, Jamie doesn’t have time. He does do a tremendous amount of work in the garden with me so I like to make sure everyone knows it’s our garden. I have two bad disk in my back so he does all the hard work and bless his heart, never complains.

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