I am afraid to touch my orchid.
This particular plant has been in bloom since February, when my husband gave it to me for my birthday. He picked the Blue Mystique beauty up at H-E-B, drawn to its gorgeous stalk of darkly colored, slightly purple-tinted blossoms.
Because I have a tendency to kill houseplants (one notable exception being “the Libby plant,” a pothos ivy that’s older than my first-born daughter), I avidly read the care directions that came with flower. It’s been sitting in front of our kitchen window since then—indirect light—and getting a dose of five ice cubes clustered under its leaves weekly.
Clearly, it likes where it is, and I better not mess that up.
I even hesitated to move it for these photos!
I love orchids but I hate to buy them. Why? Doing so feels like flowercide. Because orchids so rarely bloom again (at least, at my house), I’ve guiltily thrown out many a shriveled, ugly ball of scraggly leaves and gnarled roots months after the final gorgeous flower has dropped.
My entire nature rebels against a single-use plant.
To assuage that guilt, I recently bought an artificial orchid for our bedroom. Oh, I loathe artificial plants, and it took some looking to locate one that fools my hypercritical eye. Surprisingly, I found the perfect white orchid at Ikea; repotted, its plastic roots surrounded with some decorative Spanish moss balls gathered from the yard, the plant looks beautifully real (and its economical price didn’t hurt, either).
On my recent getaways to Seattle and the Washington D.C. area, I visited gardens that featured spectacular orchid rooms; naturally, I took a few photos. And, to help with your orchids at home, I’ve included some educational links in each of the following tips.
Orchid Photos and Tips
- Did you know that there are more than 200 species of orchids in the United States? We have orchids in Texas, and you can see those varieties here, thanks to the North American Orchid Conservation Society’s “Go Orchid” page.
- Learn more about the Volunteer Park Conservatory in this post: “Seattle in 72 Hours.” And keep on the lookout for my write-up on my D.C.-area adventures; it’s coming soon!
- My Blue Mystique orchid will bloom again, though those blossoms will most likely be white. Learn more at silvervase.com.
- You can virtually visit the United States Botanical Garden, located on the Capitol grounds in Washington D.C., and Seattle’s Volunteer Park Conservatory by clicking on the links in their names.
- So you’d like that orchid to bloom again. Just Add Ice has helpful information for getting a Phalaenopsis orchid (that’s what my Blue Mystique is) to blossom another time.
- Or maybe you want to just skip the plant hassle and go artificial. I recommend this fake orchid for eternal blooms and beauty. (Did I fool you in this photo illustrating my post “Decluttering My Closet to Accept My Body”?)