Orchids: Captured Beauty in a Pot

I am afraid to touch my orchid.

Blue Mystique orchid against a wood wall, in a green pot.
This Blue Mystique orchid has only dropped a few blossoms since February.

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.

Close-up of blossoms on a Blue Mystique orchid 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

Pink spotted orchids in the Volunteer Park Conservatory orchid room.
There’s nothing subtle about an orchid’s beauty. I love their drama! Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle. Credit: Leah Nyfeler
  • 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!
Pink orchids in the trees at Washington D.C.'s U.S. Botanical Garden
Don’t forget to look up when you visit the orchid room at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. Credit: Leah Nyfeler
Cat King Orchid US Botanical Gardens
Multiple orchids cluster. Note the name of those yellow beauties in the U.S. Botanical Garden orchid room. Credit: Leah Nyfeler
White orchids from Ecuador in the U.S. Botanical Gardens.
White orchids from Ecuador at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Photo of orchid and folded clothes on tray with Marie Kondo book on tidying up.

  • 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”?)

Screenshot of Ikea Fejka artificial potted white orchid plant.



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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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