Recently I attended the annual show of the local orchid society. Although in the end I decided against purchasing any orchids I had a fantastic time browsing the displays and taking to some of the growers. I also picked up a booklet on cultivating orchids in New Zealand, which covers the most popular types of orchid in New Zealand.
Several years ago I bought a moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) on sale at a local shop. I brought it home, put it on a shelf and watered it regularly, just as I do with all my thriving house-plants.
But my orchid didn’t thrive, which was entirely my own fault. Even an orchid as accommodating as the moth orchid still has more specialised needs than the average spider plant. So about a year ago I decided to give my moth orchid a little TLC.
Repotted in a special orchid mix, moved to a better location, and watered fortnightly with a special orchid food, which was allowed to drain away once it had soaked into the potting mix (many orchids, including the moth orchid, are epiphytes and hate having ‘wet feet’) it began to put forth new leaves, then a flower stem. About a week ago it unfurled the first of its large, beautiful, glossy white and pink flowers. I was delighted. Continue reading “Orchids”