Tale of an Orchid: back from the dead!

Although orchids have typically been known for symbolize love, luxury and beauty, I find that fertility and strength are more literal interpretations of what this exotic plant variety represents. Even after death, these creatures learn to re-grow from the same roots into tall beautiful flowers, over and over again.

I thought I had lost an orchid, but was told plainly by a friend with a real green thumb that I could revive the plant with proper care. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I challenged myself to the test.

First, I had to gut the pot and give it all new soil. The trick to soil – which I learned by accidentally killing many plants – is proper drainage. I like to line my pot bottoms with small river rocks and a layer of loosely packed moss. Once I fill the pot with a moist soil, I trim away the dead roots [white and dried out, or worse, brown] and gently pack them into their cozy new home.

I also place the pot in a tupperwear lid [or others inventive tray like contraption] to drain excess water as well. Once my plant was situated, I went out and bought some orchid food. I mix it with water and feed them every 2 weeks, but water lightly throughout the weeks as the top layer of soil dries out. Another great thing to pick up is a mini spray bottle from the travel toiletries section, if you mist your leaves they will grow to be a shiny, lush green.

When finding a place for your orchid, make sure to give them consistent natural light. The only caveat is that if you put them in direct sunlight, they will die fairly quickly. Air on the safe side, it makes a world of difference and your orchid could last months without needing replanting.

Like magic, our year-old white Phalaenopsis orchid was born anew. We are now giving her a second round of treatment, along with another purple spotted variety I picked up in this past winter. I am hopeful they will both grow back, hopefully while Spring is in the air!

Orchids at a nursery in Chiang Mai

Orchids at a nursery in Chiang Mai

a phalaenopsis orchid

a phalaenopsis orchid like the one I have regrown

the perfect accent flower

Posing with some more orchids in Thailand

Posing with some more orchids in Thailand

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One thought on “Tale of an Orchid: back from the dead!

  1. Pingback: Centerpieces that last for months | The Dyslexic Designer

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