Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April Orchids

When looking back at the orchids that were blooming in March and April of last year, I noticed that many of them are late in blooming this year. I can't help but think it's due to the amount of time they spent indoors this past winter and the cooler temps in February and March.

One orchid I can always depend on to bloom for the entire month of April is Jewel Box. I've had this orchid for more than 20 years, and I can't remember an April when it didn't bloom.

Three phalaenopsis decided to join Jewel Box and have been slowly revealing their pretty blooms.

But the star of the show this month is the Nun's orchid. With its tall stalk it stands nearly 5 feet tall, and it has showered us with blossoms for weeks.  It's easy to grow...give it a good spot with filtered sunlight and it will reward you in spring. My mom was generous enough to passalong this plant to me when she divided hers.

Here's a close-up view of the beautiful flowers which darken as they age.


Ami said...

Oh, Susan! Love that Nun's orchid, SOOOOOOOO beautiful! Never saw it in any nursery before. I don't know why my Jewel Box only lasted two weeks, could it have anything to do I brought indoor after it blooms? But I was happy enought it even flowers for me. I am also happy that two phalaenopsis also re-bloomed for me for the first time.

Deborah said...

Gorgeous, all of them! I'm almost tempted to go out and try orchids again. I've bought 'em in bloom, but never been able to get a repeat. (In fact, they're all dead now.) Orchids tremble in fear when they hear my name.

Dani said...

That Nun's Orchid is gorgeous! How lucky you are to enjoy it in person!!

Floridagirl said...

How wonderful to be able to say you've been growing an orchid for 20 years!!! I am still such a newbie at this hobby! I too love the nun's orchid. Do you know of a nursery where one can be purchased?

Rainforest Gardener said...

One of these days I'll break for one of those nuns orchids! Are there any orchids that you leave outdoors in winter?

Susan said...

Ami...I'm not sure where my mom bought her Nun's orchid. She's had it for awhile. Bringing your orchid indoors could have shortened the bloom time, but at least you got to enjoy up close. Glad to hear you're having luck getting your orchids to rebloom. The blooms definitely are beautiful.

Deborah...I can just see all the orchids on the table at Lowe's trembling when you walk by. :-) I'll bet one day you'll give it another try.

Dani...I thoroughly enjoyed it...even brought it on to the patio right outside the window for closer viewing.

FloridaGirl...I have seen them at H.D. from time to time. You may have better luck at a local nursery. The bloom time (spring) is probably the best time to find one.

Rainforest Gardener...the only orchid we left outdoors this past winter were the cymbidiums and they didn't experience any damage. We were hoping the cold weather would force them into bloom...still hoping. All others we bring in when the temps dip below 48 degrees.

sanddune said...

Your Nun's Orchid is really outstanding!And your Phals running a close second.Orchids are neat if they wern't so addicting.

Susan said...

sanddune...they are addictive. The big box stores are full of them right now for mother's day and I have to force myself to keep my distance, otherwise I'll end up at the counter with one (or two) of them.

Orlando Realtor said...

Your orchids are just beautiful. I should have known that you would grow them. Most of mine have already bloomed...so now I wait for the next go round. My Vanda had buds that dried up and never opened, although the plant is healthy. I think probobly because it spent so many weeks indoors with the heat on.

NanaK said...

Aaak! My comment on this post disappeared. Or rather, never appeared. Anyway, I love all your orchids. Mine are sulking after being neglected indoors this winter. None are blooming. I am going to try giving some extra care to them since reading this post. Do you have a favorite potting medium?

That Nun's orchid is gorgeous. I saw lots and lots of them in bloom on my trip to Bok Tower gardens last week. I had never seen it before. Do you keep yours in a pot?

Sorry for so many questions. I think I'll peruse your archives to look for any orchid info posts. Thanks for encouraging me to keep trying with my orchid babies.

ldybug said...

To follow one plant (orchid) for 20 years is awesome. I hope I can follow a plant for that long.

Susan said...

Orlando Realtor...I agree with you that the orchids suffered from being indoors so much this winter. They do appear to be perking up. :-)

Hi Kay...My orchids have been sulking, too but are just now starting to bloom. We use a the orchid potting medium that you buy at H.D...nothing special. I think the most important thing the slow-release fertilizer packets that I place on the top of the bark. Everytime I water...the plant gets fertilized. I'm past due replacing them (every six months) now and the plants don't look as good as usual. To see a photo of the packets and how to make them, click on the "orchid obsession" tab under my header.

What day did you got to Bok Gardens? I was over there on Friday morning. Did you buy any plants? I found quite a few...dwarf gardenia, virginia sweetspire, banana shrub, stokesia and some tillandsia's. I always enjoy going there and the nun's orchids were gorgeous. I definitely keep mine in a large clay pot (I bring it in when temps dip into the 40's) and in filtered sunlight. I toss a small handful of slow-release fertilizer pellets on top every 6 months, and that's it. They're really easy.

Idybug...Hello and welcome! I almost lost Jewel Box once, but she hung on and I'm glad she did. I have one other orchid that's 20 years old and it's HUGE.

Meems said...

I've seen those Nun's orchids blooming lots lately and they really are stunning. Are they true orchids? All your orchids are marvelous ... every photo of them makes me want to invest in some.

Susan said...

Hi Meems...Yes, the Nun is a true orchid. It's considered a terrestrial orchid...meaning that it's one that grows in dirt. It's a bit too cold here in the winter to plant it outdoors, so I grow mine in a pot. You're gonna have to breakdown and buy yourself an orchid. You have the perfect conditions with all your oak trees.

NanaK said...

Susan - I went to Bok 4/24 and that's where I bought the African Blue Basil. I loved the nursery there. Quite reasonable price-wise and lots of things not readily available elsewhere.

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