Sunday, May 22, 2011

My new (not so new really) favorite thing

Orchids in interior design!

I absolutely adore orchids.  They are exotic, colorful, and eye-catching. Granted, they are very, very difficult to keep alive.  I have only tried once, and lets just say that it failed miserably. I have been looking to get another orchid, but I honestly just haven't gotten around to it yet.

So for those of you who don't know, here are some quick facts on orchids.  They thrive in tropical weather, which is warm during the day (75 F) and a bit cooler at night (65 F).  This change in temperature is what allows them to flower. They do not like direct sunlight as it will burn their leaves. The "top" of the leaves that we see when an orchid is sitting upright in a pot is actually the underside of their leaves in nature.  So obviously, the underside of the leaves are not accustomed to a great deal of direct light. Orchids like a gentle breeze to keep them dry.  The reason why orchids are so difficult to keep alive is because their roots often remain to moist between waterings which leads to root rot.  Any sitting water, anywhere, on an orchid is a recipe for disaster. I found this out the hard way. In nature orchids do not grow in the ground, instead they attach to the trunks of trees, rocks, etc.  Because of this they do NOT like a lot of water. Water usually drains off of them relatively quickly in nature.  When we domesticate them and put them in pots, oftentimes they end up sitting in water.  The best medium for orchids is bark...some people say a mixture of bark and moss, I disagree. Orchids should be watered about once every two weeks.  They should dry out completely between waterings.  They should never sit in water.  So, are you seeing why orchids are so difficult to keep? As I said, I found out the hard way. Back when I had my orchid, I did not yet have Sofie and I treated that plant like a pet.  Needless to say, I was very, very upset when it turned yellow and died.  My mistake, in this endeavor, was not properly educating myself prior to the purchase of my not cheap plant. This is just some information that I would have liked someone to have told me before my disaster! :)