Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rewards of Houseplant Rescue

Most of the houseplants that I own have either been rescued from certain death at the hands of black thumbed friends or they were scooped from the bargain section of a home improvement superstore or supermarket.

We haven't had any major houseplant overwatering tragedies this year but the citrus trees are sulking a bit. The aphids problem didn't help. I think I've got those little sap sucking pests under control.

Over the course of a couple of weeks last summer I bought some orchid plants. They weren't the usual phalaenopsis or moth orchid that are commonly on offer. These were not-quite-so-common varieties. The flower spikes on these orchids had either run their course or had been accidentally been snapped off. Once a flower spike is gone from an orchid plant, they are difficult to sell. It is hard to sell any blooming plant that doesn't have blossom on full display so the prices on these plants were very very low. I couldn't resist 'em. I've never grown orchids before and I thought I'd give these orphan orchids a shot.

I managed to completely finish off a sorry looking Miltonia. It was really beyond my abilities to save. Perhaps I'll try that one again some day and start with a healthier specimen. This orchid seems to be thriving and has thrown four flower spikes. I thought it was orchid cambria, but now I think that it may have been mislabeled in the shop. It could be orchid cymbidium. Can anybody put me straight? It has graced the Whitelees Cottage dining table for a couple of weeks now. Orchids blossoms last so long and are so beautiful.
Orchid Oncidium (shown above) not only has loads of new aerial roots sticking out all over the place it has also thrown a couple of very large flower spikes. These flower spikes are going to have to be supported as they grow.
Another houseplant, Maranta or Prayer Plant is also in bloom. It is grown more for its foliage than its tiny white flowers, but the fact that it is blooming lets me know that the plant is happy.

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