What?! An ORCHID Blooming for ME???
My Brassavola orchid decided it was time to bloom! I couldn’t be more thrilled, especially because I was just getting ready to write a post about how orchids are dumb and I’m never bothering to buy another one again (yes. I said it. If I had a greenhouse where I could grow them all in lava rock and water them every day without caring about rot I might try them again but until then NO.) but since this one decided to bless me with one bloom (and another on the way) I guess I’ll hold off. The fragrance is interesting and easy enough to describe. It smells exactly like the Matthiola “department” of Koehler and Dramm Wholesale Floritsts in Minneapolis. It doesn’t smell like just stock (though it does smell very strongly of it, hence the reference to that part of the florist) but it also smells quite a lot like a whole sale florist in general. It’s extremely strong, the one single bloom is currently in my bedroom, with the door closed and I can STILL smell it in the living room. It’s nocturnally fragrant which is nice because I can enjoy the smell while I’m home (day fragrant plants are so overrated…who is home in the middle of the day to enjoy them?!). I have no idea WHY this particular plant decided to bloom for me, but since it did I suppose I’ll make some notes of the care I’ve given it in case any of you ever find one for sale (I got mine at Lowes) and decide you want to give it a go. I can’t promise this will make it flower or even happy but it’s what I’m doing and my plant seems happy so hey, why not give it a shot!
Light: I’ve got it in a west window that gets sun most of the day. We had a pretty sunny winter so I think it can handle all this sun just fine.
Water: I let it get relatively dry between waterings…usually give it water about once a week.
Soil: Like all epiphytic orchids they like to grow in a nice bark mixture. Since the roots are relatively fine on this one I’ve got it in a much finer grade of bark than I would a Phalaenopsis or Cattleya.
Fertilizer: I think I might have fertilized this twice in the last year with a generic 10-10-10 fertilizer.
Temperatures: I think this might be part of why my plant seems so keen on blooming. I’ve got it growing next to a very…cold? window. It’s not drafty, the wind doesn’t blow through it but it is an older building so they’re not the best insulated. I’m guessing the steady drop in temps at night helps it bloom.
I will also note that I put my plant outside for the summer and let it fend for itself. I’m not sure if that helps or hurts it but the plant still looks healthy so it can’t be all bad!
As usual, see the Cast of Characters page for more plants that I have made care sheets for!