Ready for a multi-faceted lecture? I am! Go, it’s project time!
Part one: our unlikely greens, ORCHIDS! Maybe I’m one of the few folks out there who appreciates orchids in form and function, both in and out of flower. Seriously, from the lobed pairs of leaves of the Phalaenopsis orchid, to the strappy leaves held on awesome pseudobulbs of several other varieties!!! Wait… Pseudobulb??? It’s the stem and storage organ between two leaf nodes on your orchid plant.
Plants in the Orchidaceae family (orchids) have many specialized features, but are prized largely for their stunning show of flowers. There’s a lot of odds-and-ends information about this unique group of plants, and a little know-how regarding their care. I’ll nerd-out on orchids for you any day of the week given the chance, but for this bit I’ll keep it simple and to the point: These are unique, awesome plants that seriously deserve an infomercial or two (“Set it… and forget it!”); their care is relatively minimal as far as time and effort go. While their flowers are temporary, you have to admire the fact that they will often last months on end from start to finish (take that, Geranium!), and once all of that sparkle and glamour of soaring spikes of flowers is through, we are left with still an interesting houseplant. Green and oxygen-giving, just like they’re supposed to.
In efforts of further reducing my carbon footprint, I’ve been using some leftovers as really neat orchid pots. Check it out:
Orchids grow in very loose mediums – not your standard potting soil. Often grown in chips of bark, I prefer to make a mix of bark, spaghnum and a little bit of soil, just for water retention. Planting your orchids directly into these cardboard cylinders is both beautiful and highly functional. The breathability of the material allows the orchid’s potting mix and roots to get some fresh air - they never like to stay too wet. As for other care: diffused to bright light is ideal and humidity is key. It’s only a small task for me to mist my orchids and the soil surface once a day to provide a humid microclimate within my home.
No one’s flowering right now, but I’m content to admire, sit, and wait… So I hope you can, too. Branch out and add a new plant family to your collection and a little aromatherapy!