These are trying times. Our patience is being tried and tested. We are weary and troubled. The Story of the Orchid gives hidden hope. Within His creation, within each of us, within our country and with our nation.
Sometime last year – I think it was around my birthday one of my co-worker buddies brought in a blooming orchid. It sat on my desk and captivated me and kept me company for months to come. I had always heard that orchids were quite finicky, like the violets my grandmothers had. Their velvety leaves and delicate blooms required the early morning sun – only. My grandmothers were insistent that was all the light they needed. Gentle rays in early morning. They also taught me, never, and I mean never, get the leaf of a violet wet while watering. “Water from underneath”, they would say.
So, when the orchid arrived at our office, I was a bit intimidated. This amazing and mystical plant was being entrusted to my care. The only thing I was sure of, or had learned, 3 cubes of ice once a week.
And then I hit Google search, and this is what I learned…
- The light they need – bright indirect light
- Minimal watering – easy rule of thumb – 3 ice cubes once a week
- Temperature – their favorite 65 – 85 degrees
- Trimming – blooms will wither and drop off
- Feeding – every other week or once a month
- Bedding – lose bark or moss, never potting soil
Orchids blooms are most intriguing to me. Their delicate suede like petals surround what imitates a cobra mouth. Its fangs open just daring one to draw a finger near.
The life of the orchid is just as intriguing. These plants will produce an abundance of blooms seemingly all at once followed by a few late comers. Blooms hang around for 60-120 days flashing their glorious faces. Then as they came, they go. Fading together as the late comers follow. And then the orchid begs of you…. patience! As these mysterious plants only bloom about once a year.
The first stage of the orchid life cycle is pollination. This process triggers a chemical reaction to kick off the reproduction cycle, causing the orchid to develop seed pods. The seed pods will take 6 to 8 months to mature. In order to produce flowers, the plant will take energy from its leaves, and this may cause some leaves to turn yellow and fall off. It usually takes about 3 months for an orchid to flower.
After it has finished flowering, the orchid will grow a lot of roots, so that it can get the nutrients it needs to start flowering again. The flowers of an orchid usually bloom for several months, and the plant can be pollinated again during this period. It can take anywhere from 9 to 14 months for an orchid to complete a life cycle. If it does not die, it can typically re-bloom once every 8 to 12 months.
The orchid draws it nutrition from within providing its own fuel to bloom and provide beauty for our enjoyment. Although it’s life span short, the lessons of life held within are the inspiration of patience, knowing, and trust. If God can create such a self sufficient and patient plant. He certainty is capable to taking care of His children. Rest in patience.
Information gathered from various sources on the phalaenopsis orchid.