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My little rainforest retreat

December 19th, 2003 · 1 Comment


I got this vibrant purple orchid plant as a gift a few weeks ago. I put it in my shower, thinking that would be the best place, since it is the room that most resembles a rainforest, the natural habitat of orchids.

Nestled in the corner beside my bathtub, the orchid receives plenty of steam and sunlight. Also it gives me a wonderful view from the tub. I can immerse myself in the blossoms, imagining I am somewhere else, perhaps relaxing in a rainforest far away…so when I hear the kids bouncing about in the hall, I can pretend I am hearing toucans calling to each other or spider monkeys screeching about in the branches of the trees….

No, not really, but it is nice to have something so lovely to look at during the few moments I spend in the bathroom…and the orchid has even been helpful for homeschooling. Earlier this week Abigail wanted to read a book she had gotten as a gift, a book about rainforests. So we read it a bit, and then I took the kids upstairs so they could see and touch the bromeliad and orchid beside my bathtub. Doing a little surfing on the web, we found a fun site with pictures of rainforest plants, animals and people Learning About Rainforests .

In this picture here, you can see the fern and bromeliad, along with the arc of orchid blossoms against my bathroom wall….

You can also see how the blossoms have fallen off of the end of the branch. So I was wondering, if anyone has any advice about how to care for this plant? Is there an orchid doctor in the house?

I confess that I do not usually have houseplants. I rely on rain to water what I plant outside. So when the buds began falling off of the ends, I suddenly realized that I had not watered the orchid well. Now in the mornings I try to make it part of my routine of getting ready: brush teeth, put in contacts, dump a couple cups of water into the orchid….But I was wondering if anyone has any experience caring for these delicate and lovely flowers. The last orchid I had I killed, and I don’t want to do the same for this one. After all, it has been quite helpful, providing some ideas for homeschooling for the kids and a nice little escape for me.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Roy // Dec 22, 2003 at 12:09 pm


    Hope your orchid (by the looks of it a phalaenopsis – butterfly orchid) is doing well and you are enjoying it. Couple of questions first: What is the temperature in your bathroom most of the day? What is the orchid planted in – little bark chip or moss?

    If the bathroom goes hot then cold rapidly or just too cold – lower than about 55 degress F, this could have cause the newly forming buds to drop. The other thing that could have caused the buds to drop is if the buds did not have chance to dry out. I say this because you say you give the orchid “..couple cups of water…” every morning. This type of orchid does not need to be watered daily in the winter especially if there is no “breeze” to dry out the bark. This “breeze’ also drys the buds and leaves to prevent rot. Also as you water try to keep the center of the orchid, called the crown, dry or dry it out after watering. This will prevent “crown rot”. I’ve lost too many orchids to this almost terminal orchid malady.

    I hope some of this ranting was helpful.