To me, they are the most erotic, exotic and fascinating of all species in the entire plant kingdom. With their magnificent, majestic blooms, they are the singers, dancers and entertainers of the indoor plant world. Collectors pay small fortunes for rare species, people have (quite literally) killed for them and they’ve been the inspiration for many blockbuster films – amongst them, the wonderful ‘Adaptation’ with Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, in which Orchids are referred to as ‘God’s Miracles’ - Superstars in pursuit of unembarrassed passion but put under the spell of an Orchid!
Here in Ireland, the Phalaenopsis has to be the superstar of Orchids, but don’t believe the very common misconception; it’s no prima-donna and demands no extra special attention. Back in 2007, when I started a plant shop in the Habitat Furniture Store, I called the shop Ed-Orchid, because I wanted people to share the fascination… with the ‘Ed’ stemming from Education. Even today, I am still mesmerised by their ability to adapt and survive where others would perish.
A charming example of this ‘adaptation’ happened recently in a well-known Dublin Supervalu shop, to whom we supply and deliver flowers and plants, and it happened quite by accident! An Orchid had fallen down behind the shelving unit and wedged itself upside down between the shelves and wall, but crucially, right beside the large outer shop window – giving it just enough adequate light to survive. Its days would have been numbered if it were a Begonia or a Hyacinth! But just like Nicolas Cage (who, despite wilting occasionally on our screens but keeps reflowering in some other guise) our superstar Orchid re-adjusted to it’s new ‘gravity challenged’ circumstances. Its leaves and flowers continued to grow, albeit upside down and the whole scene was highly amusing when it was discovered some time later by the cleaners. Don’t think for a moment that the shop isn’t cleaned regularly; on the contrary it’s spotless! But the plant shelving unit is isolated at the shop entrance and a freak accident allowed for a little bit of magic in nature here!
In the ‘natural world’ genuine adaptation takes time, the kind that would test the patience of a real saint! However to love our Orchids and bring them back into flower we must have patience. Possibly up to 12 month’s of it too, if the flowering stem has died back. Don’t move it around thinking it will flower quicker or better on this window or on that stand and avoid the want to overwater. Bright filtered light is needed here in Ireland, so any bright window with a net curtain is an ideal spot.
Take a good look at the plantstore logo or the flowerstore logo - it’s an Orchid flower. I think our graphic designer has captured it in all its glory. Chosen for its beauty, quality and adaptability, ‘God’s miracle’ is sure to be the star of the show in your window!