Another first

One thing that really makes orchid geeks like me happy is getting a new plant to bloom for the first time. They are often in bloom when you buy them, but that doesn’t count. It’s all about getting them to flower in your house – the true test of orchid happiness.


This interesting flower belongs to Epicattleya (Epc) Rene Marques ‘Flame Thrower.’ I don’t usually go for larger plants (this one isn’t huge, but it is about two feet tall) because our house is small. But while I do adore my minis, I was smitten when I set eyes on this stunner at the 2013 Cape and Islands Orchid Show.

This orchid lives in the sunniest south-facing window, and is watered weekly and fertilized like my other orchids every second week, with alternating Superthrive and Michigan State University Tap Water Special. I have been told not to cut the spike back when it is finished blooming, because it could produce more flowers.

I think the combination of green, yellow and pink produce a brightness at a time of year when we need it most.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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9 Responses to Another first

  1. When bright yellow blends well with pink, that will be very unique


  2. Lee May says:

    I couldn’t agree more. A bloom isn’t “real” until it’s coaxed from scratch. You do a fine job of making them real.


  3. Kathy says:

    Spectacular! Are most of you unusual plants purchased at shows?


    • dirtynailz says:

      Yes. And I have certain growers that I buy from at shows, too. I like the idea of buying directly from the grower without a middle-person.
      I have also bought plants from the growers who speak at our orchid club meetings. They always bring plants to sell.


  4. Kathy says:

    I know you’ve probably covered this before, but our local market had a large supply of “Ice Orchids” for sale today. I couldn’t resist a tiny deep purple and white mini, and as always seems to be the case, was asked by the cashier how to tend orchids since her lone phal with a remaining leaf isn’t doing well. My first question always seems to be “You’re putting ice on it, right?” to which I get an affirmative. My next comment is “Why would a tropical plant like ice on its feet?” which in turn gets the furrowed brow! Today’s poor plant was also being kept in the dark! I always give your great info, DN, in the hope that another orchid can somehow be saved! 🙂 Thanks for all of your pointers!


    • dirtynailz says:

      I think I’ve become a bit of a nuisance about all that, Kathy. Every time I enter someone’s home or office and there’s a poor dehydrated orchid there, I can’t resist at least offering some basic advice. Besides, how can you sit next to something that’s dying and not DO something? Very bad feng sui.


  5. Kathy says:

    You haven’t been a nuisance at all although your enthusiasm for orchids has spawned a collection here of some 35 plants! 🙂 Haven’t lost a one and brought almost all of them back to bloom with your advice! Keep up the good work and useful hints.


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