The one question that I am asked more than any other one is "How did you get started in orchids?" With this question in mind, I decided to write this fun article about that subject.
How did I get hooked on orchids? Easy. I bought one -- just ONE!
My first encounter began in 1981 when I spotted a strange looking plant while browsing in a nursery. It was an orchid planted on a piece of cork bark. I took a closer look at it and then made the momentous mistake -- I bought it. The owner gave me its botanical name Oncidium jonesianum
I took my new possession home and placed my treasure near my living room window where I could keep a close eye-out for those first expectant flowers. It was not long before it started growing long stems which I learned were flower spikes. After two months these flower spikes produced the most beautiful butterfly-looking flowers I had ever seen.
It was incredible that something growing on a piece of bark could produce such lovely flowers. I was ecstatic! I had to have another one. I immediately returned to the nursery to see what they had. I wanted BIG blooms, so the salesperson recommended that I purchase a Cattleya
I placed my new prize near the window with my wonderful Cattleya
. I hovered over my new Cattleya
like a proud mother waiting for her first born baby to speak its first word. But alas, my Cattleya
just sat there looking sad. I watered it, nurtured it, even sang to it, but nothing did any good. I was about to give up on this rebellious orchid and chuck it into the trash, when one morning around Christmas, I noticed a flower sheath forming! Success!
My patience was, at long last about to be rewarded. I returned to the loving, nurturing mother's mode and finally, in February, I was blessed with five of the largest white blooms I had ever seen. The size and fragrance were overwhelming!
Back to the orchid store I went. I was two for two! I obviously knew what I was doing, so this time I bought quite a variety of orchids. Into the living room they went. Needless to say, I was hooked. Each time one would bloom I rushed out and bought another one.
One year later, our living room looked like a jungle suitable for a Tarzan movie
. My husband even started calling me Jane and made weird Tarzan noises every time he went into the living room.