A Tiny Surprise

For several years now, I have been bemoaning the lack of flowers on my ten-year-old orchid.  A year ago, we went to the NC Arboretum’s Orchid Show, and again I tried to figure out why mine wasn’t cooperating.  I repotted it, babied it, gave it lots of humidity, took every suggestion, and still nothing.  Then, two months ago something looked different.  One of the roots was getting a bit bulbous on the end.  On April 16, I took this photo.  It wasn’t a root after all, it was a stem.  Was it actually going to bloom?

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Over two weeks later, May 2, the little pod was turning white and growing larger.  I misted the plant every day.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Two more tiny buds seemed to be forming on the underside.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

May 10, another eight days, and we are only to this point.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Five days later, one petal is making a move.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Then, the next day, a glimpse of what was inside.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Two days later, May 18, over a month since the first bud appeared, we have a gorgeous white flower with a tiger striped throat and spots.  I believe it is a phalaenopsis stuartiana.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Several more days went by, and it seems to be stuck here, with the petals curved over.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I got a close up view of the stunning structure and coloring in the middle of the flower.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

On June 3, more movement as one petal has straightened up, and the others seem to be opening a bit more.

Orchid at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

It still looks just like that, now over a week later.  Neither of the other two little buds are showing any signs of growth.  Still, it gave me a beauty to enjoy, and if it ever goes farther, I’ll include that in a garden post.

Do you have good luck with indoor plants?

Orchid Potting Mix on Amazon, if you need to repot yours.

50 thoughts on “A Tiny Surprise

  1. patsystitch@gvtc.com

    A beautiful orchid, hoping the others open up. I do not have a green thumb but my husband does. He has 4 orchids that are about 8 years old that bloom every year. I will post pictures ob the Facebook page.

  2. Beautiful ! Obviously your efforts finally paid off! I get lazy, and forget my little shelf of plants, but they are pretty forgiving. One of these days I will repot them all in fresh soil and bigger pots. 🙂 Your trip to the arboreteum paid off!

  3. Julie

    It was fun watching the ‘time lapse’ bloom. I have many green plants indoors, not flowering ones. The outdoors are always evolving based on weather. We’ve slammed into summer, time to go weed.

  4. Linda B

    Definitely a mixed love affair. Frustrated that I put a couple plants on display on a wooden table, and some moisture dropped off the plant leaves and went right through the finish! So frustrating! I enjoy a philadendron on my desk (not real wood), and have a long plant table in front of a South facing window to overwinter some plants, I added some “potting soil” to some of the plants and now I am finding little catapillars crawling across the carpet. I am beginning to see the charm of fake plants, LOL! Your flower is gorgeous!

  5. Carol

    Ours usually blooms for Valentines Day, but not this year. I put a piece of banana peel on the surface of the “soil” about 1 month ago. Then I got 3 beautiful blooms. See pic

  6. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

    I definitely am not one to grow flowers, although I still try. Hubby bought me a couple of miniature rose bushes on Valentine’s. We were able to transplant to bigger pots and now they are blooming beautifully. One of my very few flower successes. LOL Your orchid is so beautiful. Hopefully those other two buds will come to life soon.

  7. Susan T

    I am a true black thumb when it comes to indoor plants. I can even kill an artificial plant! Lol! I had a beloved Christmas cactus that was my late Mother”s. Truly so dear to me and I killed it. I was heartbroken. Your flower is stunning! What a beauty. God was very creative in making this variety.

  8. karenfae

    beautiful – no I don’t have all that much luck with inside plants – especially those that flower – I tried an orchid once and it died on me, sometimes Christmas cactus will last a couple years and then they die lol – I water too much or not enough, too much light or not enough I do better outside but then they tend to over grow in the heat and humidity – I really need to dig a garden up this fall and divide plants and find places for them one of the beds is crazy over grown.

  9. Lori Smanski

    So cool. Thanks for sharing. I love Orchids, but alas, I wasn’t able to grow them. My mom on the other hand could grow anything, literally. Her thumb was so green she could take a plant that had died and bring it back to life. (she did that for me numerous times, LOL) Mom loved Orchids. She had a bay window with just Orchids of many different kinds. Have fun with the little beauty that you are helping along. 😊

  10. Susan

    I don’t have that many indoor plants because of the cats. My Christmas cactus does well. It blooms not only at Christmas, but also nearly every holiday.

  11. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Beautiful orchid! No, I don’t have much luck with inside (OR outside) plants!! But I still have a couple of Christmas cacti!! They’ve survived several years. They live over my kitchen sink, but thankfully don’t require a lot of water!! Seems there is a drought in my house!! LOL

  12. manasotavacation

    gorgeous…..I used to have orchids on my lanai in FL, but they thrived on neglect and the humidity. I am so glad you have this beauty!!

  13. Flora de Montreuil

    These orchids bloom for up to 3 months. I grow mine in a bathroom and a spare bedroom that is cooler at night. I find they need a cool period of time near a window to get them to flower. When in flower, I move them to the kitchen so I can enjoy them more. Mine flower every year and sometimes I get a second branch of flowers off the first flower stem by cutting the first stem just below where the first flowers were. Mine need lots of light to get flowers. I let the medium they are growing in dry out then water with very warm water.
    My first orchids I killed with too much water. Have fun.

  14. What a beautiful orchid. This is actually one of my favorites of all the orchid blooms. I’ll confess I can’t grow orchids, nor can I have indoor plants (we are not home enough). But I love them all and I’m envious when I visit homes where people are blessed to have orchid plants in bloom. I hope others can give you helpful advice. All I’ve heard is fertilizer and don’t over water.

    1. Julia

      Love your orchid story. I also have waited long periods of time for mine to bloom. To the other readers, remember that their native habitat is very moist, and warm, and with many daily sprinkles of rain. (Think Hawaii and native plants hanging from trees).They don’t live in soil, but rather on another plant or tree. If you water once a week, soak it in the sink or bathtub and then not again til next time. They like indirect light, and respond to fertilizer. Some people have success with putting three ice cubes on the top of the bark once each week. Sometimes orchids that look gorgeous at a big store have all the petals drop off in a week. That’s because they’ve been on a truck for a week from CA and have gotten chilled/shocked over and over. Good luck!

  15. Connie Jordan

    Carole, I grow pineapples (in Ohio) from the tops we cut off of grocery store pineapples. So far we have had 3 produce. They are not much bigger than a can of soda pop, but they are very tasty.
    Connie J

  16. Niki Winchell

    That’s fabulous! So glad your orchid bloomed. The flower is gorgeous. Last year mine had 4 blooms, and this year, 11. I hope yours will bloom again next year for you.

  17. Patricia Evans

    Congratulations on finally getting your orchid to bloom and a gorgeous bloom it is. The other two buds should open up gradually. The great thing about orchid blossoms is that they last a very long time especially compared to other blooming plants. Don’t mist the open flowers, though, as that will cause spots. Keep it in bright indirect light (not direct sun which in NC would be too strong). I have 7 Phalaenopsis orchids, also known as moth orchids. Most of them rebloom annually, although some of them bloom while we are in FL during the winter.

  18. Helen Glover

    Orchids are picky about water and food. I give mine fertilizer that is greatly diluted every time I water them which is once a week. I put the pot in the sink and let the fertilizer water run through and drain out well. They love my kitchen garden window and I think it’s the humidity there from the sink that helps them to thrive also. They do love misting and I think the filtered sunshine from the southern window is best. They must be root-bound to produce flowers. My kids call me “the orchid queen.” as mine bloom beautifully for about 3-4 months. They were good size when I got them and have taken over the window area. Good luck with yours! Helen

  19. Bonnie Coleman

    So beautiful!! I love orchids too…although never had luck with them. The blooms seem to last so long too! I’ve mastered geraniums and glads outside but inside ….. mainly dependable ole philodendron!

  20. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, This was incredible to watch and read! I salute you for all of your patience! Plus, WOW! Did your patience ever pay off. Your orchid is astounding. I have never tried to grow these and from reading and learning how much attention they require, I will leave these special beauties to you and everyone else who has the green thumb patience to grow them. I only have two indoor plants, both given to me by my Mom and this past winter I almost lost them both when I transplanted them. They did not like the new pots. So a few months ago, after talking to Mom, I switched each of them to the other pot and now they are finally starting to show their beauty again. In a short while, I will move them out on our front porch until Fall. I have also been doing some more outdoor gardening and enjoying every moment. The weather here just keeps changing back to early spring and therefore, I can continue to plant new flowers and seeds. Thank you so much for sharing this remarkable post with us!! I truly enjoyed every part of it!!! Have a fantastic day!!!

  21. Sandi

    It’s gorgeous! I’m not any good with orchids. I do African Violets and have good luck so I have several of those. Hugs,

  22. Joan Sheppard

    So uplifting for all of us with stubborn plants. I’ve had a Hoya for 30 years – it bloomed many years ago but now nothing. It grows, it stays green, but now you have given me hope. Thanks for all the pictures. Like a movie!

  23. What a wonderful surprise and such a beautiful flower. We have two orchids here, a friends husband bought them for her and after they flower he throws them out 😱😱, so I have two here. They have flowered each year, they both have beautiful purple flowers, and they last for over 3 months. One plant flowered and not is getting new buds again. I am really happy with them.

  24. Daryl Miller

    How delightful! I have several African violets often in bloom, but never an orchid! We enjoyed trying your squash casserole last night with havarti fill in place of mozzarella. It was delicious. Thank you for the vegetarian ideas.

  25. June

    I have hinted to my kids that I would prefer an orchid instead of roses for those special occasions. The flowers last longer and if you are lucky will rebloom. I have one that is in the first stages of blooming again (I hope). This will be the third time in 4 years it has bloomed. Someone suggested they are fussy. I am not a plant addict but like to have them around. I don’t pay much attention to them but I think living in my room with a southeast facing window helps. Yours is beautiful.

  26. thedarlingdogwood

    I have terrible luck with all plants! All! This is absolutely gorgeous, so glad that it seems worth waiting for.

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