That one time I kept a plant alive.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I like looking at flowers, smelling flowers, and even painting flowers. But keeping them alive? It's never been my forte. I've tried my hand at a few houseplants since we've been married and I either forget to water them, overwater them, put them in the wrong spot, or something. Once, when my mom came over to visit, I said, "Look! Am I not doing great with this one?!" At first glance, it looked green and full and, well, mostly alive. She looked a little closer and thumbed through a few dry, brown leaves at the bottom and said, "Yeah... uh huh." Point taken. It's just not my gift.

When we moved into our house in October, my sister-in-law Shannon brought over this pretty orchid as a housewarming gift. I'm sure she was clueless to my history with plants or she wouldn't have entrusted it into my care. Still, it felt like a fresh start. A new house. A new plant. A new color thumb? Perhaps. I figured if I had the wherewithal to buy a home, surely I could keep one plant alive and thriving.

Shannon mentioned something about feeding it ice cubes, so I looked it up. Apparently orchids (or at least this orchid) love a slow watering technique, and ice cubes do the trick. So I feed the orchid three ice cubes every Monday morning. Apparently mornings are key, too... or so I read. And look! Just gaze at her for a moment. Isn't she beautiful? And can you believe she's survived for 5 whole months? I know... me neither. She's even inspired me to branch out a bit and try an aloe plant, a gardenia, and another something green and flowery that I don't know the name of. And they're all alive!

PS - We tried to extend the sticks to make it grow up a little bit more, but now I'm thinking it will always be this size. Orchid experts out there... is that true? Once a medium sized orchid, always a medium sized orchid?


  1. These pictures are gorgeous! And I am so with you- I killed 3 succulents this year. Which is supposedly impossible. Ha!

  2. I have taken care of a lot of orchid plants due to my boss' love of them :). I have never seen them grow taller than what they are when you buy them at the store. You may know this, but when the blooms eventually all fall off, the plant isn't really dying. just snip off the stems that held the blooms near the base of the plant just above the leaves and continue to water it as you normally would. Eventually if all goes well and the climate you live in is to the orchid's liking, it will bloom again (it may take up to a year). Kinda like a perennial. So don't despair when the blooms die off, it's not you :). Happy nurturing!


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