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The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium


The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium

Cristina Soriano

Sundays are for doing things that make you happy. That rest the mind and warm the soul. All to prepare you for another work week. For me, being in the company of flowers does just that. The minute I’m at home with flowers, I’m transformed. Sorrows and worries hidden under the dirt, and joy exuberating from the colorful petals.

This past Sunday, my dear friend Kristin and I ventured to the NY Botanical Gardens to visit the incredible Orchid Show. 2016 marks the 14th year of the exhibit, taking visitors on a journey through the history of orchid collecting, highlighting on the 19th century “orchidelerium” – when explorers risked life and limb to secure these captivating flowers from jungles. Oh, how I would do that same…

The walls of the greenhouse not only gave me my much-needed tropical comfort (I seem to always be ravenous for heat and humidity) but satiated my cravings for flora and color as well.

Orchids are one of my most favorite flower varieties. Yes, they remind me so much of home, but that’s not only why I love them.

  • There are more than 25,000 varieties of orchids.
  • Orchids have a symmetry similar to the human face. The flower is bilaterally symmetric, which means that it can be divided into two equal parts.
  • The size of orchids vary to an extreme: some are the size of a penny while others can weigh a couple hundred pounds!
  • The flowers can survive up to six months depending on the variety.
  • An orchid is the only source of real vanilla.

Orchid Care:

Do not over water! Only water when the plant is dry, every 5-10 days depending on the humidity.

Once your flowers have stopped blooming, cut the old flower stem just about a ‘node’ and below the lowest bloom. The new budding stem will grow from that location.

Lots of bright, indirect light! It’s a tropical plant after all…

In the wild, orchids attach themselves to other plants. In the Philippines they are attached to coconut trees! Do not put them in pots with potting soil – plant them in a nice loose bark and some moss.

Use liquid fertilizer every third time you water.

For those New York readers, my photos don’t do the exhibit justice. Get on the 4-train and ride over to the Botanical Gardens to bask in color, heat and humidity!

Exhibit on until April 17th. And no, you won’t need to twist my arm if you’d like me to go with you again!


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