Orchid fever Part 1: Phalaenopsis, the gateway orchids

by Lala
I can’t explain exactly how it came to be, but a couple of weeks ago I fell head-first into the orchid hobby. I have always associated orchids with elegant ladies, massive greenhouses and similarly massive amounts of effort and time to cultivate. I have always found them beautiful, but had not considered them worth the trouble I thought it would take to grow them myself. Well for some reason during a weekly grocery shopping run I saw these orchids in the flower display near the fruit & veg and thought I would get just one as a centrepiece. I had never been tempted to buy even one before but this time they all looked so lovely. Each was more beautiful than the next and so were their containers…I ended up getting five of what I learnt later that afternoon are Mini Phalaenopsis (meaning having the appearance of moths, but I see little doves drinking nectar in them). I prefer these minis to the intermediate / full sized ones. I am reading up on their care and watching a lot of videos – particulary those by Miss Orchid Girl on YouTube. These are my first orchids ever, from a supermarket and sold without names besides “phalaenopsis”. I have learnt that this is very common and due to the ease of hybridizing, many mass market growers just churn out thousands of whatever looks good and ships well, without bothering to register a formal name or track parentage. So I will likely never find out the names of my supermarket orchids, if they even have any. I love them all the same. Perhaps I should give them names? Here are my mini phals
  1. Pink & Yellow veined These have a bit more of a yellow base than what is showing in this picture.
  2. Purple leopard spots I am absolutely crazy about this pattern. It is so wild!
  3. Deep purpleThis purple is much darker in person and the plant’s two spikes are very highly branched. The second picture is truer to real life.
  4. Light purpleDo you see the little dove drinking nectar here?
  5. White with yellow centre More orchid news coming soon

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