A Month in the Life… Orchid in Winter


I love new discoveries.

I love flowers.

But, as much of a flower nut as I am, I only like them alive. Mark is not one of those guys who can get away with a quick stop bouquet as a gift for any occasion.

So, I generally skip right through the flower displays at the entrances of super markets. But Trader Joe’s often has living plants as part of their display, so I pay more attention. And they often have Orchids.

I must admit, although I am in awe of their beautiful structures, I have always been intimidated about forming a close relationship with Orchids. What little I had heard about them convinced me that their need for a moist environment was not in keeping with my beloved, but very dry, habitat.

Last week, I was just in need of a beauty hit. That’s all there was to it.

So, I adopted this orchid and brought it home to the Garden Room (which actually is pretty humid).

I read the tag.

When the blooms fall off, you go through all kinds of shenanigans for months until the plant is ready to bloom again. I do not do well with shenanigans, so I figured this relationship would be short lived. After all, my Hibiscus blossoms fall off after just a day or two.

But the blossoms on this orchid showed no signs of fading.

On Christmas Eve, as is our habit, we partied with good friends at their gallery in Santa Fe.

There on the counter was the same orchid – with the blossoms in beautiful condition – just like mine.

“I guess you’ve been to Trader Joe’s too,” I said to my friend, Mary.

“No, those were a gift from someone during Indian Market,” she said.


Indian Market was in mid August!

And their gallery is not even humid.

So, orchid blooms can last that long? Happy day! I really must learn more about them. Anything you want to share?


I have installed this possibility for you.

In my opinion, the Comments section of this blog is just as valuable as the main posts. That is where we can have our conversations and share our opinions. I think it will be great to also be able to show and tell.

The procedure is very easy. There is just a button at the bottom of the Comment box to add an image, and that is all there is to it.

You can add JPG, PNG, or GIF files and that is listed there in the Comment box.

If your image is not the right format, you will be told before you post your Comment.


The blog is capable of resizing, but does not do a very good job of it.

So, I suggest that you Resize your photo to no wider than 600 pixels wide at 72ppi. That is the width of the column and your whole photo will show up nicely.

Whenever I say RESIZE, I see a lot of eyes glass over. It is perceived as a very hard thing.

It is not a very hard thing.

If you have any version of Photoshop or Elements . . .

Open your photo and choose Image Resize from somewhere in the menus (different location in different versions).

If you can’t find it, hold down Option and Command on the Mac, or Alt and Control on the PC, and type I (for Image).

This box will pop up…


First make sure Resample Image and Constrain Proportions are checked.

(It is important to do the next two steps in order.)

Second, change the number in the Resolution box to 72.

Third, change the Pixel Width box to 600.

Click OK.

You now have a perfectly resized photo for use on the web.

SAVE AS the photo with a new name so you don’t change the size of your original. Make sure you are saving as a JPEG or PNG.

Choose this new version from your computer to Upload to your Comment.


Let’s test our new Comment feature.

If you have a beautiful flower anywhere around you at this time. let’s see it!

13 thoughts on “A Month in the Life… Orchid in Winter

  1. jessica

    Yes, Karen – that is a perfect example of how this software does not do a good job of resizing!!

    I would love to see this photo. Can you resize it and try again?

    If you don’t have PS or PSE, Google Resize Photos online for a number of places to do that.

  2. Tracy

    I too had a fear of orchids. Actually I fail at most indoor plants. Except my Plumeria, which I have had about 10 years. I bought an orchid plant for .25 at a garage sale in ’10. I had no idea what color it would be. Beautiful booms, much like yours, last year Christmas time! For weeks. Great sight to see here in Mich. in the winter. Just as I was about to cut back the flower stalk, it bloomed again! So nearly 7 months I had blooms. This Oct. it sent up a new flower stalk and is about to bloom again. I keep it in my kitchen by the sink, so it gets some humidity. And gets indirect light. I feed it liquid fertilizer with every watering. I let it dry out between watering. It is a bit root bound in it’s current pot. I think I will move it up a size pot when it is done blooming. I will pay more attention at Trader Joe’s next time. I may try my luck with another plant!

  3. (Ms.) Ernie

    Orchids require very little water. The two that I have, which are quite similar to yours, are called “Ice Cube Orchids”. Why? Because the instructions say to place 3 ice cubes in the pot each week and let them melt. I actually do 4 ice cubes because the humidity is low in my house. And my orchids are still growing quite well two years later. The blooms are very long lasting and both plants have re-bloomed several times. Good light and 4 ice cubes per week have created beautiful, long lived orchids and blooms.

  4. Yogi

    Nice orchid. I bought an orchid in October over 2 years ago for my office at work… and it is still blooming. It was on its last blooms just near the tip and I was so sad thinking it was going to finally end. But then I saw several buds pushing there way out the end of that sprig and I also notice another sprig off shooting with buds… so it looks like I’ll have orchid blooms for some time to come. I’m happy!!!

    Noticed your comment button is at the top now – Ugh!! means I have to scroll all the way to the top to enter a comment. Liked it at the end of your post, so after reading it’s just there.

    Have a great day and all the best with your orchid.

  5. Eva Erlendson

    In the past, I was afraid to get orchids because I had heard they were a hard plant to have. Boy, was I wrong! Consider them as an ‘air’ plant. They mostly grow in the tops of the trees in rain forests, getting their moisture from the air around the trees. I bought my first orchid about 5 years ago to try out in the reception area at my work. I found that orchids like indirect light (their leaves turn brown if they get direct sunlight). When I bought the orchid, the lady said to ‘drown’ the plant in room temp water once a week and let all of the water drain off. Don’t let the roots sit in water, as it causes root rot and that’s what kills most of them. Feed them with orchid food once a week in summer and about once a month in winter. I also use the beauty bark type of medium designed for orchids to root them in. I’ve had good success with the orchids. Now have 5 of them. My favorite is a miniature orchid that produces an abundance of 1/2 inch flowers on multiple stalks. Got it at Trader Joe’s :)
    Here’s an orchid pic I took at an orchid farm a couple years ago.

  6. Diana in Texas

    I’ve never been brave enough to try Orchids but they are beautiful. I took pictures of my begonias just before the first really hard freeze. It was hard to say goodbye, but I always love looking at the photos of all my flowers in days and years later.

  7. jessica

    Wow – this is SO cool to see all these beauties and learn of all the success. This may become a favorite. I surely love looking at them!

    Eva – your photo looks like there is a little Fairy sitting on that petal – love it.

    Yogi – I hate the Comments at the top thing too and I am working on it. No one WordPress theme has everything I want – which is why I am experimenting with them. And I am not good with CSS, so I can’t change too much. There will be a best answer one of these days.

  8. Christine

    Christmas Cactus. One morning I woke up and it was fully in bloom. Looking around for the camera, I remembered it was in the car. Hurried to get it, opened, camera lens was cold so fogged over. I kept taking pictures until all was clear. I really like the glow effect of the fogged over lens.

  9. Shelley

    When we lived on Maui, I always had orchids growing outside on the deck, but had not been brave enough to try them inside, here in gray, gloomy Portland. Thanks for this post. Now I’m inspired to look for an orchid or two to adopt! Love the ice cube watering idea, Ernie.

    I don’t have any flowers blooming nearby right now, but will post an image of roses in my front yard after a snowstorm several years ago.

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