Patience

Orchids are one of those plants that require a combination of patience and absent-mindedness. They’re not the sort of plant you can check on daily, or even weekly, to see how they’re doing. As they’re native to tropical climates they grow much slower in the UK, but they don’t really need a whole lot of looking after if you’re not into serious horticultural action.

They do fine with occasional watering and a feed every now and then, and I think the trick is not to think about them too much. Most of ours live on the kitchen windowsill, so we look at them everyday, but that means we tend to overlook them as well.

Their bases and roots can seem pretty scraggly, especially as ours are several years old, and I sometimes wonder if they’re on their way out.
2012-11-18 Orchid 01

But then I’ll forget about them again, and one day, to our delight, we might suddenly notice a new shoot coming up.
2012-11-18 Orchid 02

Or even a new flower spike.
2012-11-18 Orchid 03

Forget about them again for some time, and next thing you know, some little buds will have burst into flower.
2012-11-18 Orchid 04

That last one was actually a gift, and it’s been in flower for about a month now. But the real reward will be if we get it to flower again, perhaps in another couple of years.

Patience is a virtue, and sometimes absent-mindedness can have its uses.

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