Orchid Rescue Update: The Circle of Life

It’s been a while since I last posted, and the post was about rescuing two mini phalaenopsis (mini phal) from the grocery store clearance bin. Life can be full of twists and turns. Sometimes it’s best observed in the little things, and this is one of them.


When I rescued the orchid at the store, it had a companion. The companion mini phal I gave away to a friend soon after purchase. (I like to share the joy of plant rescue!) And from my previous post, you know I nurtured my mini phal back to health from the dehydration and neglect of clearance bin. Unfortunately, it’s life was not long on this earth. We went on vacation a while after I posted and hired a dog/cat/house sitter. Being my normal self, I left instructions for most of what I thought the sitter would need to know: feeding routines for the cat and the dog, pick up of the mail from the mailbox, the watering of the outside flowerpots, etc. What I failed to remember in the instructions is NOT to water the orchids. I also failed to ask the house sitter his knowledge of orchids. (And how to water them!)

The house sitter was truly great. The animals were happy, well fed, and content. The flowerpots were in good shape. The only issue: all my orchids were sitting in water in their pots. Our good-intentioned house sitter had watered the orchids as if they were ‘houseplants.’ For those who may not know, orchids don’t like their feet (“roots”) in water. When you water your orchids, you must let the water drain thoroughly before placing them back in their decorative containers. Usually, an orchid will have an inner pot that has holes for drainage and outer pot that is more decorative. You let the inner pot drain excess water before replacing it in the decorative container. Unfortunately, this was not what happened. And I didn’t discover the issue until a couple of days after we were home. All my orchids were swimming in water. The good news is that my other orchids survived. The bad news is that the mini did not.

So, my rescue of the mini phal was short lived. It enjoyed, what I imagine, a good life with my other orchids once it came home from the grocery store. I guess life is like that. Enjoy every minute because you never know when some will over-water your pot.

Let’s hope the other mini phal I rescued and gave to my friend is still enjoying its new home.

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