I must admit, I have never tried growing orchids because I thought they required too much attention – a hot house, continual misting to produce humidity – you get the picture. But in the past 2 months, I have changed my opinion about orchids, all thanks to a little beauty I call an Ice Cube Orchid.
A friend came to my church office one day and brought me the most beautiful yellow orchid I had ever seen. The flower stalks are approximately 18 inches tall and are full of dainty yellow blossoms. Upon a closer look at these flowers, they almost look like “Lady slippers” you find growing in forests.
I had my doubts about keeping this lovely plant alive, but I thought I would at least give it a try. According to the attached card:
- Water with 3 ice cubes once a week
- Place in a bright, well lit location, avoiding direct sunlight
- Keep temperature from 65 to 85 degrees F and never below 55 degrees. Locate away from drafts.
So far, my orchid is still as beautiful today as it was 2 months ago when I received it. All the buds have finally opened and the yellow blooms show no signs of wilting or dying.
According to the website Just Add Ice Orchids, watering your orchid with ice cubes is the best and easiest way to care for our orchid plants. One of the fastest and surest ways to kill an orchid is to over-water it, so the ice cube method provides the appropriate amount of moisture. They also do not grow in regular potting soil – the roots of these orchids grow on top of a layer of bark mulch. Yes, those roots you see growing near the top of the pots are supposed to be there!
As far as lighting goes, my orchid is flourishing on the desk in my office. I have two large windows that face the north, so there is plenty of light, plus I have the office lights on for three to four hours per day. Be careful not to overexposure your orchid to direct sunlight, because this can sunburn the leaves and cause the blooms to drop. You also want to avoid cold or warm drafts, such as placing your orchid near an open window or heat vent.
The problem I am anticipating now is what to do when my pretty flowers finally die and start dropping off. Again, according to the Just Add Ice Orchids website, there are three options:
- Take the wait and see approach; the orchid may produce new buds at the end of the old flower spike.
- Cut the flower spike back to a “node”, a triangular shaped area on the stem, which may encourage the orchid to generate new side flower spikes.
Remove the entire flower spike one inch from the base of the plant so that the orchid can put more energy back into the leaves and roots to help it grow stronger and produce a fresh new flower spike.
So, at this point, I’m taking the wait and see approach. The orchid is still so beautiful, it almost looks artificial. I will keep you updated on the status of this pretty plant.