I don't know what species this one is. I got it on sale after it had finished blooming, and the tag was missing.
Oncidium Mtssa Royal Robe 'Jerry's Pick'
Cymbidium, variety unknown. I forgot to bring it in from the unheated greenhouse before the cold weather started, so it developed some brown spots on the blooms. Normally it's pure yellow.
I don't claim to be an expert on growing orchids, but the common ones do well for me--better than most houseplants, in fact. I have a couple oncidiums, a phalaenopsis or two, and my treasured cymbidium. All bloom at least once per year, even though I usually forget to fertilize them and sometimes forget to water them regularly. I have all but the cymbidium in an east window above my kitchen sink, so they get bright morning sun and lots of humidity from the sink and dishwasher. The cymbidium lives in front of a south window during the cold months and outside in part sun the rest of the year. I've tried orchids in my office, which gets great light, but they don't do well. I don't think there's enough humidity for them there.
The one problem with orchids? They're expensive (like that $99 cymbidium I mentioned in my last post). But there are ways to get them for less than the going rate:
- Buy them after they've bloomed. You don't get instant gratification, but you'll pay 1/2 to 2/3 the regular price. I got my cymbidium from Home Depot for $15 when its original price was $30.
- Try a home and garden show. I got some of my at Portland's annual Yard, Garden and Patio show from an orchid grower based in Hawaii. They were a little smaller than the ones you typically see at the florist's, and they weren't blooming. But they were about $7 -- not bad.
- Try eBay. I just looked and found some good deals. If only I had a bigger windowsill...
So, if you have a sunny kitchen windowsill, get yourself some orchids. They'll brighten your winter days and impress your friends.