Ice Box

by Colleen Rochette

A mammoth box housing a trio of delights arrived for me on Saturday. I had kindly asked this nursery to hold off on shipping until the following week due to the frosty weather, but I guess they had forgotten about my request. Luckily the contents seem to be unharmed, so everyone is pretty happy. Comfortably nestled within were my Maxillaria tenufolia, Brassolaelia Yellow Bird and my Cattleya skinneri – And jeez, these plants are monstrous!

After examining the travelers, I ordered each orchid a new 10″ slatted Vanda basket and freshly mixed media to compliment their needs. Because of their overflowing and entangled root systems, re-potting should be interesting. I have a feeling that the current baskets will have to be broken apart to remove the plants. Also, because of the apparent decomposition, I honestly would not be surprised if something creepy crawly was lurking within…Until this time comes (probably Monday night) they will be resting within my purple tub, far enough away from all of my other plants.

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These plants have been thriving in the greenhouse so long that their baskets are literally decomposing.

IMG_4631Seriously?

IMG_4667Fresh green tips, promising a strong, healthy root system. My heart is a-flutter!

IMG_4635Holy Cattleya!

IMG_4658Rainbows bouncing off of the Catt’s roots. In love.

IMG_4660This Lady is getting ready to bloom. There are probably about 20 protective sheaths scattered amongst her foliage that are housing baby buds. So so so unexpected! But most of the sheaths arrived completely brown and totally dried out. This may be from all of the heat packs that were placed in the box that prevented the orchids from freezing during transit. I removed all of the dried sheaths, for fear that they may rot if they become wet and harm the buds developing within them.

IMG_4661Baby buds within. Hoping that they will make their way out and flower around Easter if re-potting does not disturb them?

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