Mouth to Mouth

by Colleen Rochette

Twentyish Noid divisions whimpered on my doorstep in the late Fall of 2012. As forecasted, it was time to breathe some life back into these chilled mini rescues. Segmented plants like these are my little Frankensteins, my Jane Doe whatchamacallits, my examinees.

So the Frankensteins breezed in. The Frankensteins were submerged. The Frankensteins were preened and potted. Without being able to distinguish who was who, I have been trying my best to care for this mixed bag. I could identify what kind of plants they were, but individual care preferences were still a blur. Being mature divisions, I can only hope that their blossoms will flow freely once they become comfortable. I am aching to see their true colors, I would love to know who they are.

Two months later, to my surprise, most of these munchkins are thriving. New growths and fresh roots appear to be the norm. Everything seemed perfect.

Unfortunately, one of those classic oopsies happened. Top-heavy-small-pot-falling-over-oopsie. Well, at least I was able to catch a glimpse of the root system. Immediate sad face – the original bundle of roots had decayed.

I have definitely had problems with shipments of bareroot orchids before – roots becoming completely desiccated by heat packs, to the point where they are destroyed. Dunzo. Even when they are re-hydrated, they just stay wet and rot.

Despite the abundance of new growths and newborn roots, a waft of death lingered. In the past, I would hope for the best. I would convince myself that not ALL of those roots were dead. How could they be? Now, I am a little more daring when it comes to getting rid of the crap and moving forward with a clean slate.

The other evening, all of my Noids shyly lined up at the chopping block. They were poked, prodded, trimmed, thoroughly re-examined, disinfected and re-potted. I sighed, “Live and learn, live and learn.”

After tearing off the comfort blanket, everyone continues to sport ultra-wide smiles. Oh, and I am pleased to introduce Noid #3, who has been featured in this post. Thankfully, her three new growths are still flourishing despite the interruption. The sprout in the foreground, on the right, was actually curling around the inside of the pot and was just beginning to push up from underneath the medium. I gently maneuvered her a bit to expose her to more air and some light.

And of course, I will definitely keep you posted on any future blossoms and update you on any dicey luck with the name game!