Monday, April 20, 2009

Suicidal Orchids

I love orchids. Sadly, they don't love me.

For the past few years I've tried to keep my orchids alive, but inevitably, all the flowers fall off and then they're just sticks in mud. Only they're not in mud, they're in dirt, but whatever. They're not exactly eye-catching without their petals.

Apparently, orchids will come back to life but every website I read had a different theory. Some said you had to cut them down to the root. Others said you had to prune them to just past their last bloom. Some said to water it religiously. Others said not to water it at all.

I tried everything. Mostly each orchid plant just became some variation on the stick. Short stick, long stick. One stick even started rooting at the top, which just proved it was just as confused as me about what it was supposed to be doing.

So each time I just threw the orchid away and started fresh. But then, about six months ago I decided to do nothing but put the most recent dead orchid on a high shelf in my home office. I ignored it, even when I saw that some of its leaves had turned brown.

And then, last week, it caught my eye. And shock of all shockers, it had a new bloom! I was so excited that I immediately sat down to Google what to do next. I found some guy who blogged that whenever he paid attention to his orchids they died, and when he ignored them they came to life. I decided this was proof I had done something right!

And then, I made a fatal mistake.

Two days ago I took the orchid out of the office and put it on the dining room table so that it could have light. And then I watered it, assuming I should treat it as I do my orchids when they're alive and blooming.

Today, my orchid blossom is brown and shrivelled up.

Sadly, I'm assuming I've killed my orchid, just as he was trying to come back to life. But I learned a very valuable lesson.

It may look like an orchid and smell like an orchid, but an orchid is just a cactus in flowery clothing.

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