Firecracker Orchids

Earlier last month, my husband and I made a trip to Fort Collins, CO that occurs every so often: We drive into old town to go to his favorite restaurant, and of course because my favorite orchid greenhouse is on the way, we make a side venture there also. I would like to think he enjoys the brief stop at the greenhouse, but I am pretty certain he knows if he didn’t pull in there, I most likely would jump from the vehicle and combat roll into their parking lot. And that would be embarrassing.

Nine times out of ten we leave with some new acquisition or variety of orchid I do not have. This particular visit yielded some spectacular new plants that I am absolutely tickled pink with. I found this Stellar Hoku right off the bat.

It is difficult to walk into a small section of orchids that are mainly white, yellow or other pale tones and not see this firecracker that is at least 6-8” taller than anything else on display. “Firecracker” is the description I first thought of.

If the blooms were any more visceral, it seems they would fly right off the spike as nearly hand-sized floral explosions. It of course immediately found its way into my shopping basket for the drive back home and I have been enjoying it immensely for the last several weeks since.

Sweet Nia Rose

Walking into my dining room area today, I didn’t just see my sweet orchid sitting on the table, I smelled it. In advance. From several feet away. Glorious fragrance, just as if a huge dozen big red roses were bursting open in bloom.

If you look, can you see the shape of dancing ladies?

The orchid oncidium Nia Rose is just amazing at how much sweet tones of floral essence it can put out of such small blooms. Often called “dancing ladies”, the dainty and ruffled petals of these types of orchids resemble women in flaring skirts.

We picked up several new plants this year from Fort Collin’s nursery in nearby Colorado. Having gone for one, we came back with six. As one does. And this one was part of that bunch.

Zooming in shows so much more than you see than first glance.

Unfortunately a few days after arriving to our home already in bloom, I found it completely covered in aphids. Stems, blooms, the whole plant. Following online instruction, I used a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to spray all over the entirety of leaves to roots and cut off the stem of blooms, regrettably. But it was for the greater good of saving the plant.

Surprisingly, it immediately put out this new stem of blooms with not an aphid to be seen. I look forward to re-potting this one just as soon as it finishes it’s bloom cycle and really see it take off a few months from now. What a delight!