Several months ago, my dad surprised me with a wonderful gift. “I bought you a miniature orchid for your desk,” he said.
It joined a growing (pun intended) collection of plants on my desk, though I’m not sure those other plants are sufficiently challenging for me to claim a green thumb yet. My jade plant, snake plant, money tree, aloe, and succulent are all low maintenance.
I’d never taken care of an orchid before, and when I read about it online, it sounded almost as difficult as a bonsai I’d had many years ago that had not lived very long.
But the orchid’s delicate purple flowers were beautiful. After they had all fallen off, I was determined to try to keep the orchid alive. Hopefully, I could encourage it to bloom again.
I watered it with ice cubes according to the instructions. I bought a plant fertilizer. And I even tried my hand at pruning the stems.
Then something horrible happened. The stems turned brown and shriveled up.
Had I done something wrong? Was the plant dead?[Read more…]