Barking Orchids

From time to time I have written about the orchids I am nursing along.

Orchid in full bloom

All my orchids have been gifts or hand-me-downs so I’m not invested in them except that our kitchen seems to have the perfect light for growing and regrowing orchids.

Orchids thrive in the kitchen bump-out and also attract ants.

On Saturday I poured a cup of water into an orchid pot our kitchen table when the whole thing started to move.  It turns out that ants had decided to build a condominium in the potting medium and when I poured water on it they had to hurry up and move all the eggs.

The ant-infested roots were totally bared to rid them of the little pests.

I, in turn, hurried the entire pot outside and shook away the bark it had been planted in.  Then I hung the orchid in a tree as my sister does in Florida.

The broken orchid branch is now in a vase.

Unfortunately I broke the blooms off.

The potting mix is composed of bark, charcoal, and perlite.

I bought a sack of Orchid bark to use as a potting medium since orchids don’t like the denseness of dirt.

The roots are now entangled in the bark.

Now I am repotting the bare-root orchid and hoping I have also diverted the ants back outside.

Do your houseplants attract bugs? And what do you do about it?


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

6 thoughts on “Barking Orchids”

  1. What a beautiful orchid you have! I’m shocked that it was full of ants. That was a sad discovery. I don’t seem to have luck with orchids, though they always tempt me at the store. My house is on the dark side, which I never thought I would like but it gives off a cosy vibe. I’ve been lucky enough to not have your problem but I have few indoor plants because of the light situation. Lots of outdoor plants, though!

    1. I was recently given a peace lily which thrives in relative darkness. I had to move it from the conservatory to the living room because it was getting too much light. Jo

  2. I was excited to learn what type of orchids “barking orchids” are. 🙂 I have little luck with helping orchids to survive, much less rebloom. I either drown them or ignore them. Yours are spectacular!

    1. I’ve discovered that keeping them in bark is more successful than sphagnum moss which tends to hold too much water. Unfortunately they are often sold surrounded by moss in plastic containers with no side holes which just drowns them. Jo

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