01 July 2011

Overwatered

Not only am I overwatered since leaving Sacramento, but I have managed to overwater my indoor orchid.



Note to self: excessive watering of an orchid plant may result in small mushroom looking fungi growing from the orchid pot.

As I have no knowledge of the care for orchids I took my plant to the nearest orchid genius. Harry, of Chula Orchids, happens to live just outside of town and he has 50 years of experience with these species. When I got to the location indicated on the website, there was no retail space. It was Harry's home. Somehow I was not very shy, though. Maybe it had something to do with the orchid mushrooms? He was gracious enough to tell me how to treat my plant. Two ounces of Clorox per gallon of water will help kill the fungus and wont hurt the plant, but he said my potting mixture was too soil-y. He told me to get some fir bark so that the orchid could breath better.

Orchids aren't used to receiving too much moisture, said Harry. Naturally, orchids grow by attaching their roots to a rainforest limb and are eventually covered with a layer of moss. The moss collects some moisture to give the plant sustenance, but the orchid doesn't need much. He told me that I need to let it dry out almost completely before watering it again. I thought I had... but apparently the visible area of dry space is deceiving. The orchid still retains moisture in the middle of the pot. Harry was impressed with my orchid's flower spike. So I must be doing something right.

As I traveled back downtown, I happened upon Central Bark. I walked into the office and asked if they sold small quantities of fir bark. They were more than willing to accommodate! I bought three small containers-worth of fir bark from their piles out front for $1! Way better for the plant than the Miracle Grow orchid mix I had bought at Home Depot, and less expensive too!

As I was leaving, the staff there asked if I had come all the way from Utah to buy their bark!

I had to laugh! That's probably a good hint that I need to think about changing my plates soon. The staff at Central Bark made sure to tell me to come back any time, especially since the drive isn't too far.