I enjoy visiting with other orchid growers and that's why I always look forward to upcoming events. Sure it's a lot of work packing up our supplies, traveling across state lines, arriving at the show and lugging everything out of the van. But once the weekend begins it's so much fun spending time talking with customers and taking a peak in their shopping bag to see if there was a special orchid for sale that I missed on my many walks to the men's room. (I'll be honest there is a reason I take a different route every time I walk thru the orchid show.)
At the recent Parkside Orchids Summer Festival my energy level was rejuvenated every time someone asked me how I grow my orchids. Oh boy there's a loaded question! I'm constantly exploring new ways to grow my orchids and that's why after all these years I'm still having so much fun.
Do you grow phalaenopsis? I struggled with the floral phals like you see at the big box stores and never had much luck with them. Then someone pointed me towards the small waxy species. Now I'm having a great time growing these and best of all many of them like Phal. cornu-cervi and lueddemanniana will flower on the same inflorescence for years and years!
I'm a fan of Pinterest and the photos of orchid terrariums kept catching my attention. Well sure enough there are many orchids that not only grow well this way but now I get to enjoy them hanging above my kitchen sink. Perhaps it looks like a constant Christmas with all those glass balls hanging there but I don't care. It's fun and now I'm enjoying miniature orchids that might get lost among the jungle of plants in my greenhouse.
I like growing mounted orchids but after a while even this lost it's appeal. Then I realized there are so many more mounting media besides the traditional cork bark slabs. I now have my orchids growing successfully on hardwood mounts, Eco-Web and grape vine of all shapes and sizes. I look forward to a cattleya growing around an orchid cork "tube". We recently introduced Terracotta Mounting Jars to our customers and the interest is overwhelming. I've got a cattleya on one, a neofinetia on another, a barkeria on a third and they're all growing like crazy. Best of all when they are not in flower I find myself inspecting them constantly and become amazed as I watch the healthy roots wrap around the jar and grab on tightly.
If you find yourself with a collection of potted plants that don't quite interest you like they used to don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. Whether it's finding an orchid like a phal species that'll flower year-round or growing on a Terracotta Mounting Jar that allows you to marvel at simple root growth, the possibilities are endless and you'll find a renewed interest in one of the most enjoyable hobbies anyone could ever have.