Flourishing, in spite of what the experts say

An orchid with cascading pinkish purple bloomsI love my house plants. The love of beautiful growing things has always been there. The ability to take care of the plants in a way that sees them flourish is a recently acquired skill.

When we lived in Maine my father gave me an aloe. I took it home, potted it and watched it do nothing. It didn’t die. Neither did it flourish. Then we moved to Alabama. Within two years the aloe required a barrel instead of a pot and it’s been putting up huge spikes of yellow flowers ever since. I didn’t even know that an aloe could bloom.

I was given a plant called a Streptocarpus when we were in Maine. I know, sounds like a deadly disease doesn’t it? The name literally means, “Fuzzy finger.” It’s an African plant. The leaves are fuzzy like the leaves of an African violet but they can be ten to twelve inches long. I looked up the care and feeding of Streptocarpus. The experts said to keep it slightly root bound and hang it in a place where it would get filtered sunlight. So I did. Like the aloe, it didn’t die but it didn’t flourish.

So I stepped it up to a larger pot and hung it in a bright sunny window. Then it flourished, putting out lovely purplish blue flowers.
Someone gave me a pinkish purple orchid. It flourished from the git go. In fact, it got top heavy and, one day it fell off of its shelf.

It had to be repotted. Having never repotted an orchid I consulted the experts. What they said to do was very complex and I didn’t have the materials they said I needed. So I just stuck the orchid in a pot with the soil I had on hand.

This is a picture of that orchid. The three or four flower spikes of dark pink flowers arch up and tumble down like a waterfall, contrasting with the dark green lustrous leaves.

Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to ignore the experts. You might learn something.

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