The orchid's most unusual feature may not be immediately noticeable. It's not the pretty flowers.
It's the leaves.
|They unfurl from a cramped mass at the center of the plant|
I'd assumed the accordion-pleated leaves were a normal characteristic of the plant. The orchid came without a label and, when I first noticed the funky leaves, I couldn't remember what the flowers looked like so I was at a loss to identify the genus. When the flower buds finally opened, I realized that the orchid is some variety of Miltonia. When I conducted an on-line search regarding pleated leaves on a Miltonia, I discovered a shameful fact: I've been guilty of orchid abuse. The Miltonia's leaves aren't supposed to start out crimped. This occurs as a result of dehydration. Experts recommend watering twice a week, raised humidity, and regular fertilizer.
I repotted my orchid in a slightly larger pot with new orchid bark, added a pebble tray to increase humidity, and have increased my watering schedule. This apparently won't help the pleated leaves - that damage is said to be irreversible. But future leaves should be fine.
Hopefully, the orchid will forgive me and reward me with blooms for years to come.
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party