Growing My Green Thumb: Learning about Orchids


Did you know that there exist four times more orchid species than mammal species? I had no idea until I decided to do some research on orchids and how to best care for them now that I’m taking my love for gardening to work in the form of a little potted orchid. Sitting between my Corgi calendar and my Tiffany-inspired note set, it provides me with a sense of calm. I’ve decided to name it “Fuzzy” in honor of an inside joke I had with my former coworker (we previously attended BookCon together), who has moved on to a new job.

Orchid at Work

The first step in measuring an orchid’s health is to look at the color of its leaves, according to one care guide. If they are bright green, then the flower is getting the right amount of light. (Note: Orchids should never be placed in direct sunlight because it can burn them.) Unfortunately, I’ve learned that it’s also important for orchids to experience temperature fluctuations the encourage their flowers to open and mild levels of humidity, neither of which are present in my office. Despite that, my orchid seems to be doing fine for now.

Next, I looked up watering. The instructions that came with my orchid said to give it 1.5 tablespoons of water per day, but the care guide says that orchids really only need to be watered once per week in cooler temperatures. I’ve been giving a little water nearly every day, but not if the soil still looks moist, which I think is generally a decent rule of thumb to follow. Knowing that it doesn’t need to be watered frequently gives me hope that it might survive the weekend and still be alive on Monday when I return to work.

7 thoughts on “Growing My Green Thumb: Learning about Orchids

  1. I have a two-year old orchid (probably nearly three) that was doing okay (not great) and then suddenly, all the leaves fell off a couple of weeks ago. There’s one new green leaf so that gives me hope. I had no idea how much water it needed. Now I do. Thanks for the tips. Maybe I can revive it.

  2. Lisa

    I killed mine. Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone. I had just gotten out of the hospital in my defense though! They are so finicky. I shall try again soon. 🙂

  3. Chris, I just love the idea of having an orchid growing on your desk! It reminds me to breathe in, breathe out. Ahhhh! You will be amazed how long the pretty blossoms last! Have a fabulous weekend! ♡

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