Monday, November 30, 2015

Growing orchids in the city

Growing orchids in the city? ... impossible! Or so I was told.
Until, I just had to show them. Cattleyas with ruffled pouty lips in a five-petalled haiku.
City-grown and city-bloomed, with no greenhouse or misting system in sight.
Just plenty of good ol'-fashioned sunshine reaching past plant-laden window-boxes and beaming on even more orchids on my window-sills ...
And moist, humid coastal air. Plus, a neighbour's leaky AC unit drip-drip-dripping onto my lucky orchid plants ...
For every sceptic and nay-sayer who says it can't be done, a mammoth Cattleya orchid that blooms its heart out in a flourish of gorgeousness. Right here in the city, in an apartment window jostling against a bustling road.
Mokkaras and every Vandaceous orchid blushing a healthy happy hue. Of exuberant pinks ...
...and sun-dipped yellows.
These are the Vanda days. Of warmth and light and bounteousness all around. No skimping on anything!
Phalaenopsis are amazing! Smashing every preconceived notion of how they should grow and that too, so cheerfully.
From brightest fuchsia to palest pink, Cattleya or Dendrobium. All tropical orchids, all city-grown among the rough and tumble of traffic and noise and pollution. Thriving, blooming, thrilling... point proved! 


20 comments:

  1. Fantastic flowers. Well done for growing them and taking such lovely pictures.

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    1. Thank you, Nick! Tropical orchids grow amazingly well in Mumbai; a fact that very few seem to believe. So I just had to post this for them to see :)

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  2. I was thrilled by your beautiful orchids! We are just beginning the cold and short days here. Thanks for taking me to the beauty warmth and sunshine if only for a few moments. Well done!

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    1. Thank you, Becky! I'm so glad you enjoyed them.
      I just peeked over at your blog .... such pretty Violas! Love them!

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  3. What a stunning collection, Sunita! Absolutely love your images. With orchids I haven't really put my heart and soul into them but now I'm thinking...

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    1. Thank you, Kanak, what a lovely thing to say! And I'm just picturing the immense variety of orchids that you have access to in the North-East. Think positive! ;)

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  4. A beautiful collection Sunita! I may just restart my orchid collecting after seeing yours.

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    1. Thank you, Helen! I absolutely love being an enabler :)
      But then you do have quite a collection, don't you?

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  5. They're all beautiful! My urban orchids are down to just a few now and only get to spend a little time outside each summer. Now they're all nestled up against the south windows to catch all the weak winter sun they can.

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    1. Thank you, Shady C ! :)
      I had no idea that it gets so cold at your place. Your orchids must love you for what little sunshine they get!

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  6. Hi Sunita,
    Where in Mumbai do you buy your orchids? Do you grow them in special containers?

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    1. Hi Palat, I do not buy orchids in Mumbai. I have not found any orchid nursery in Mumbai that is really satisfactory. Instead, I grow my own by dividing older plants. I also source some seedlings from major growers in India and abroad.
      Yes, orchids need good air circulation in the root area so pots with several drainage holes around the sides are better suited for them.

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  7. Beautiful collection! These are my favourite flowers, thanks for sharing this blog.

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    1. I'm glad you liked this blog. Thank you, Bhawan! :)

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  8. Lovely flowers, Great job. I also want to grow orchids but always postponed my plan because of a busy schedule. Are they wanting more time and care to grow?

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    1. Not really. Orchids thrive on neglect provided you are growing the ones best suited to your own climatic conditions. For example, in Mumbai Dendrobium orchids grow well with minimum care.

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  9. they are gorgeous! I am having so much fun with just one orchid plant!

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  10. How gorgeous Re these. Unfortunately we travel so much due to the work, we have to consider plants that can survive with little water...

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