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the hostess gift that keeps on giving, day to day, year to year

February 2

I have always loved having houseplants for the greenery and life they add to a space. And for someone who appreciates plants, houseplants make a lovely hostess gift that keeps on giving year after year.

Take these specimens, for instance, that I received about nine years ago, which still bring me joy and remind me of the friends who gave them to me. The green leafy number is an easy care plant, so easy that I don’t even know the name of it. I basically water it each week and repot it when it starts to grow too large.

house plants - saf affect

The orchid is what I consider another easy-care plant – I’m surprised to hear from others that they think otherwise and are equally surprised that I’ve kept it growing and flowering so long. Flowering only once a year (but for months at time), many I know simply discard the plant once the flowers are gone after the first year, losing patience to wait out the 365 days until it blooms again.

orchid plant - saf affect

All I’ve done to care for it is to water it weekly, adding only a standard liquid house plant fertilizer once a month (but never when it is flowering), making sure to pour the water between the plastic inner pot and the decorative outer pot so it waters slowly from the bottom up. I’ve repotted it once in the nine years using orchid potting mix, and popping it into a white IKEA KARDEMUMMA plant pot. Each year I let the blooms die off naturally and only cut the stem down if it dies off on its own. If the stem stays green, I leave it alone.

orchid flowers - saf affect

Truly I find this plant is worth the yearly wait for the stupendous show of blooms it presents each winter (this year I got two full stems of blooms for the first time ever!), offering a little bit of the tropics in the dead of winter. Which reminds me, I’m overdue for a bigger hit of the tropics – without leaving Toronto, with a visit to the greenhouse at Allan Gardens, to breath in the humid air to help get through this coldest winter in years.

Allan Gardens

AG 1

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. The Editors of Garden Variety permalink
    February 2 12:42 pm

    Awesome to know it’s still thriving!

  2. February 5 7:06 am

    I am guilty of being one of those people who discard their orchids after blooming but I do put it in my compost pile so in a way it goes on living in another way! Great photos.

    • February 5 8:57 am

      You are one of the best reducers, reusers, and recyclers I know. Composting your forlorn houseplants is appropriate!

  3. February 12 8:59 am

    This is inspiring and helpful…I’ve long thought about getting an orchid.

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