Nun’s Orchid

This post, “Nun’s Orchid” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

A few years ago, I bought a Nun’s Orchid.  It was blooming when I bought it, and it has bloomed every year since.  At first it only put out one stalk, but last year it produced two stalks.  This year it started showing the bloom stalks in mid November, which is very early.  There are three stalks showing, and they now are about 5-6 inches high.  When it blooms the stalk is about 28 inches high.  I keep the plant on the front porch and bring it in only if freezing temperatures are predicted.  It usually starts to show a bloom stalk in mid March but this year it was so early that I wonder if it has anything to do with global warming.  I have read that it blooms in relation to day length.  Maybe the warm weather we had in October and November confused it so that it thought it was April.

I fertilize it after it finishes blooming.  Nun’s Orchids are heavy feeders.  This is a terrestrial orchid, not an epiphyte.  I have never repotted it because when my sister repotted hers it died, and I am afraid of losing mine.  I know I need to repot the thing, but I am not quite sure what to use.  What I have read about this plant says it need well draining soil.  I probably will try and add some perlite and maybe some fine bark orchid mix to see if I can duplicate what is now in the container.

A Nun’s Orchid is not like the epiphyte ones.  This plant gets fairly big.  Mine is in about a three gallon pot.  They also have nice bright green foliage.  It resembles the foliage of an aspidistra.  This is good so that even when it is not blooming, it makes a nice plant.

The blooms are very fragrant. The stalks bear about 12-15 flowers.  The flowers resemble a nun’s veil, hence the name.  The flowers are about 4 inches across, and it can take about a month for all the flowers to open

I have been trying to take a picture of this plant for three days, but the weather will not cooperate.  We had rain again today, so I just could not get out to snap a photo.  So if you would like to see a photo of one, just click on the link above.  I will try to post a picture soon.

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