Everyday Gardeners

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orchids are in

Roses may be the traditional flower of choice for Valentine’s Day, but from what I’ve seen at local flower shops, grocery stores, and big box stores, orchids are definitely gaining ground. Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis spp. and Doritaenopsis spp.) are the most widely available types, partly because they are relatively easy to grow, and partly because they last a long time.

Choices within moth orchids are expanding. Mini-moth orchids, such as those pictured at left grow only about 1 foot tall, so they’re ideal for decorating smaller spaces in the home. And with the smaller size comes a smaller price tag, making them an elegant but affordable extravagance.

If orchids are on your Valentine’s gift radar screen, perhaps you’d be interested in a heart-shape moth orchid. This requires an orchid with 2 blooming stems. While the flower stalks are young and pliable, the grower bends them into a heart shape with the help of a pliable stake and orchid clips. The deep purple example, below, demonstrates the technique. Another dramatic orchid display comes from cascade types. These full-size phalaenopsis orchids are trained to tumble and flow in a stream of color sure to delight your sweetie.

Heart-shape mini-moth orchid

Cascading Phalaenopsis orchid

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