Phalaenopsis bellina

Several orchids jumped into my car at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Fair this year. The event was hosted by Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, but it’s not just an open house. Many vendors from around the world brought orchids with them and sold at this event.

Two of the orchids that followed me home were Phalaenopsis bellina and Phalaenopsis violacea. I have always been attracted to their dreamy colors and divine fragrances. For me, they are not as easy as other Phalaenopsis and I am guilty of killing several of them over the years. But those tragedies certainly didn’t deter me from trying again, especially I believe I finally have the right environment for these “sisters” in the window box at my new place this time.

And I am right, so far everything is good and they are sending out new roots. The violacea is far from blooming size, but the bellina had 4 spikes (yes, count them, 4!) with 3 buds.  However, in my heart I knew that not all the buds would survive. Think about it, if someone yanks me out of my home and puts me in a pitch dark box, flying from Taiwan to California, it wouldn’t be too surprising that I lose a few hair and some spirit. But the cool thing about bellina (and also violacea) is that it blooms from the same spike, so even after all the buds are gone, as long as the spikes are still viable, buds will reemerge. Sure enough, this little guy came out a month later (with another bud following closely).

Phalaenopsis bellina

Phalaenopsis bellina

Since then one of the four spikes turned brown, but hopefully the other two spikes will survive.

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