For whatever reason, Enabling Orchids to Bloom is my most viewed post, ever…in spite of the fact that I only sorta knew what I was talking about in it.
So, I decided to elaborate a little so that there is some clarity and maybe even a spiritual and more a full understanding to my previous post on the subject.
In the last 3 years, I’ve been made more and more aware (and dependent upon) rhythms of seasons. Spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, winter to spring again… Each season brings it’s own set of tasks and work, punctuated by periods of rest in the midst of the bustle. That could not be more clearly illustrated than in the lifecycle of orchids.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 lays out the mystery of time; “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven. . .”
With orchids, everyone wants the bloom; everyone has seen that dormant phaleonopsis on the kitchen windowsill. It seems like an inanimate fixture, some kind of dull, perfunctory tchotchke rather than a living, ornamental plant.
And when the orchids can be coaxed put of dormancy in their proper season, the resulting blooms are breath taking!
But that can’t be their constant state.
Like Ecclesiastes says, there’s a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to uproot.
Keeping your orchids in a constant state of “bloom” can result in overfertilization to the point of root rot.
The orchid growing medium has to be changed just about every couple months, maybe more, as it breaks down. They need to be “uprooted” and repotted in to fresh growing medium so that the roots can breathe.
God designed seasons with purpose; the hard freeze of winter enables trees to bear fruit, kills off pest insects, and stratifies seeds for spring growth. The heat of summer ripens food, allows plants to flourish, and acts as the balance to the winter’s decay. Spring brings rebirth and renewal, fall brings fullness of harvest and the withering of growth that produces the next season’s seed.
Enable your orchids to bloom, by all means. Fertilize and care for them so that they reach their optimal potential; that’s our job as stewards of God’s creation. But don’t deny your orchids the rhythm of rest, renewal, and refreshment that comes after the blooms wither and fade. Cease fertilizing them for a time, change their growing medium, give their roots a little TLC- trimming back withered or yellowed air roots and checking for root rot.
And remember that “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.”