SAD: Succulent Addictive Disorder

The days are about to get colder and darker. We are back in severe drought in my corner of Colorado. The wet spring was nice, but gone once our monsoon season was mediocre. I did put leaf mulch on my daylilies and started winter watering last weekend.

My echeveria after the sprinkler hit it last month.

I have thyroid disease and so time changes/dark days are difficult for me. Full spectrum light can help. I believe my mix of full spectrum, flourscent and purple plant lights help. I also think living in an indoor forest boosts positive energy. Something is always coming into bloom. Right now, it’s my vanda orchid, azalea, poinsettias and begonia. The Thanksgiving cactus aren’t for off. January/February will bring the orchids.

One of my poinsettias coming into bloom.

Speaking of orchids – I have over 40. They fill two rooms. They were what got my through some tough times, working at home fulltime (isolation) and separation from family. Now, I work long weeks away from home. Orchids are hard to keep up with . . . There are too many. And, my environment is nothing like their natural habitat.

One of my new orchid pots.

I’ve spent a horrific amount of money the last two months. I converted the orchids back to wood chips (from water), because that doesn’t require as much work. But, I needed several new orchid pots.

Red bromeliad – a mail order neo from Florida.

Then came the shift to air plants, succulents, and bromeliads. I gave away plants that didn’t fit the new theme. I bought new plants to create my new reality. The house feels a little different, more fun. More creative. My bank account . . . Hmmm.

My new succulent pot with crassela, aloe, miniature sansevieria, and others.

Yesterday, I played with succulent containers. It was my Saturday escape. I got 3 kinds of crassela, a reddish sempervivum, an aloe, a miniature sansevieria, a turquoise one with teardrop leaves – need ID. I used an outdoor pot whose plant had died.

Fountain converted into home for succulents and an air plant. I want to paint the frog green.

I added a couple of new succulents to the two converted fountains that I started using for succulents.

My Toki Dokie bird fountain converted to a succulent garden.

I felt pretty awful yesterday. Mostly tired, I just wanted to sleep. But, despite wondering what I was doing shopping for succulents when I felt so poorly, it turned my energy around.

Air plants hang from baskets in my kitchen window.

Creativity is a strength. It’s my top one. I have an appreciation of nature/beauty strength and curiosity in my top 5 strengths. Bringing those out really helped.

My new red desert rose plant.

I’m way over budget and out of light for more plants. I need to find other outlets for these strengths. I’ve thought of painting succulents. I love painting daylilies. Still, my art cove feels a little isolated. I’ll figure something out between winter watering my daylilies. In the mean time, I’ll live with my SAD: succulent addictive disorder.

PS, I’m considering at Etsy sales page once I have enough cuttings.

Daylilies teach living in the moment; Orchids teach patience.

Spring has sprung and today brought the first glimpse of summer weather.  My houseplants moved outside this weekend.  Well, most of them.  My daylilies are doing well.  Passersby often comment on them . . . even now, before the blooms.  No scapes yet, but I keep checking.

Magic Art

It has been a strange winter – we are in an extreme drought here in Southwest Colorado.  The Four-Corners is in an exceptional drought just south of us.  I didn’t shovel snow once all winter.  My strawberries and ice plant felt it.  I winter watered the daylilies at least once a month.  I’m hoping my blooms don’t suffer.  It will be a bad fire season.

Birthday Girl Catt

My last post was in the late fall about Santa’s Pants.  Unfortunately, that plant was one of my few losses this year.  After those blooms faded and I got my poinsettias to rebloom, I needed projects to get me through the winter.  I took on orchids.  Not just orchids, but learning about different types of media.  For some reason, I was drawn to water culture.

BlackCurrant Vanda

My first partial water culture plant was a vanda.  Man, I nearly killed that thing.  It lost most its roots and got stem rot.  I finally found a group dedicated to water culture orchids on Facebook.  From there, I watched YouTubes  . . . I got smarter.  My vanda is alive and putting out new roots, living on my porch now.

Hot Lips Cymbidium

 

I started trying phalaenopsis orchids in water culture.  Winter is a bad time to start cause old roots rot while they grow new roots that are adapted to water.  Only about 1/4 to 1/3 of the root goes in the water.  Oh, and I tried an oncidium in water . . . it flourished so now I have 3.  In fact, I have quite a collection now.  Three phals are from last year.  I currently have about 2 dozen phals, 3 dendrobiums, 3 oncidiums, 2 miltoniopsis, 2 cymbidiums, 2 cattleya, 1 common ground orchid, 1 paph, 1 phrag, and the 2 vandas.  Oh, and some very small baby cuttings of Pleurothallis sclerophylla, Masdevallia, Liparis, Bulbophyllum, and Coelogynes.

Pink Magic Vanda.jpg

Not all are in water culture.  I learned about growing in semi-hydro (lava rock with some water at the bottom).  And, I have a few around in regular wood chips or moss.  I love the way the roots look in a container . . . reminds me of a placenta.

Pearl Ono.jpg

I like orchids for much the same reason that I love daylilies – big, colorful blooms.  Some of the species even have similar strap leaves.  Interestingly, neither species can produce a true blue flower.  What I find enticing about orchids is that the blooms last for months.  And, some species bloom year around.  Mostly, they bloom fall-spring, which makes them a good match for my summer daylilies.  They teach patience, though, as buds, roots and leaves take forever to do their thing.  Daylilies teach us to live in the moment because nothing lasts forever.

Stella Scope.jpg

I wanted to log in and start gearing up for blogging season.  I hope you enjoy my winter bloomers. Most will rest and grow new leaves and roots for the fall bloom whilst we enjoy the upcoming daylilies.  Do you prefer orchids or daylilies?

Sharry Baby