He is not much to look at. His two leaves are a breathe away from a dead wilt. Most of his roots are so crisp and dessicated they collapse with the slightest touch. He definitely isn't going to bloom any time soon.
Now you may think that none of the above is very surprising, since Phalaenopsis (aka Moth) orchids are so difficult to care for, right? Wrong! Orchids are easy to care for! They have this mystique about them because they are expensive and beautiful, but they aren't nearly as hard to care for as most people think. The Orchid that Lives in My Bathroom is concrete evidence of this. You see, I haven't watered him for over 14 months.
In addition to no water for over a year, The Orchid that Lives in My Bathroom has had barely any light. My bathroom has no windows. And since I tore out the shower several months ago, I barely go in there any more and turn on the lights.
|Yup. He lived right up there on that cabinet for 14 months. I put him up there one day and then forgot about him.|
I've almost watered and/or moved him several times, since the poor guy was living in an orchid's version of Hell. And yet I had this perverse need to see how far he could go. He'd already made it three months, how about six? Nine? A year?
Well, after a year and two months I'm getting ready to paint the bathroom, and so need to take down the medicine cabinet. I brought the Orchid that Lives in My Bathroom into a room with better light so I could assess the damage. I didn't have much hope for the thing, even if it had somehow clung to life far longer than it should have.
You see that there, amongst the cobwebs? It's a new leaf!!
And those are new air roots!! So not only is the Orchid that Lives in My Bathroom still alive, it is actively growing!!
I sort of wanted the pot for another plant, but I just couldn't send this plucky guy to the Compost Heap in the Sky like I planned. Anything that endures those conditions for that long deserves to live!! The Orchid that Lives in My Bathroom is now The Orchid that Lives by the Best Window in the House (after a decent acclimation period, that is. You don't give a starving man a cheeseburger.) Since he is now surrounded by other plants he will have a decent level of humidity, and I will probably water him at least once a month out of horticultural guilt.
Moral of the story: if you are ever locked in a bathroom without food, water, or sunlight for a long period of time, hang in there! Be like the little orchid that could! You'll be rewarded in the end. Another moral is that phalaenopsis orchids are absurdly easy to take care of (although getting them to rebloom can be another story.) And finally, don't take a long time to remodel your bathroom. Lives could be at stake.