Patience is a necessary virtue for orchid growers, especially because it can take up to five years for a seedling to mature enough to bloom for the first time.
And those flowers may only last a couple of days or a week at most.
“You just wait in anticipation to see them come up,” said Dora Glover, a founding member of the Central Vancouver Island Orchid Society. “The main thing with orchids is the proper conditions and patience.”
But the time invested in caring for the plants is worth it because of the joy and amazement she feels when she sees the flowers for the first time.
Once mature, the plant will bloom every year. Glover said if people have enough varieties they could always have something flowering during the season.
Although orchids may look like delicate flowers, the key is knowing how to care for the specific species, especially if people are growing them from seeds.
“It’s a case of knowing your conditions and what your plant is going to like otherwise it will go to orchid heaven,” said Glover.
Glover grows a variety of species and has had some more than 20 years. She repots new growths from mature plants to either add to her greenhouse shelves or sell to other growers or at shows.
People who want to grow orchids can skip the seedling stage and buy mature, hardy varieties, such as the phalaenopsis, in stores, or purchase at the orchid society’s annual show and sale Friday to Sunday (April 12-14).
The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at Nanaimo North Town Centre, featuring vendors from across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Judging of the show is done by the American Orchid Society and a potting demonstration takes place April 14 at 1 p.m.
During the show and sale people will be able to view a wide variety of orchid species and talk to society members who are experienced growers. Glover and Mike Millar are the only founding members still in the society. It now has more than 80 members in the central Island area, which stretches from Campbell River to Victoria.
For more information about the orchid society or annual show and sale please go to www.cvios.com.