Confessions of an Orchid Killer

There’s nothing premeditated about it. Nothing intentional. I don’t have it in for orchids. I don’t deprive them of their ice cubes. Not a single orchid has ever done anything so bad to me that I felt a need to exact revenge on it. They simply die on me. I am the Bates Motel for orchids.

I go to homes where they thrive. How, I ask. Simple, their owners say. They just need good light, two or three ice cubes a week and they bloom like crazy. Not for me they don’t. A friend asked me to tend to hers for a week. I told her of my history. She said the orchid was happy, had been alive for quite some time and there wasn’t anything bad I could do to it. Well, she was wrong. One week after I gave it back to her it died. See, I said. See what happens. I told you so. I felt terrible about that but she was forewarned.

Another friend has a houseful of them. All colors, blooming constantly, graciously and beautifully. Again, I asked, how do you do it? I’ve been trying for years only to experience failure again and again. She said I’d been buying the wrong kind. Now we’re getting somewhere. I got out my pen and paper because I know the names are complicated and I wanted to get it right. She said she thought I could remember the name, that it was quite simple and fool proof. Hah, I said….I’ll just bet. She was right. One word solved all the problems. Silk.