Chuck and I went adventuring into Virginia last Thursday, looking for a labyrinth in Boydton. Coming home, we stopped at Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor, NC. (It’s right off I-85, and worth a visit.) In addition to a gallery and studios, they have lovely gardens and a little plant sale area.
I wandered over to the plants (as I must) and found a bat flower blooming its heart out. I have seen pictures of them, but had never seen one in person. And they had a relatively small one (with no blossoms) for sale for $5.
It’s a terrestrial orchid and needs low light and high humidity. I accidentally did the right thing when I repotted it with extra vermiculite in the mix. I have it up against the back wall of my house where it gets early morning sun and it seems to be happy there. For now. When nighttime temps get close to 50ºF/10ºC, we will bring it into the living room and put a humidifier nearby.
I have friends who think I have a green thumb. I think I am simply willing to give a plant a shot. And I read the instructions that come on those little tags. (That wasn’t a lesson quickly learned.) And my yard has all the choices for sun.
I think the trick to keeping plants, is finding things that like what you have to offer. If you tend to want to water a lot, don’t get cacti or succulents. If you have a tendency to forget to water, go for those. And don’t beat yourself up if the plants you wish you could grow don’t love your climate.
When I lived in Charleston, SC, I had a collection of bromeliads and all of them bloomed for me. I moved from that house to a different angle and amount of sun and they all died. My care didn’t change, but the environment did. That has affected my plant expectations since then.