The Orchid, Mealy Bug and Me

by Barbara-


It has been a week since I posted anything although for some reason it feels like its been ages. I landed a new job a few weeks ago and I have been so busy with trying to get my bearings that I have had no quality time with my plants. It’s the long weekend here in Ontario (Family Day on Monday) and for once I don’t have to go to work on a public holiday. Yeahhh!!.  Given this is going to be a 3 day weekend, I was excited to finally have an extra day to just revel in doing nothing. That also means I have more time to pay close attention to my plants so you can imagine how annoyed I was this morning when I saw mealy bugs on my mini orchid!

Where did they come from? I am certain I gave that plant a good look over when I purchased it about a month ago. Now all of a sudden they just show up? Luckily none of my other plants seem to be infested. So I spent a good 10 minutes or so picking them off the stalk. Just when I thought I had them all, I took off the clips holding the plant stalk to the stakes and what do you know more mealy bugs (eeewwww) hiding underneath. They are all gone now so everything is well. Talking about orchids, I have always thought of them as difficult to care for. I don’t know where I got that idea from but I would avoid even looking at them at a garden store l because I felt they were unattainable. But I could only resist for so long. It started with one mini orchid, and now there are three. Yikes! Two moth orchids (phalaenopsis) and a golden yellow Oncidium. They are classified among low light, warm growing orchids which makes them perfect for my apartment. I am curious to see how well they do in my north facing windows.


Two of the orchids have finished blooming and I wonder if they will ever re-bloom here. I didn’t know how to go about cutting the stems off to promote more blooms so after quick research, I went trimming.


I cut quite low but above a node. A new flowering branch should grow at that node.If the leaves are weak and wrinkled like mine, it is best to cut it all the way down so that the plant doesn’t spend more energy trying to re-bloom soon after. Also, I sprinkled a little cinnamon  on the cut ends to keep bacteria at bay.

IMG_9674Here is a quick look at how the orchids look now after trimming.


I have a long way to learn about orchids and when I’m ready, I’ll be upgrading to a full size orchid. Any orchid growers? I welcome any advice.

sign off


Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.


  1. Nini Tjäder

    Orchids are fantastic flowers.

    You shouldn’t cut off the stems of a flower on an orchid unless it has all withered and dried out. Then it is OK, but never if the stem is still alive. If it isn’t all dried out and is all alive, it can sprout more flowerstems on the stem itself and create new flowers on it. It takes time, but they do.

    Orchids are easy flowers to tend to. The only thing they do not like is too much water and standing with feet in water. I’ve got six of them presently. They have re-bloomed several times. Either from old flower-stems or from new ones. Once in a while you can replant them in special orchid soil, but only needed with a couple of years in between.

    Also, never cut off the roots unless they are dead.

    I’ve moved mine around between windows to find the best directions for them. I’ve got windows to the south and the west. It doesn’t seem to matter which i place them in. They are fine every where.

    20 . Dec . 2015
    • Barbara

      Thanks for the orchid tips. The oncidium orchid has new stalks now and unopened buds. Cant wait to see it flower again.

      20 . Dec . 2015
  2. Esi

    Nice post. I was almost lured into buying an orchid once. However I came to my senses when I realized orchids weren’t a beginner’s plant. All the best with yours!

    14 . Feb . 2015
    • Barbara

      Thank you Esi,
      I think you can totally get an orchid. Just make sure you do a little reading on orchid care before purchasing one. You can start with a mini orchid like I have. Not sure if they are any easier to take care of than the regular size ones but at least it won’t be too overwhelming while practising. All the best!

      15 . Feb . 2015

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