If you, like most of us, have ever purchased and killed an orchid at some point in your life then this piece of hope is for you. Campbell’s Greenhouse in South End runs a successful “Orchid Care” program to bring seemingly dead plants back to life.
“We can’t exactly raise them from the dead,” said Debbie the flowermaster the day I dropped in unannounced to talk obsessively about flowers. “We’ll assess the root quality and if we deem it viable then it can likely be resuscitated.”
Flower resuscitation! I love it so much. How is this even a thing?
Orchids are delicate flowers that we humans seem to have a hard time keeping alive. When the vibrant blooms stop blooming and you’re stuck with a less impressive green stick in a pot, most people assume the plant is dead and toss it. But according to Debbie, orchids can fall naturally dormant for up to a year, and with a little patience and a lot of expertise, Campbell’s has the magic touch to bring the bloom back.
From Campbell’s Orchid Care Program:
“Most new orchids that are put into the care program will require repotting at a cost of $2.00 per orchid. Your orchid will be tagged with your name, date, phone number and the plant will be given an inventory number for identification. If, and when the orchid reblooms, which can take a year to 18 months, the folks at Campbell’s will notify the owner to come and pick up the blooming plant.”
You pay your $2 re-potting fee up front and then owe nothing until your flower comes back to life up to 18 months later, a waiting period known as a sort of “orchid roulette” as Debbie put it. Assuming your flower survives, you’ll owe $2/month per orchid (up to a maximum $12 regardless of how long the flower takes to recover) in “Care Program Fees.”
Seems worth it if you really love flowers and can’t keep them alive (and apparently a lot of people do and can’t).
Orchids in the Care Program are lined up on a special designated shelf at the nursery, tagged with their owners’ names and phone numbers like sick little pets at the vet. The fact that people care this much about their flowers and, more importantly, that there is a program designed to calm their worries and revive those flowers brings me a tremendous amount of joy.
I’m off to buy an orchid and kill it.