Planting orchids at Mutschlers'

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Two Sundays ago, my dad and I took the orchid class offered by Bob Mutschler of Mutschlersí Florist and Rare Plants, 6601 Perkiomen Ave., Birdsboro. My dad has always been interested and passionate about gardening, plants, and flowers. He has taken classes offered by Mutschler before, and because of it there are many bonsai trees and orchids around my parentís home. After I interviewed Mutschler and toured his greenhouse and flower shop, my interest in taking one of the classes was heightened. At the class, Mutschler explained everything you would want to know about orchids; from their different types of species, to how to plant, water, fertilitze and care for the flower.

There were around a dozen people in the class, even some kids, which was nice to see that they are already interested in plants at a young age. A good tidbit of information that I kept with me is to always re-pot an orchid that you buy from a grocery store because in a mass market setting, they are not properly potted or cared for. The pot should have a hole in the bottom to allow for water drainage. Mutschler showed roots of two orchids; one that was from a grocery store, the other from one of his growers. The roots of the plants looked very different. The grocery store orchid had the roots all up on top of the soil, trying to escape from what was in there. The roots from the grower plant were stocked in moss and wanted to stay in the pot they were planted. These roots looked much healthier.

Mutschler demonstrated how close the orchid should be to the window for the plant to be able to flower. Orchids love water and sunlight and the plant should sit as close to the window as possible.

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After we picked out our own orchids, (3 each!) we got to pot them. Once potted, the orchid sits on a tray of stones and water that is meant to create humidity around the plant. In my new apartment, I have the orchids near the windows, but they arenít as close as they should be because of the tray. I am going to try to find a better location for two of the orchids.