I wasn't terribly impressed with the short bloom spikes the plant threw out on its first try. But it was just a baby then. This year's bloom, whoa. Thick, fleshy pink asparagus-like stalks started reaching for the sky, and I reached for a sturdy stake to keep the plant from toppling over. Up and up they grew, elongating and throwing blossom after blossom. No, sadly, they're not fragrant, but they're charming nonetheless.
almost there...There! Whoo-eee! The whole affair in full bloom now stands 28" high, with 17" flower stalks! I do believe it likes my bedroom.
Better yet, the plant has thrown out five shoots from its rhizome, and I understand that these can be cut off, rooted in water or potting medium, and given to friends. Nothing pleases a gardener like gifting a friend with an offshoot of a treasured plant. Plant propagation: my only vice.
Luscious, that's all it is, just luscious, the leaves with garnet veins and a ravishing red reverse, and it couldn't be easier to grow.
Here it is in situ, in a south-facing window in the orchid bedroom. When the sun glares in too harshly (rare for winter in the mid-Ohio valley), I drop the Venetian blinds and keep them at a horizontal slant, to let bars of sun pass over my plants. Humidity trays are kept full beneath the collection, and I mist the plants a couple of times a day with filtered water. Doesn't leave spots on the leaves. Makes them look squeaky clean and dust-free.
If you're timid about orchids but you can grow African violets, do try the jewel orchid. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And then it's on to Phalaenopsis! Laeliocattleyas! Dendrobiums! Brassaevolas! Oh! Oh! Oh!
For more encouragement, see this excellent article, "A Foolproof Orchid," on the American Orchid Society's web site.