My husband gave me an orchid for Valentine’s Day. Not a single stem, but an entire plant, trailing seven snowy blooms and countless tiny buds. Beautiful, thoughtful, and scary!

I’ve never raised an orchid before! What if I kill it? There is a tag attached that claims the orchid is as easy as ‘A, B, C’ to care for. It also says this phalaenopsis is resilient, which would make killing it even more shameful.

The first caveat is to water only when the moss on top is completely dry. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. But before the plant is dry, some of the buds on the limbs dry up and fall off. Is that a water deficiency?

Or is it too much light?

The second warning is to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. Does that mean away from windows? In a house where light is a prized commodity, lots of glass doors and exposed windows, how do I accomplish this? How do I know when there is too much light for the orchid?

Step ‘C’ is confidence. Well, maybe that’s the problem. It’s difficult to have confidence with something I have never done before.

For those of you who know a thing or two about raising orchids, please share your hints and wisdom. I don’t want to destroy such a gorgeous plant!

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