Nov. 2021: Road Trip for Orchids

I haven’t blogged in a while, and if you’d put as many miles on vehicles as I have in the last month, you’d understand why.

I’m getting a temporary change of scene this winter, trying out central California for a few months – partly to welcome a new grandchild into the family, and partly to see if I like it and can afford to live there. So, it’s an exciting time!

My Boise housesitter didn’t want the responsibility of keeping all my plants alive, particularly the orchids, which added a layer of complexity to the move.

Sadly, I gave away some beautiful houseplants. But I couldn’t part with the orchids – so, they made the trip to California with me!

This is no small feat in a state with very strict rules about bringing in any type of plant or fresh produce. I’d heard horror stories about agricultural inspectors at the border confiscating plants and throwing them away.

Bringing my entire collection, I couldn’t take that chance.

I did my research and corresponded with the California Department of Agriculture. I repotted some of the plants, and checked them all relentlessly for bugs and viruses in the weeks before the trip. I also got a letter from the person who’ll be boarding my orchids, explaining that they’ll be safe with him.

You read that correctly: There are people who board orchids, for aficionados who love them but travel a lot, or don’t have the right growing conditions for them at home. Who knew?

The day before the road trip, I watered everybody and nestled them into large, flat plastic tubs, so they’d ride upright and not leak all over the rental van.

I made it through the ag inspection station without a hitch, and dropped close to 70 plants off at their new home away from home. It isn’t especially close to where I’ll be living, but a short enough drive that I’ll be able to check on them now and then, and learn more about orchids in general from a real expert grower.

It’s an adventure for all of us.