Painting Kuching in Watercolour

CNY Phalaenopsis

Posted on: 17/11/2011

I call this a Chinese New Year phalaenopsis…masses of flowering plants are imported from Taiwan during the festive season. People buy them at festive prices to give to relatives and friends as impressive, beautiful gifts or to decorate their own houses for New Year. And normally after Chap Goh Meh (Fifteenth Night of New Year) the orchids start to die off to the dismay of the owners, who then pour even more water and fertilizers into the pots.

Dear owners, do take a close look at those clear plastic pots – they are filled with tightly packed spaghnum moss! The orchid roots are rotting away in the constantly wet medium and normally it is raining all the time during New Year. So if you want your phalaenopsis to survive after Chap Goh Meh, carefully remove the moss, soak the plant in a fungicide, then repot in a new pot with charcoal and coconut husk. Put it in a cool windy area, water sparingly every day and it should stand a good chance of survival!

This is the variety with ‘harlequin’ spots – it looks quite unusual and rather ugly! Like measles or a nasty allergy rash.

Painted with a limited palette of Holbein’s Opera, Rose violet, Carmine and Ultramarine blue for the shadows.


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A rank amateur self-taught watercolour artist

November 2011
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