Feb 27, 2007

We've known a couple of orchid fanatics over the years -- people who keep entire greenhouses devoted to hundreds of them, and delight in the cross-breeding, all of that. It always seemed so extreme that we had no interest in the plants until a couple of years ago, when we received one as a gift and learned how easy their care can be.

We've only ever had the simple white or purple Phalaenopsis, which you can find at Smith & Hawken, starting at $29 -- or Trader Joe's, where prices start at about $8 for small ones. If you choose a plant with closed buds, and feed it a couple of pieces of ice once a week, it can last for up to three months.

And since orchids photosynthesize at night, producing more oxygen during that time, they're perfect for the bedroom, where they'll help enhance your sleep.

Image: Smith & Hawken

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