published October 8, 2013

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Profile of a Young Orchidist
By Sandy Stubbings, Education Committee, AOS

 


I met Lexie Mitchell at the Gulf Coast Orchid Society Show when she volunteered to help me unload and set up the Clown Alley Orchids sales area. She then stayed around. She is a lovely, delightful, polite young lady. She seemed to be a natural at sales, as she shared her delight in the plants with customers. She has answered a questionnaire I sent her and here is a summary of that interview.

“Lexie lives in Carriere, MS, north of New Orleans, LA. There are mild winters and hot, humid summers.” says her mom, Patsy. Lexie is 10 years old.

Lexie first learned about orchids from her grandparents, John and Janet Bridges. Her Grandpa helped her start out and she grows both in their greenhouse and on her own windowsill. She was attracted to orchids, “because they have so many different features and there are so many different types compared to other plants.” She started with a Phalaenopsis and now has Phalaenopsis, Dendrobiums, and Cattleyas. Her collection has grown to “Eighteen, names known, and six names unknown.” Now she has help growing from her mom, grandma and grandpa.

Lexie’s favorite part of growing is “Repotting and watching new growths and blooms appear.” There is nothing she doesn’t like about growing orchids and nothing she thinks is difficult about growing them.

Lexie knows about the American Orchid Society but belongs to the Gulf Coast Orchid Society. “They teach me what is good and what is bad for the plant,” she says.

She especially enjoys the shows:
“The orchid shows are nice. I help them set up. I like that they judge the plants. I think they need to make an orchid related activity that any age would like, young and old.”

She suggests:
“Orchid art like orchid color by numbers, or draw and paint orchids, or even make stickers to make an orchid picture frame, anything arts and crafts.”

However, she says “Y’all are all on the right track. I don’t have anything to change,” to get children more involved in orchids.

If you know any other young people who are growing orchids, we’d love to feature them in other articles. Please send their names and emails to sstubbings@comcast.net