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Bloom boom

Kay Vega of Clearwater was expecting maybe 70 blooms on her white cattleya orchid this year. Instead, the prolific plant produced 166 blossoms late last month. "Some of the stems have four or five blooms on them. They're just lying on top of each other," said Vega, who insists she's "only a hobbyist." Her secret? Once a week, she sets her 28 orchids in a long trough filled with a weak solution of water and liquid fertilizer and leaves them there for half an hour. This plant is 8 years old and normally lives in an open-air archway outside Vega's house. Right now, though, it's on display in her family room.

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