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Top 10 Best Tips to Help Buying Orchids

These Tips From Our Experience Will Help You Buy Quality Orchids

Buying quality Orchids takes years and years of experience. From my experience working at Rod McLellan Company (the world's largest Orchid company for almost a century until they were bought) there are a huge number of items to look for when buying Orchids. We present photos with information on tips about Orchid leaves, roots, potting, packaging, flowers, and more. Some of the Orchid varieties in photos below include Cattleyas, Phalaenopsis Orchids, Cymbidiums, and other Orchids.

Also see: The Best Websites to Buy Orchids as Gifts

Tip 1: Orchids in Packages

Tip #1 shown in the above image: When buying Orchids, be wary if the orchid is carefully taped into the pot. Although it could be that this grower just wanted to help themselves and you travel easily with the Orchids, it more likely means these Cattleya Orchids are loose in their pots or recently planted. That means if they were planted in recent days, you'll have to not only acclimate them at home, but also let brand new roots form in the coming year.

Tip 2: Top Quality Phalaenopsis Orchids

Tip #2 shown in the above image: These Phalaenopsis Orchids look great to buy. Notice they are fairly young plants probably in first bloom. The leaves don't seem to have any issues, there are buds not yet open for coming weeks, the flowers are clear in color without damage, and the plants just look healthy!

Tip 3: Orchids in Tight Packages

Tip #3 shown in the above image: These Orchids may not have any mix around the roots in the tin foil. If they do, they will need to be planted quickly. It is likely that this grower brought these plants a long way, either by shipping them or carrying them in a van or such. I wouldn't buy one of these as it would probably take years to bloom after rooting and growing.

Buy Orchid Plants Recommends These Orchids and Books:

Paphiopedilum purpuratum
Phalaenopsis Mistral's Sunrise Flame 'Mendenhall'
Lc. Mary Elizabeth Bohn 'Royal Flare' AM/AOS, will produce lovely blue flowers
Understanding Orchids: An Uncomplicated Guide to Growing the World's Most Exotic Plants
Cymbidium Mighty Remus 'Vintage' HCC/AOS orchid blooming size in 3.5 inch pot

Tip: Variegated Phalaenopsis Orchids

Tip #4 shown in the above image: The leaves of these variegated Phalaenopsis Orchids look nice and healthy. The roots may or may not be and it would be useful to examine them by picking up the clear pots and examining them.

Tip 5: Tightly Squeezed Cattleya Orchids

Tip #5 shown in the above image: One of the Cattleya Orchid leaves is damaged above. In addition, these plants won't bloom until there are 4 to 5 pseudobulbs. So, if you want to wait 3-4 years for bloom, these are an option.

Tip 6: Miniature Cymbidium Orchid Low Flowers

Tip #6 shown in the above image: This miniature Cymbidium has low hanging, short flower spikes. Although it is interesting, I like flowers above the foliage to see them when staked up.

Tip 7: Cattleya Hybrid Orchids in Bags

Tip #7 shown in the above image: These Orchids in bags aren't a great deal. They aren't getting air easily and would need to be potted soon.

Tip 8: Miltonia Orchid Flowers Open

Tip #8 shown in the above image: This Miltonia Orchid isn't a good deal unless very cheap. The flowers are all open so it will be done blooming soon. In addition, the leaf at upper left has bacterial or virus spotting.

Tip 9: Orchid in Old Potting Mix

Tip #9 shown in the above image: This Orchid is potted in very old mix. If I really needed to have this Orchid, I would need to repot it after it is done blooming so the roots can get air.

Tip 10: Cymbidium Orchids For Sale

Tip #10 shown in the above image: Ok, this is the final tip! These Cymbidium Orchids look pretty good, but there are also some minor problems. Many are in full bloom with no buds left. Some have the minimum 3 to 4 bulbs to bloom. That means they are small plants, not to be divided for years. To me, many of these don't look very strong / robust. When I purchase Orchids I like them to look very healthy. A final item: These Cymbidiums are potted in various types of pots while some are outgrowing the pots. I like consistency from growers, which shows me they have excellent Orchid growing skills.

Read about the most popular Orchids to grow at home here.

We recommend Orchids: Everything You Need To Know

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