Orchid Care






 Buying Orchids Online Part II

oncidium orchid
Close-up of Oncidium Orchid purchased from Trader Joe's. These like bright indirect light and produce numerous flowers on tall spikes on compact plants.


Price Vs. Value
There is a Difference. 

Value and price are two different things. For example one vendor may have a certain orchid cross, BS in a 4" pot for $10 less than another one. When the plant arrives from Vendor #1 it will bloom within the year, and can probably remain in the same size pot at least as long. 

The same cross from vendor #2 arrives with a growth in bud. The 4" pot is full and you will need to repot the plant into a 5" pot when it finishes blooming.

Which is better value? I tall depends on you--how quickly you want orchids in bloom and how much satisfaction you derive from the flowers





















Go to Part I of this article

2 . How Do I find Quality Vendors?  
With the advent of the internet, just about anyone can set up shop these days. Be sure to buy only from reputable growers.  How do you choose among the hundreds of orchids vendors online? Here are some tips: 

A. Read about the vendor: How long have they been in business? How long have they been growing orchids? Do they have any documents areas of expertise?  Search online for reviews of a particular vendor. Order only order a small number of orchids  the first time you try out a new vendor. Also try several different vendors until you find a few that you like and that offer good value.

B. Look at their Website:  How professional is their website? While this maybe subjective, it helps if the vendor has their own domain name, an updated website, no broken links, and full address, telephone, and email contact information.  Also, look to see if they have a substantial number of  testimonials from their customers.

C. Ask Questions-A quality orchid supplier should be able to tell you more about all orchid plants they offer. Be sure to ask if a plant that interests you will grow well in your conditions, when it will flower, whether it is an easy/fussy grower etc.   If a vendor does not provide satisfactory answers, or is unwilling to take spend time discussing the orchids they sell, find another who does.

4. Can Orchid be Shipped in Bloom? 
An experienced vendor will be able to ship you many orchids in bloom though none will guarantee safe arrival of flowers. It is best to order plants in 'low spike' or just setting buds, rather than those already in bloom. We have received numerous orchids in bud without any damage. The plant  shown to the right was shipped in spike exactly as photographed. It all depends on the packing skills of the shipper, and how carefully the package was handled in transit.

5. What Will I Have To Pay For Shipping and Taxes? 
Expect to pay about 18 % to 25 % of the value of your order for packing/handling and shipping. Some vendors lump all the charges together, while others have a separate packing charge. USPS Priority mail is the basis shipping choice, but preferred vendors will  use 2nd Day FedEx. Also, check to see how each vendor calculates shipping charges. Some use a flat percentage of your order value, while others base it on the number of orchid plants. Generally it makes most sense to order several  plants so as to spread shipping costs over each of them. Joint orders with friends is a great way to reduce what you pay for shipping. Orchids shipped out of state generally do not have sales tax added.  

  6. Can I return Plants?  
Most vendors will have a return/replacement policy if you are not happy with the plants. Contact the vendor immediately if there is a problem upon opening your package of orchid plants. It is unfair to wait a few days to see if the plants improve and then contacting the vendor if they do not. Quality vendors will replace plants that are heavily damaged during shipment. Note that some minor damage to leaves or bulbs can be expected so do not expect to have these plants replaced. Be sure to read each vendors' policy carefully. Also, many vendors will not guarantee safe arrival during extremely hot/cold weather so it is safest to order orchids during milder weather. It is best to order a few plants only if you are using a vendor for the first time, to avoid disappointment.

Go to Part I of this article





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Quick Links:
-What to do when flowers fade
-Why won't my orchid bloom?
-How to buy orchids like a pro

-Can I grow orchids in low light?
-How do I water my orchids?

-Where can I buy orchids online?

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-How to Grow Moth Orchids
-How to Grow Slipper Orchids