Why Are Orchids So Expensive? (8 Common Reasons)

Flowers are a romantic present for a loved one due to their unique value and symbolism. As a result, they are available at many different prices ranging from low to high. 

Amongst them, orchids are one of the most highly coveted ornamental plants, representing luxury, strength, and beauty. Furthermore, they are not just rare and unique but also costly too. The most expensive orchids can cost several thousand dollars per stem.

Their price information probably makes you shocked. Yet, why are orchids so expensive? The answer is right here. Keep scrolling down to find out 8 reasons explaining that problem.

Why Are Orchids So Expensive?

In general, orchids have a high price because of their rarity, beauty, and difficulty in cultivation. Indeed, the orchid species with the lower estimated number has a higher value. Furthermore, some of them can become priceless because they are in government conservation. Yet, not all orchids are expensive. Many different factors determine their price.

Let’s take a closer look at 8 main reasons that make orchids costly.

1. Endangered species

Orchids are the world’s largest plant family with over 700 genera, more than  28,000 different species, and 150,000 hybrids. However, the number is diminishing due to some of them risking extinction as endangered species. Here are 5 orchids with a meager estimated number count:

  • Fairie’s Paphiopedilum (less than 50)
  • Vietnamese Paphiopedilum (less than 50)
  • Western Underground Orchid (less than 50)
  • Hawaiian Bog Orchid (27–33)
  • Zeuxine Rolfiana (about 18)

Most orchids grow in the wild and rainforests, and they are not found in other common areas. Yet, nowadays, people are still destroying their natural habitat as a result of deforestation. Unsurprisingly, this is precisely why some orchids are on the verge of extinction.

2. Unique beauty

Because of their breathtaking beauty, orchids are more costly than other flowers. Except for black, orchids bloom in a broad range of hues. However, the mix of various hues, not a single color, makes orchids so appealing. Most orchids have two or more hues, which enhances the overall look of the bloom. The following are some examples of popular color combinations:

  • Purple and yellow
  • Red and white
  • Pink and white
  • Yellow and pink
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The magnificent designs seen in orchids are incredible, seeming stunning. Yet, you may also get orchids with wild patterns with faces or shapes that resemble other creatures. Indeed, the orchids with the most distinct physical appearance are likely to be the most expensive. Because of this scarcity, the specific type of orchids is in high demand, and hence costly. Here are 2 examples:

  • The Bog Orchid is a one-of-a-kind orchid with a 50-cm stem and greenish blooms that create a hood via the dorsal and lateral sepals. This structure is unique in orchids.
  • The Ghost Orchid has a stark white hue that gives the impression of a ghost floating in the dark.

Besides their distinct look, appealing patterns, color combinations, and intriguing forms, orchids are aromatic. They are suitable as stand-alone centerpieces, floral gifts, house or office interior decorating, and other uses. Everyone will be delighted and charmed by the beauty of orchids. Orchids come in various colors, each of which may be used to complement different occasions and themes.

3. Location

Orchids grow virtually everywhere except in the driest conditions, such as Antarctica and the desert. However, some orchids only grow in certain regions, making them difficult to find and expensive to transport.

As mentioned before, most orchids require tropical conditions. For example, Columbia has 4,000 orchid species, with 1,543 species exclusively occurring natively in Columbia. 

Many experts attribute the profusion of orchids in Columbia to the warm, dry environment, excellent soil, and varied elevations. Furthermore, China, India, and the Philippines are all known for having a significant number of wild orchids.

When people need to deliver these flowers across long distances, they must also keep them alive. Unfortunately, this might involve costly equipment to assist in maintaining vehicles, aircraft, and boats at a constant temperature.

4. Difficulty in growing

Some orchids are simple to grow. Especially, the most widespread species may be cultivated at home and in the yard with easy and standard orchid care.

However, orchids are not the most fantastic choice for a novice gardener since they require particular care. Indeed, some certain orchid types are difficult to cultivate. It can take 10 to 15 years for the grower, even the greatest horticulturists, to grow and bloom the orchid. 

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Furthermore, it is exceptionally challenging to propagate orchids from seed. Orchid seeds, unlike other plant seeds, lack nutrient storage tissues. For growing, the seed must locate a particular type of fungus that can enter its root system and transform nutrients into a usable form. As a result, the cost of the orchid bloom is high and expensive.

>> Read More: How To Water Orchids (Useful Tips)

5. Longevity

Orchid blossoms last longer than other forms of plant flowers. Some orchids generate flowers that persist for a month, while others create blooms that last for almost six months. As a result, they are pretty expensive. Occasionally, orchids may bloom for several weeks when cultivated indoors, but they can bloom for much longer with extra care and effort.

6. Genetic modification 

Genetic modification can result in some incredible new hues and patterns that are not found in nature. For example, Dr. Masahiro Mii of Chiba University developed a bright blue hue by inserting the flavonoid 3′, 5′-hydroxylase gene into a usual phalaenopsis.

Experts in genetic modification have advanced to the point where we can alter the color and use the most desired elements of diverse orchid blossoms to produce the greatest flowers. Thus, some genetically modified orchids are much more expensive than wild orchids.

7. Many uses

Flowers and orchids serve a variety of functions. Orchids are ideal for flower arrangements and flower bouquets. They also contribute to the production of high-quality fragrances and perfumes. Besides, orchids are frequently used among local cultures for their therapeutic properties, while some are used for food flavoring.

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Numerous studies have found that the presence of flowers and being in nature may improve a person’s mood. In addition, orchids have potential health advantages that might help to a healthy life due to their natural beauty as well as the many vitamins included in them:

  • Eye health: Orchids include vitamins C and E, which help to maintain good optic health.
  • Digestion: The juice from the blossoms can help treat various digestive issues, including diarrhea, constipation, and ulcers.
  • Skincare: the vitamin A  from orchids can be used as part of an efficient skincare routine.
  • Immune system: Orchid blooms have a lot of vitamin C, which has been known to aid in immune system boosting. Simply eat one with your salad!
  • Mental health: orchids are undeniably beautiful. Surrounding decoration with beautiful objects can help create an environment that promotes healthy mental health. Thus, instead of spending money on pricey therapy and drugs, consider making a better environment for yourself.

Conclusion

Orchids can have a hefty price tag, but not all of them are expensive. Thus, choosing an affordable one is entirely possible. In short, this article has provided enough information to answer the question “why are orchids so expensive?”. Hopefully, these will help you understand more about orchids.

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