You were casually observing the reticulation installation company do their work fixing your sprinkler system. The weather is nice and cool this time of the year in Perth, as you sit back in your front porch sipping tea. You can’t help but admire what’s in front of you—a big lawn with a well-manicured garden with flowers, shrubs, and small trees on both sides. A lot of what’s out there were the fruits of your labor.
Hours later, the men doing the work said they were done and asked for some water to drink. One of the guys praised the garden and added that he’s surprised that there’s no orchid. He said that his wife has a small place at the back of their house, where she grows some, and she makes some money off it. They thanked you for the drink and went on their way.
The comment about not having orchids got stuck in your head. You always thought that it takes a lot of effort and so you never bothered including it in your garden. But the point about earning money, that caught your interest more. How does one start an orchid business?
Here are a few things to consider.
2010 figures indicate that the U.S. orchid industry earned a total revenue of more than $100 million. They were typically grown by garden hobbyists. Commercial growth was somewhat restricted because of the policy on soil importation.
Countries in Southeast Asia, like Thailand and Singapore, are significant players in the global orchid industry. The Netherland is also a major player in Europe, while Colombia is considered the country with the largest number of orchid species in the world. An estimated 1,500 orchid species out of more than 4,000 are found in Colombia.
Your Mini Orchid Farm
You still have a large space at the back of the house, with some landscaping done already. But you’re now quickly seeing it as a converted mini-orchid farm. Here are some of the things you need to consider when starting your orchid business:
- Research and learn. This endeavor would be two-fold. The first is you need to learn about the orchids themselves—what are the varieties, how to grow them, what they require, etc. The second part is you need to know about the business of orchids. Will you sell them per unit to end customers? Or will you market your products to florists and flower shops on a wholesale basis?
- Join a group. Your research should also take you to the local organization or society about orchids in your area. Join a group to get insights on anything orchid related, particularly information about orchid growers and sellers. You learn which variety is the easiest to grow or which ones would be more profitable. As you gain expertise, you will also learn that it’s best to buy orchid from professional suppliers.
- How to grow them. This is perhaps the most crucial step to take. Orchids require a particular amount of sunlight. They need light, but they don’t need to be directly under the sun. Watering is usually just once a week. You know that they don’t grow on soil, but they grow on tree bark or driftwood. The roots of the orchids need to be in contact with air. Details like these are the things that you should know by heart.
You need to watch out for bugs and make sure that there’s no infestation. You need to learn the needs and requirements of each specific orchids. There’s still plenty to learn, but these three main points will cast you on your way.