As you know, I buy my orchids in flea markets or exhibitions of orchids.
Although it is also possible to buy online, online shopping is not very popular here and is best done when you know a couple of reputable nurseries.
But I’m willing to buy online in the future! Depending on where you buy orchids, I have to take into account many variables which they may, or may not vary from the situation.
I also would like to share some tips for my countrymen (Colombian) according to my experience.
-First, you have to know the place where you are.
-The flea markets are various events.
-In the flea markets, you find mostly farmers and small-scale trade.
-They pay a relatively small price to local government that seeks to help them promote their products.
-Orchid exhibitions are organized events a few times a year.
In the exhibitions, you find the largest and most famous in the country nurseries.
They pay a very high fee to any private organization, generally a society of orchids, which seeks to organize large-scale events for citizens and tourists.
None of these options is better than the other if one knows what to expect.
So this is what I have in mind: Both options offer a variety of orchids.
Exhibitions, especially during the Feria de las Flores, They are much larger than flea markets, but as markets are more frequent and always offer something different, we can conclude that you can find almost everything everywhere.
The difference is that, unlike the peasants, large nurseries may have laboratories, so if you’re looking for a particular type of orchid, they can give you in vitro or slight (what you want) plants.
If you are looking orchids identified, flea markets are not for you.
Most sellers grow their orchids at home, and named with vernacular expressions as “cradles of Venus,” “golden rain” or “Baby booties.”
Magnificent orchids are worth more for its intrinsic value that by their “parents” or displays their potential value.
But if you’re lucky and you find a label on a flea market, you can be pretty sure that name is reliable.
In most of the commercial and their customers do not care about labels, so sometimes get marked orchids of excess inventories of large-scale importers who they buy their orchids reputable nurseries in the United States, for example, but they do not add extra charges to the fact that the orchid is identified.
Moreover, local nurseries in exhibitions not only sell imported orchids but also they sell divisions grow orchids themselves, so, in the end, you have to trust that the marked orchids they are a division of a certified elsewhere orchid.
It is paradoxical, but I have many orchids US I bought in flea markets, while most labels orchids buy at exhibitions are handwritten.
While the price range in flea markets is very broad, you can find many beautiful orchids at very affordable rates.
Orchids can also be found in some of the bigger garden-parks around the world.
Moreover, orchid’s exhibitions are so expensive that sometimes it is ridiculous.
If you invest a large sum in an orchid in a show, better you are sure you want this orchid and not get elsewhere.
At flea markets, you can also negotiate directly with the seller, so you get some discount.
As much as you want to help sellers, they know they have to set a price that gives them a high-profit margin, so in some cases, they sold orchids even two or three times the value they believe it.
If you are a good customer and negotiate directly, they end up being very friendly and not only get discounts, but you just give other plants that do work can flourish.
On the other hand, in orchid shows you talk mostly with employees of nurseries, who have strict orders not to give any discount to its already very expensive and orchids.
In both places, I have received healthy and diseased orchids.
If you have some primary criteria on how to see a fresh orchid, you have to buy the orchid and just treat it and transplant it when you get home.
Do not expect to find fresh orchids all the time, but if you know how to handle them, you’ll be happy with your purchase wherever they may be.
My two basic tips: In the flea markets you will always find different orchids every time, So here not worth going to look for something in particular, but better to be surprised.
Also, if you see an orchid that you like, buy (Unless either the Catalog abode, that is always there), because it is very likely not find again soon.
Moreover, in the exhibitions better you know exactly what you want in advance.
First, because if you let yourself be carried away and buy a lot of orchids, you see and like for the first time, you’ll end up spending a lot of money in orchids you could find a better price elsewhere.
Second, large nurseries, in fact, offer orchids that you will not find elsewhere.
As customers here Šestan not so obsessed with identification and are driven more by appearance (flower) identified orchids belong to a niche market, so it’s better to pay the price of a strong guarantee.
In the flea markets, you have to look carefully.
There are many exotic orchids that cannot survive in your environment and can come without roots or full of diseases and pests, so you should choose not only an orchid you like but a large enough so it can withstand the stress of being introduced to your environment.
And if you fail to take care of, the seller could replace it, but then different orchid, because they do not have enough ‘stock’ to offer many specimens of the same class.
Then at the end you could lose your beautiful orchid but sick anyway.
On the other hand, if you get an orchid tired of a large nursery in an exhibition, you could have the options available to contact them, assistance and even a replacement of the same specimen in better condition.
In general, you have to choose nurseries with good image and communication channels.
Once you become your customers, they will never let you go.
I hope you have learned a little more about my experience buying orchids! Maybe we could exchange our EXPERIENCES as customers for we make right decisions as we build our collection.