The Best Places to Buy Orchids: A List of Pros and Cons for Orchid Vendors

The Best Places to Buy Orchids: A List of Pros and Cons for Orchid Vendors

The Best Places to Buy Orchids: A List of Pros and Cons for Orchid Vendors

Whether you’re considering purchasing your very first orchid plant or you’re ready to add another orchid to your indoor garden, you may be wondering one thing: 

What are the best places to buy orchids?

Choosing an orchid vendor can be a bit overwhelming, especially since orchids require specific care and attention to stay healthy. Luckily, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to buying orchids that are thriving and ready to add their unique pop of color to your home garden. 

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of buying orchids from different vendors so you can easily choose from the best places to buy orchids. 

Buying Orchids From Chain Stores

One of the most popular places to buy an orchid is at your local grocery store or a big chain store like Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, or Home Depot. 

The orchid plants available at chain retailers are typically phalaenopsis orchids, and they tend to be available in striking colors like ice-blue, fuschia, or bright yellow to catch the eye of busy shoppers. 

A great perk to buying orchids from a chain store is that purchasing is not only convenient (you can pick one up while getting other necessities like groceries or home goods), but the orchids are often affordable too. Keep your eye out for close-out sales or bargain prices. On a good day, you may be able to snag a beautiful orchid for a fraction of the retail price at specialty boutiques. 

When considering buying an orchid from a chain store, take note of the plant’s health by inspecting its potting mix and roots. Employees caring for orchids at big-box stores aren’t typically plant specialists, so the orchids may be over- or under-watered or, in extreme cases, may already be suffering from root rot. 

If you purchase from a big-box store, plan on repotting your orchid when you get it home. Give it a proper pot with plenty of drainage holes and new well-draining orchid potting mix. If these items aren’t available in-store, be sure to purchase them separately. 

Pros:  Cons:
  • Affordable plants
  • Convenient and easy purchasing 
  • Orchids in a variety of colors
  • Orchid plants may or may not be well cared for.
  • Limited variety (typically phalaenopsis orchids)
  • Limited expertise in-store (There likely there aren’t many expert gardeners available to answer your questions.)

Buying Orchids From Online Nurseries

If you’re looking for a convenient way to grow your orchid collection—without even leaving the comfort of your home—then an online nursery may be a great choice for you. Online vendors make it easier than ever to shop around, compare prices, and choose from a wide variety of orchids.

Another wonderful perk about online nurseries is that you’re often able to sign up for email notifications to be instantly alerted when sales or bargains are available—often due to overstock or clearance initiatives. This can help cut down the sometimes high cost of shipping and handling fees associated with plant delivery. 

When purchasing your orchid from an online nursery, be aware that you can’t hand-select your particular plant. Instead, you’ll purchase a plant variety and the retailer will choose which individual orchid will be packaged and delivered to your doorstep. If you’d prefer to choose your specific plant, this option might not be best for you. 

Pros:  Cons:
  • Choose from an endless variety of plants.
  • Easily compare pricing to get the best deal.
  • Customer support options are usually reliable.
  • Plants may be expensive due to shipping costs.
  • Plants may be damaged during delivery.
  • Plants are hand-selected by the orchid retailer.

Buying Orchids From Specialty Orchid Shops

Buying your orchid plant from a specialty shop can be deeply rewarding. Often, specialty shop owners and employees are orchid experts, so you can ask questions and get detailed answers on the spot. Additionally, orchids sold at specialty shops are likely to be well cared for prior to purchase, so you can rest assured that your plant has had professional care before you even load it into the car to take it home. 

Specialty nurseries also boast a wide variety of plants. If there’s an orchid type that you’ve had your eye on that isn’t available at a big-box store, chances are you can find it at a specialty shop. 

Perhaps the biggest drawback to buying an orchid at a specialty shop is the price. Orchids tend to be the most expensive from niche stores since small businesses often can’t offer prices as low as big retailers. Though if you can splurge on your orchid, supporting a small orchid business is a wonderful endeavor. This may be one of the best places to buy orchids. 

Pros:  Cons:
  • Plants tend to be very well cared for before purchase.
  • Choose from a wide variety of plants—including less popular types.
  • Ask specific questions and get detailed answers from an orchid expert.
  • Support a small business.
  • Plants may be more expensive than at other retailers. 
  • Specialty shops may be difficult to find depending on where you live.

Propagating Orchids From a Friend or Family Member’s Garden

When you have a friend or family member who is an orchid lover, you may be able to cut down significantly on the cost of acquiring a brand-new orchid. 

Perhaps a friend or family member has an orchid that they can’t care for anymore—whether it’s because they’re moving, retooling their indoor garden, or simply because they haven’t dialed in on a good care routine. In cases such as these, you may be the perfect new orchid grower to adopt the plant. 

In the case that your friend or family member isn’t looking to rehome their orchid, they may be willing to propagate their plant so you can sprout your very own orchid from theirs. The propagation process takes a bit of patience, but with a few tools, it’s very doable. For more information on how to propagate an orchid, check out our article “Orchid Propagating: 5 Ways to Grow a New Orchid.”

Pros:  Cons:
  • Low cost and budget-friendly
  • Adds meaning to your new orchid
  • Dependent upon having friends or relatives with orchid plants 
  • Requires propagating the plant first

A Recap: The Best Places to Buy Orchids

In today’s marketplace, there’s no shortage of places to buy orchid plants. Some vendors offer convenience and affordable prices, while others offer specialty knowledge and a wide variety of plant species. Ultimately it comes down to weighing the pros and cons of buying an orchid from a variety of vendors to find the vendor that’s right for you. 

You can buy your next orchid from:

  • A chain store like Trader Joe’s or Home Depot
  • An online nursery
  • A specialty orchid shop
  • Or you can propagate a friend or family member’s orchid.

If you need additional help narrowing down the best place to buy your next orchid, join our Facebook community where you can ask questions, share your experience, and get support from orchid lovers all over the world.

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