They’re mysterious, elegant, seductive and (as a result) very popular. The orchids Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis and Vanda and other orchids are therefore on the Flower Agenda together in November. The inspirational images at the bottom of this page show their qualities in detail. You can download and use these images free of charge if you credit Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk.
Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) and Vanda are members of the exotic plant family Orchidaceae, which includes over 8000 species. Cymbidium originates from the southern slopes of the Himalayas at a height of 1500 to 3000 metres. Phalaenopsis and Vanda mainly grow as epiphytes in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, the Philippines, New Guinea and northern Australia. Growing orchids here in Europe is specialist work. Growers need to manipulate the temperature, the nutrients and the light in the greenhouses to get the plant to bloom at the right time.
All orchid species are offered in many different colours and flower designs. So there’s plenty of choice! There are many innovations in terms of colours and shapes in which the flowers are sold and used. There are hundreds of cultivars of Cymbidium, particularly in the colours white, yellow, green, pink, brown or russet. The flower markings and the lip colour can vary, and give this flower its unusual look. With cut Phalaenopsis the colours white, pink and lilac are the most significant, but we are increasingly seeing other colours as well. Stripes, spots or the lip colour make each cultivar unique. The Vanda range offers a much wider variety of colours, from white to dark purple and from blue to orange. The pattern on the flower makes it even more appealing. The long vase life makes these flowers popular with many consumers. Other orchids in the range are Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, and Dendrobium.
What to look for when buying orchids
- Transport the flowers at a temperature above 12°C, or 8°C for Cymbidium.
- On arrival in the shop, place the stems in clean water.
- Cut a piece off the stems.
- You can save the tubes on the stems for use in floral work.
- Make sure you do not damage the flowers.
- Avoid condensation or getting the flowers wet because of botrytis.
Care tips for professionals
- Look at the length and sturdiness of the stem, the number of flowers per stem, the size of the flowers and the ripeness (stage 1 to 5).
- Also make sure that there is enough water in the tubes otherwise the flowers may start to droop.
- The orchids must be free of pests and diseases.
- With Cymbidium it is important that the anther cap is nice and white and the lip has a clear colour. If the anther cap is brown or black and the lip is dark, the flower is old. Beware of mice! They love the anther caps.
- Make sure that the flowers do not get damp from condensation or wet tables.
- Don't place the flowers near fruit.
Display tips for professionals
Orchids can be incorporated in various arrangements very effectively. It does sometimes require some technical skill to place the flowers in the right place in floral work. A lot can be done with test tubes and open water or using line techniques. In November a combination with other autumn flowers such as Skimmia or foliage is simple and atmospheric. Creating table decorations in the form of wreathes quickly produces a festive mood. The most common use is combining a stem with other flowers to lend a special touch to a field bouquet.
Care tips for customers
- Trim the stems diagonally with a knife.
- Place the flowers in a clean vase with tepid tap water.
- Add a pinch of cut flower food.
- Replace the water every five days, and trim the stems again.
- Cymbidium is often placed in a tube. Regular check that it still contains enough water.
- Don't place the flowers near fruit or the central heating.
Inspiration & information
Inspiring images of every flower on the Flower Agenda have been produced in line with the Horticulture Sector Trends 2020 (Groenbranche Trends 2020). These trends are a translation of the latest consumer trends aimed at the horticulture sector.
You can download the below poster to print and use:
Download A3 Orchid Poster
The orchid is in the Flower Agenda in November
You can download and use these inspiration images free of charge if you credit Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk.