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Orchids Cultivation




Phalaenopsis buyer ― who, when, why?


by Chiachung Chen


The sale quantiles of potted Phalaenopsis seem to reach the ceiling. The estimated total qualities of this potted plants was near to 330-350 millions. That is, Europe: 200 million, North America: 50 million, Japan: 10 million, Taiwan and China; 45 million, other Asia countries (South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, etc.): 13 million, new market (Brazil, Australia, South Africa, etc.): 12 million.

The production of potted Phalaenopsis is still increased, especially in Taiwan. However, the demand is reach the limitation or near to touch the ceiling. Why the magical flowers loss their attractive? Form following questions, we may be can find the answer. Who buy potted Phalaenopsis, When are they buy? Why they buy?

Who buy this orchid? The customers are the enthusiast of flowers. The potted Phalaenopsis have its specific stylish, exotic and unique shapes. Why they buy? One of the most important conditions for these customers to buy this orchid is the longer vase life. In the normal condition, the vase life is 1.52.0 months. Why they buy? It depends on the local culture and weather.

The dry matter supplied to flowers is the physiological characteristics for Phalaenopsis. The leaves process the photosynthesis and accumulate the carbon and roots absorb the nutrition and water. Then the dry matter, water and nutrition are transported to buds to ensure the development of flowers.     

If the patted Phalaenopsis are place in the inadequate environment, which is too high temperature or humidity, too high or too low light intensity and water scarcely, buds cannot receive nutrients or water. The buds will not open and loss quickly. The vase life gets short that they may be only last one or two weeks. In other words, if the potted plant lack of accumulation of dry matters, buds and flowers will be damaged or lost. 

In Taiwan, potted Phalaenopsis are so popular in Chinese New Year. Beautiful potter orchids could keep the quality for two months in winter. However, hot season begin in May or June, the potted orchids only maintained 3-4 weeks in the customer’ house. In the hot and humid summer, the vase life usually last for only two weeks. So the sale quantity is reduced in summer.

The same story could be found in Europe and North American. Most of the weather conditions are suitable for potted Phalaenopsis except in summer. In Spring and Autumn, the natural environment is also favorite for orchids. Good quality of orchids are maintained with mild temperature, adequate humidity and enough sunny light. In winter, the heating systems of builds keep the comfortable environment for people and potted orchids. However the day temperature is too high in summer. The other factor is the outdoor activity attract people leave their house. So the sale quantity is minimum is summer.

From the view point of the relationship between the vase life and environment, the development of a new market for potted Phalaenopsis need consider very carefully. For example, the Vietnam market is concentrated on the Hanoi City, capital and Ho Chi Minh City. In Hanoi City, the potted orchids are only sold in Chinese New Year. In Ho Chi Minh City, most of the sales are in the Chinese New Year festival and some quantiles are sold all the year round.

In Singapore, potted orchids can be sold throughout the year. In this city, air conditions in buildings are operated for 24 hours. At night, the inside environment of build are maintained at mild temperature and humidity. This comfortable environment is suitable to extend the vase life. In Malaysia, like the Ho Chi Minh City, only partial potted orchids are sold in large city. In there, potted orchids are placed in hotels that enjoy the comfortable environment. The similar story happens is the Arabian Peninsula. Dubai city orders a lot of potted orchids and placed in hotels with 24h air conditioners.

A famous lesson of potted Phalaenopsis in the flower markets for the Chinese New year happen in Shanghai. Shanghai city is the richest city in China. However, the sale quantity of Phalaenopsis in Chinese New Year is less than outer cities. The actual reason is the limitation of the weather condition in this city. No central heating system is installed in this city. One customer buy a potted orchids placed in his house, He turns on the heater as he come back to his house in the evening and turns off it in the morning. For this orchid, the day time temperature is near to zero and the night temperature is ranged of 15-20. If the potted orchid is placed in his office, the day temperature is OK and the night temperature is too low. The vase life of potted Phalaenopsis is too short in that case. That is the reason that the sale quantity of potted orchids is pretty low in Shanghai city.

Beside temperature, stagnant air with high humidity is the worst conditions for potted Phalaenopsis. If these potted orchids are placed in the building in subtropics or tropic countries and air conditioners do not operate at night, the worst microclimate of no air movement and high humidity will damage these orchids in a short time.

Recently, Brazil has become the next new market for Phalaenopsis industry. Beside the personal income and the desire of flower purchase, what is the natural weather condition of this country? What is the schedule for their air conditioning systems in the building? Before the development of a new market, the effects of environment on the vase life of the potted Phalaenopsis need to be considered. The successful story of potted Phalaenopsis in Europe is established by several conditions. The suitable weather for longer vase life of this orchid is a key point. The development of new market for potted Phalaenopsis need to considered thoughtfully.     


About the author:

Professor Chiachung Chen, Ph. D.

Biosystems Engineering Laboratory

National ChungHsing University

250 KuoKuang Rd.,

Taichung, Taiwan 40227

Tel: 886-4-22857562, Fax: 886-4-22857135

Web site: http://amebse.nchu.edu.tw/orchids_cultivation.htm

Email: ccchen@dragon.nchu.edu.tw