Subscribe to our blog to get articles delivered directly to your inbox

The Orchid World in the Past Quarter Century

February 20, 2013

orchid historyOrchids are the most widely grown houseplants in the United States today, but they were far less popular 25 years ago. The orchid world experienced many changes over the past quarter century before orchid-growing reached its present level of popularity.

From Corsage Flowers to Potted Plants

Orchid corsages were no longer fashionable in the 1980s, but cattleyas orchids, which were commonly used in corsages, became more sought after as potted plants. Their large beautiful petals and sweet fragrance made them a popular choice among orchid growers. Since 1929, every first lady of the US has a cattleya named after her.

Mass-Production of Orchids

In the late 1980s, growing orchids was a hobby that was mostly practiced by people who were members of local orchid societies. The breeding of Phalaenopsis orchids was still in its infancy. Later on, an orchid growing company in North Carolina called Breckenridge Orchids started using peat moss for the production of Phalaenopsis orchids, which revolutionized the orchid growing industry. The company won hundreds of awards from the American Orchid Society for the numerous hybrids it created.

Orchid Boarding and Delivery

Demand for orchid boarding service also rose significantly over the past 25 years. This service enables orchid owners to leave their plants in the care of professional growers until they bloom again. Growers began offering orchid boarding service in many cities, and some of them have thousands of boarded orchid plants in their greenhouses. The delivery of orchid plants by mail also became more common. This was made possible by better packing techniques and faster delivery times.

The US Department of Agriculture estimated that the total number of orchid plants produced in 2010 was over 21 million. Phalaenopsis orchids are presently the most widely produced orchids, and they are widely available in grocery stores.

If you want to purchase high-quality Phalaenopsis orchids, use our store locator to find a Just Add Ice Orchids store near you