Orchid flowers are known for their striking exotic beauty and often for their long life. It is quite easy to buy orchids online these days, as they are widely available from online retailers. It used to be that raising orchids was only for the affluent, as they were once quite pricey and not easily available. But now a wide variety of orchids are available online at very affordable prices. Why should you buy orchids online? The reason is that it greatly increases the variety of affordable orchids you have access to. Although you may find a limited selection of orchid plans at a local garden store or orchid grower's shop, the internet opens up a vast selection of orchids online that growers will ship to you at very reasonable prices. Of course, one problem with buying orchids online is that you can't examine the orchid plants before they are shipped to you, and therefore, you don't know whether you will end up with a healthy orchid or not. This article will explain how to buy orchids online so that you can maximize the chances of buying healthy orchid plants that will give you spectacular orchid blossoms year after year.

How to buy orchids online

Orchid size: The first thing you need to know is the size of the orchid plant you will be buying. The things to consider are: whether the orchid is about to bloom, the size of the pot, and the size of the plant itself. With regard to the plant size, the orchid plant could be a seedling, or near blooming size, or blooming size, or a plant that has previously bloomed. Blooming size plants should bloom within a year. Near blooming size plants are generally within 12 to 18 months of blooming, while seedlings may not bloom for two to three years or even more. Generally, the larger the orchid plants, the closer they are to blooming, and the pricier as well. Thus, if you find bargains on orchids online, make sure to check with the retailer and find out what the size is. Otherwise you could end up with a seedling, which is fine if you're not in a hurry to have orchid flowers, but if not, you're in for disappointment.

It is important to note that the size of the orchid pot is itself not necessarily an indicator of the maturity of the orchid plant. Since orchid plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, a mature plant could be small or big. For example, an orchid pot for a mature Paphiopedilum lady's slipper orchid might be only 2.5 to 3", so in this case you cannot go by orchid pot size. A blooming size compact cattleya orchid pot might be 4", but a standard sized cattleya will not be of blooming size if it fits in such a small pot.

Sometimes instead of providing the orchid pot size, vendors will give you the leaf span, which is the length of the longest two leaves. You may also be given information on the number of growths or pseudobulbs. A higher number indicates a more mature orchid plant.

Orchid vendor quality and reputability: With so many vendors selling orchids online these days, it helps to know which orchid growers are reputable before you make your purchase. Fortunately, you can also find orchid seller reviews online. One good place to shop for orchids online is at amazon.com. Here you can read customer reviews and ratings before you buy orchids. In any case, when buying orchids online, it is a good idea to place a small order the first time you order from a new vendor. You might want to try out small orders with several orchid vendors before you settle on one you are comfortable with.

The quality of the website may also provide a clue. A professional website will have current contact information, testimonials from customers, and no broken links. Before buying orchids online, you should contact the vendor with questions about the orchids you are interested in. A conscientious orchid vendor will want to share information with you on the orchid's optimal growing conditions, orchid care tips, etc. If an orchid vendor is unable or unwilling to answer your questions, you might want to find a different seller.

At what stage should you buy orchids online?

Most people, unless they are passionate orchid hobbyists, do not want to sit around and wait for their orchids to bloom. However, it is probably not a great idea to buy orchid plants that are already in full bloom. The stress of shipping might cause the orchid flowers to drop off prematurely once the plant has arrived at your home. But if the plant is shipped carefully, it should be okay to buy an orchid that is starting to put out floral spikes or buds. Such orchids should bloom fine soon after you have received them, maximizing the life of the blooms after the plant is in your possession.