Why are Orchids so expensive

They are not rare...they are very difficult to grow at times...one mistake and your out of $16 to $75 that I have seen. I don't know if you get any guarantees on them though.
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They are rare in North America and northern Europe- at least the showy flowering ones are. And they require specific conditions to flower, which are not available to N. American or European growers unless you put in the money. So those suppliers that sell orchids sell them to the cognoscenti or the naive.
Which are you?
Chris
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On 4/19/11 5:39 PM, Chris wrote:

My Phalaenopsis orchid blooms quite well, almost every year, in my breakfast room window. The flowers last a few weeks.
My Cymbidium orchid did not bloom for four years. Then I moved it onto a patio in full sun (bringing it indoors only when the weather forecast indicated a killing frost, 2-3 nights this past winter). One long spray of flowers just finished a month of bloom. I see two other flowering shoots starting.
Yes, you do need the right conditions for orchids to live and bloom. You also need the right conditions for peonies or tulips to live and bloom; my climate is not right for either of those two. And you need the right conditions for lemons and guavas, which thive in my back yard.
Conclusion: Stick with what is suitable for your own garden. Don't try rosemary or oranges in Duluth. Don't try rhododendrons in Palm Springs.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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they are cloned and that makes them more expensive than plants from seeds. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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On 4/19/11 4:25 PM, Anthony wrote:

If you want less expensive orchids, attend an orchid show. Many hobbyists sell their plants for less than charged at retail nurseries.
You might also try to find a nursery that specializes in orchids. They often grow their own stock and thus do not have to markup from wholesale to retail.
In any case, a plant in flower -- almost any plant other than annuals in pony packs -- generally costs more than the same plant not in flower. But who wants to buy an orchid if you can't see what the flower might look like?
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On Tue, 19 Apr 2011 16:25:50 -0700, Anthony wrote:

They will usually guarantee it was alive when you paid for it, no more.
Orchids are expensive mostly because they grow very slowly. By the time they are ready to sell they have used up a lot of time and space in an expensive greenhouse operation.
Some orchids are even more expensive because they are rare. If you already have a hundred orchid varieties in your greenhouse then it could make sense to pay $75 for that unusual variety you have been looking for, otherwise probably not.
Here in zone 5, southeastern Pennsylvania, the only kind of orchid that grows inside easily is Phalaenopsis. I would advise a beginner to poke around on the web reading various instructions on selecting a site and caring for them, so as to get an idea of the range of locations and care methods which can be made to work (rather than just one method), pick one that suits you, then buy several cheap Phal's you like the look of and try them in several different spots that seem suitable, for maximum chance of re-blooming of at least one. Then move the rest to the place where they do best. I have heard a lot of cases of "I had that orchid for years but it never bloomed until I moved it to this spot, now it blooms every year", and that good spot is not always obviously better than the place it wouldn't bloom.
I have tried a number of other orchid types (a greenhouse manager I know gives then to me), but in spite of expert orchid advice from my wife they rarely bloom for me. Her typical expert advice is "I can't believe you are still trying to grow *that* orchid *here*, throw it out", often shortened to a certain look and the single word "compost". I usually admit she was right a few years later when it finally dies, but sometimes they bloom and she admits to being amazed :-).
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