Ever thought of making money with your passion for growing orchids?
Want to make money growing orchids but don’t know where to start?
Whether you want to do it on a part-time basis for extra income or turn it into a full-time venture, check out our in-depth guide complete with a list of wholesalers to source your orchids.
In this article, we will show you how to start your orchid business by:
– obtaining your orchids
– gaining clients
– calculating the overall costs
Let’s get started.
Where do I get my orchids?
First things first – you need to find orchids to sell. These exotic species aren’t usually growing in the wild, at least not in the US or Europe.
When aiming to sell your orchids, know what sells.
The most popular type of orchid is Phalaenopsis orchids (also known as “moth orchids”) which are most sought after because of their colorful flowers.
other types such as Oncidiums, Cattleyas, Dendrobiums can be classified as “specialty orchids” which are less popular, harder to find but are sought after by orchid enthusiasts
Buying orchids in bulk or wholesale is the best option for growing a large supply that you intend to sell. When you buy wholesale, you’ll receive orchids at a good value.
Here is a list of orchid nurseries that focus on shipping to the USA, Europe and worldwide.
List of Wholesale Orchid Dealers – USA
- Orchids by Hausermann – https://www.orchidsbyhausermann.com/
- Ships wholesale, as well as gifts and mature plants.
- Earthly Orchids – https://earthlyorchids.com/pages/wholesale
- Ships throughout the US, offers both wholesale bulbs and live plants as well as cut orchids for floral arrangements.
- Kaleialoha Orchid Farm, Inc. – https://www.kaleialoha.com/wholesale/
- Located in Hawaii, Kaleialoha ships orchids wholesale throughout the US using FedEx Priority Shipping. The minimum order is 24 plants for wholesale.
- Matsui Nursery – http://www.matsuinursery.com/wholesale-services.html
- This wholesale-only company ships throughout the US and Canada.
- Taida Orchids – https://www.taidaorchids.com/
- Taida Orchids specializes in phalaenopsis orchids, which are generally the best orchids for beginners due to their hardy nature and resistance to disease.
- Whole Blossoms – https://www.wholeblossoms.com/tropical-flowers/orchids.html
- Ships bulk flowers throughout the United States, not only orchids, but other flowers as well.
- Jaxma Orchid Greenhouses – https://www.jaxma.com/
- Located in Florida, Jaxma Orchid Greenhouses is a family-owned wholesale vendor.
List of Wholesale Orchid Dealers – Europe
- Van Der Plas – https://vdplas.com/en/assortment/plants/
- This Holland-based wholesale dealer is Europe’s number one seller to florists, and is committed to sustainably grown flowers and ships throughout Europe.
- Heemskerk Flowers – https://www.heemskerkflowers.com/about-us
- This Dutch wholesale flower dealer can ship anywhere in the world
- Mimesis Orchid Dealers – https://mimesis-orchids.com/become-a-dealer/
List of Wholesale Orchid Dealers – Worldwide
- Am Thai Orchids – https://www.amthaiorchids.com/product-category/orchid-wholesale-box-set/
- Based in Thailand, this orchid dealer ships worldwide
- Carmela Orchids – https://carmelaorchids.net/
- This Hawaii-based orchid dealer ships wholesale orchids throughout the globe.
Where can I sell my orchids?
If you’re first starting out growing and selling your orchids for profit, the best way to gauge interest with little risk involved is to reach out to your local online markets, such as Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and countless hobby sites and florist sites.
Make sure you have a seamless way to accept payment, such as PayPal or Venmo, to make it easier for both you and the customer.
If you have Facebook, Facebook Marketplace is a great way for you to sell your orchids locally.
It’s a straightforward process that involves taking a picture of the plant, name the price, add your location, and wait for someone to answer.
The great thing is that you don’t usually have to deal with shipping, as Facebook Marketplace involves your local area.
Etsy is a great place to sell orchids as it is one of the most popular online sites for homemade – or in your case, homegrown – goods.
The main benefit of using Etsy is that it’s a massive platform where you can reach many potential clients at once.
The downsides, however, are that you’ll need to ship your orchids and pay a fee to Etsy for selling off their platform.
This is another large platform where you can reach a wide audience. You’ll need to pay for shipping, as most of your clients will likely be outside of your local area.
This local option is a lot like Facebook Marketplace, though it depends upon your personal profile.
Set up a business page and advertise among your family and friends to build a business. While it can be difficult to get your page out there, one of the biggest advantages of using Instagram to build your orchid business is that it’s free to set up and to sell from.
You will need to build your following by posting photos of your products regularly.
How much can I sell the orchids for?
Pricing your orchids depends on the species, the maturity of the plant, and the destination.
It goes without saying that you’ll need to charge much more for a plant you have to ship than for a plant sold to a local in your town.
The following table breaks down the costs for each type of orchid.
|Orchid||Wholesale Price (in US dollar)|
|Phalaenopsis Amabilis (white)||$10.00|
|Phalaenopsis Brother Pico Sweetheart (purple and white)||$10.00|
Packing and shipping orchids
Shipping orchids is very expensive, especially by plane, as special permits and paperwork are usually required. During shipping, you also run the risk of your orchid being damaged or dying during transit, which lose money.
To ship your orchid for transport, you’ll need to wrap your orchid in tissue paper or florist’s paper. Use flower stakes to keep the stems and flowers from breaking. Choose a heavy pot to secure the plant during transport.
After wrapping the plant, place it into a large cardboard box and use foam or Styrofoam blocks to stabilize it. Tape up the box.
Orchids will die if they’re in a box for more than a couple of days, as lack of sunlight will kill them.
Use priority shipping to get your orchid to its destination as quickly as possible.
(Related: Detailed guide on how to pack and ship your orchids)
Marketing and promotion
Copying competitors won’t help you build a customer base, so putting your own unique spin on your product is key.
The following are creative ways to help your unique brand stand out from the rest:
- Sell your orchids in special pots (i.e. homemade, unusual, or partner with a pottery artist that does orchid clay pots to help both your businesses thrive).
- Focus on growing specialty orchids – such as Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Vandas, and Oncidiums.
- Special decor – add a touch of you with a small piece of decor, such as unusual stones, ribbons, shells, or anything else that your customers will know you for.
- Customizable signs or pots – having something customized is a great way to promote your brand.
Social media can be a great way to promote yourself as an orchid seller.
Make an Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook page dedicated to your business for free and reach out to your friends, families, and local businesses. With each sale you make, give your customer a business card with your page or website on it.
Using social media, you can even have a promotion where customers pose with your orchid using a specific hashtag and give the winner a discount for a future purchase or a free pot or piece of decor.
How do I make my orchid look more expensive?
When photographing your orchids, choose the healthiest plants for display – ones that have both full blooms and buds ready to bloom.
Place it in a premium pot.
This will play up the beauty of your orchid and enhance the richness of its petals.
Is there a market for orchids?
Yes. Orchids are one of the most popular houseplants, due to their vibrant blossoms, ease of care, and exotic appearance.
How to find clients?
The best places to find clients are your local growers’ markets, friends and family, social media circle, and local florist shops and grocery stores.
How much do orchid growers make?
According to Comparably.com, full-time orchid growers in the US make anywhere from $33,000 to $113,000 annually, with most having an annual salary that falls between $45,000 – $65,000.
Keep in mind that this salary is very general, with many factors affecting income.
Can orchids be profitable?
From a small business standpoint, becoming successful is largely dependent on your location and clients.
Selling out of your house might not be the best move unless you have a large following on social media, which can take a long time.
Start by locating specialty shops to whom you can sell your orchids.
Specialty shops that are most likely to buy your orchids are:
- Wedding planners
- Caterers – many catering companies like to add a touch of class to their business by incorporating fresh flowers into their setup.
- Farmers’ markets – farmers’ markets are a great option because they often highlight local artists and horticulturists. This is a great venue to display your wares and sells to the locals in your area. Don’t forget to include your business card with each transaction!
If you can, avoid shipping your orchids through an online store.
While many orchid growers are successful selling online, these are usually large commercial orchid sellers who have the space and money to do so – not something a hobbyist can generally afford.
Orchids are difficult and expensive to ship, most needing special permits and paperwork depending on where you’re shipping your orchid – not to mention the special packing materials and express delivery (orchids can’t be in a box for more than a couple of days, or else they’ll die).
Your best chance at becoming profitable, especially when you’re just starting out, is by attracting local clients and selling within the area you live.
Try it out!
8 Tips to Pack Orchids for Shipping & Travelling