Disposable orchids are part of modern life. Once the blooms finish, the plant goes into the trash or the compost bin. If you want more flowers, then buy a new plant. That’s the idea behind most orchids sold today, like these modern hybrids in today’s photos. Each new and improved variety is a glorious work of art, but then the beauty fades. Of course, you don’t need to believe the marketing. Many orchid lovers, including me, got our starts with such orchids, keeping them alive well past their expected expiration dates. But most don’t survive for long after their blooms fade. Orchids are just another disposable commodity, like so many things in our lives today.
Certainly, orchid species are not disposable. But mass-produced orchids hybrids are. They’re often sold in supermarkets, home improvement centers, big box stores, plant nurseries, and gardening centers. The orchid industry grows them en masse, starting them in laboratories before transporting them around the globe. So you’re not going to make anything go extinct if you throw your hybrid away. Remember to always buy orchids from reputable vendors, and never buy plants taken from the wild. Ask if you’re not sure.
And instead of throwing your orchid away, consider giving it to a friend with a green thumb. They may complain that they already have too many orchid rescues, but they’ll probably take it anyway. Or maybe bring it into your office or workplace. Or try to flower again in your own home. Don’t believe the sales pitch which says these orchids are so tricky to grow that you must toss them and buy new ones. Remember, these hybrids are bred to be beautiful, but also tough enough to be trucked to your local grocery store. And do any of the orchids pictured here look disposable to you?