How the Precious Orchid Got So Cheap

The Wall Street Journal examines the business of orchids. Scientific advances and industrial efficiency have helped make these flowers the best selling potted plants in the USA. Most orchids begin their lives in Taiwan or the Netherlands. Both countries use an “intricate orchid-production chain” to compete in the business. However, profit margins have fallen since many varieties, especially Phals, became a cloned, mass-market commodity. Growers in Taiwan bemoan the days when a rare specimen could sell for $100,000. “An orchid is no longer worth what it used to be,” said Wu Po-Hung, one of Taiwan’s biggest producers. “We learned how to grow them too well.” As a result, growers are experimenting with industry reforms and new orchid products. They’re even selling “gold-coated orchids.” With the help of their precious orchids, they can thrive in an expanding market.

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2 Comments on “How the Precious Orchid Got So Cheap”

  1. Betsy Chan Says:

    Very interesting. I do not know they are all clones! They are like orchid robots!

  2. Jeremy Skinner Says:

    Very cool post 🙂