Orchid Selection: What should I look for when buying an orchid?

Today, the orchid has become one of the most popular flowers among florists. But it often happens that a plant that, when purchased, is pleased with abundant flowering and health, begins to seriously hurt.

In order to avoid losing a new green pet, you need to know several basic criteria for choosing a healthy flower.

orchid selection

In the store, the tropical flower receives some kind of care until it is purchased. But watering and fertilizing are not all the conditions that should be observed in caring for orchids. For example, flower shops and kiosks often sin:

  • Drafts;
  • And low light.

Thus, there is a risk of developing orchid diseases.

When is the best time to buy an orchid in the store? It is best to buy orchids in the warm spring-summer period, since in this case, after moving from one room to another, the plant does not need to withstand a period of adaptation to the temperature regime and there is no chance of freezing the plant during transportation in winter.

If the flower was purchased in the cold season, then before transporting it home, it must be insulated to prevent freezing on the way. In addition, after getting into a warm room from the street, the orchid needs an adaptation period so that a sharp temperature drop does not cause irreparable harm.

Important! On average, exotic animals need 1.5-2 hours to adapt.

What should I look for when buying an orchid?

Let’s take a closer look at how to choose the right orchid in the store.

In order to choose a healthy orchid in a pot, first of all, you need to pay attention to how tightly the flower sits in the ground.

If, when you try to remove the plant from the pot, it gives in and begins to stagger, most likely this is an indicator of rotting of the root system.

The second selection criterion is the appearance of the root system. The normal condition of the roots is evidenced by their bright green color. If the roots have changed color to a silvery gray, that’s okay, this is also the norm. Only in this case, the plant signals a lack of moisture.

Don’t buy a flower with roots:

  • Dark brown shade;
  • Or cut off from the rhizome.

Such an exotic won’t last long. If small bugs are found in the pot, then the tropical beauty is affected by pests.

In addition, for pests or infectious diseases, it is also worth checking:

  • Leaves;
  • And the peduncl.

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What kind of orchid should I buy?

What are the best orchids to buy in the store? In order to choose the right orchid, every florist should, first of all, know that these tropical exotic plants are divided into two main types :

what kind of orchid should i buy
Each orchid variety is grown at a specific temperature.
  • They can be kept cold;
  • Or warm content.

The first type includes :

  • Cymbidium;
  • Paphiopedilum;
  • Miltonia;
  • Oncidium;
  • Cambria.

For grades, warm contents include :

  • Phalaenopsis;
  • Dendrobium;
  • Gemaria;
  • Dendrobium-phalaenopsis.

The most simple and unpretentious to care for are Phalaenopsis orchids. That is why they are most often chosen by novice gardeners.

Important! Despite the fact that it is quite easy to care for this variety, it is also easy to harm the plant. In order for this exot to grow and delight the owners with its flowering, it is necessary to strictly adhere to the thermal and light regimes, and also observe the air humidity necessary for it.

Acceptable conditions for keeping Phalaenopsis are :

  • Temperature from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius;
  • Bright lighting (it is necessary to avoid direct sunlight in order to avoid burns);
  • Humidity of the environment is not lower than 50%;
  • And other related factors.

How do you pick a healthy orchid?

First of all, its root system testifies to the health of a flower. Juicy green roots are a clear sign of health. If individual roots have acquired a brown or black tint, then the process of decay has begun. Such a plant needs to be transplanted urgently so as not to lose it completely.

After examining the roots, you need to pay attention to :

  • Leaves;
  • And the peduncle.

Healthy leaves should be :

  • Bright color;
  • Dense;
  • Without the effect of lethargy;
  • And also have a natural shine.

A deviation from the norm is the presence of a whitish coating on the edges of the leaves – a sign of “powdery mildew, small white lumps on the back of the leaf (lesion by mealybug), as well as the presence of other insects.

When examining a peduncle, it is important to pay attention to the presence or absence of black mold at its base. Such a symptom is a manifestation of “gray rot”, which urgently needs to be treated with chemicals.

Important! If the selected flower does not have any of the manifestations listed above, then there is nothing to worry about, the plant is great.

What type of orchid is best for beginners?

First of all, beginners should pay attention to the condition :

  • Leaves;
  • And the root system.

The second criterion is flowering. On the peduncle, both blossoming flowers and buds should be present. The sign of the health of the buds is:

  • Their density;
  • And a natural, fresh look.

Blooming flowers should not look like :

  • Lethargic;
  • Have dark spots;
  • Dots or streaks on the petals.

Such manifestations are a sign of incorrect content, and it is difficult to predict what it may be fraught with.

You can also feel the potted substrate when choosing your first orchid. If the roots of the exotic are bright green, and dew is visible at the bottom of the pot, this is great, then there is enough moisture for the flower.

When buying an orchid, it should look healthy.

But if the topsoil turns out to be wet, this is a clear distress signal :

  • In the best case, the orchid needs to be transplanted urgently;
  • At worst, the roots have already completely rotted and nothing can be helped.

Such a flower, of course, is not worth buying.

See also Rare Orchid Flowers.

What color should healthy orchid leaves and root be before purchasing?

What color should healthy roots and leaves have? To begin with, you can conduct an ordinary inspection for the absence of:

  • Stains;
  • Divorces;
  • Cobwebs;
  • And other diseases.

You should also pay attention to the appearance :

  • Peduncle;
  • And leaves.

Unnatural plant stems can be the result of scaly damage, while limp, wrinkled leaves are most likely the result of root problems.

Also, do not purchase a flower if it has traces of sticky transparent nectar on it.

Such a phenomenon, of course, can turn out to be extra-flowering nectar, that is, a completely natural process of development of orchids associated with their pollination, but it can also be the result of insect damage. Such traces are left behind, for example, by aphids or mealybugs.

what color should healthy orchid leaves and root be before purchasing

Signs indicating diseased orchid plant

The indicators of a diseased plant are :

  • Brown, blackened, or torn plant roots
  • Flabby and wrinkled leaves;
  • The presence of white bloom on the leaves;
  • Holes;
  • Dark spots;
  • Sticky pollen.

An unhealthy phenomenon is also considered:

  • The appearance of former fluffy lumps on the leaves;
  • And little bugs on the rhizome inside the pot.The appearance of black rot indicates an orchid disease.

Black mold at the base of the peduncle also indicates a serious orchid disease.

CAREFULLY! Some harmful insects can manifest themselves after buying a flower. In this case, the diseased plant needs to create a quarantine regime.

Root bulging

The process when the roots of an orchid are covered with a white or brownish coating is called bulging. Such damage to the air roots can occur due to:

  • Watering with poor quality or hard water;
  • As well as stagnation of water in the upper layers of the soil.

The reason is:

  • Salt;
  • Rust;
  • Or other substances found in water.

Such bulging can cause :

  • Stopping the growth of the aerial root system;
  • As well as stopping the performance of its functions, and this can lead to a deterioration in the development of exotic.

In order to prevent undesirable consequences for the green pet, the water can be softened with folk remedies, for example, by infusing it, while using several cloves of garlic.

Check out Types of Outdoor Orchids.

Leaf condition

Very simple. The leaves of a diseased orchid wither and fall, instead of being :

  • Dense;
  • And shiny.

The leaf mass loses its color and shine and also becomes wrinkled.

An excessive amount of hardwood is also a deviation from the norm.

Important! Most often, this symptom indicates that the flower is overfed and it is worth taking action.


If the orchid is overfed with fertilizers, then after the next flowering period, a prolonged period of dormancy is likely to come.

Due to overfeeding with fertilizers, the orchid begins to hurt.

It is considered the norm if a tropical guest does not bloom from 1 to three months, but if the process lasts up to 6 months or more, this is a signal that feeding should be stopped. In this case, as a rule, orchids are actively growing. So a significant increase in the deciduous mass of the flower is possible.

Should you buy a flowering plant?

Blooming Phalaenopsis is worth buying at least because it is beautiful. In addition, do not forget that for novice flower growers, orchid flowers are one of the indicators of their health status.

It is impossible to predict how long the orchid bloomed before the moment of purchase and how long it will stand in this form. But it is quite easy to determine whether the exotic fades naturally or is it a consequence of a disease.

Signs of disease and pest infestation

Among these signs are :

  • Sticky transparent plaque – “fall” on the leaves;
  • White fluffy lumps on the back of the leaf;
  • Deformed leaves;
  • Peduncle curvature;
  • The appearance of a cobweb on the leaves and peduncles of the plant;
  • And other similar symptoms.

Fungal diseases

The causes of fungal diseases can be :

  • Improper care;
  • Errors in containment;
  • Or pollination by harmful insects.

On the leaves of such orchids appear :

  • Whitish spots or streaks;
  • And mold can also develop at the base of the peduncle.

Orchid Viruses

The danger of the virus is that it cannot be recognized when buying a flower in a store. A plant infected with a virus simultaneously loses all flowering and becomes lethargic.

An orchid can be infected with a viral disease in a store.

Such a plant should be isolated from all other green inhabitants (it is best to transfer it to a separate room).Advice! Of course, it is impossible to completely protect yourself from buying an infected flower, but it is still worth trying to reduce this risk.

By purchasing orchids in specialized flower shops, breeders can be sure that the main regimes of keeping there are observed. This means that the risk of an unsuccessful purchase is minimized.


Summing up, I would like to emphasize that although difficulties begin already from the moment you choose an orchid, each such nuance is very easy to resolve or eliminate, you just need to know how to do it.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on admin@houseplantspro.com and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴