June 2022 - Phalaenopsis
FROM ROSS THE BOSS
I hope you have enjoyed receiving our last newsletter and have taken the chance to visit our updated and refreshed website. Although we worked hard on bringing you new Cymbidiums, we have over the next 6 months got thousands of new releases of many different genera as well.
This month’s newsletter is all about Phalaenopsis. Big - Medium - Small…some more exciting species. All the colours of the rainbow, including in limited numbers - BLUE! And perhaps most importantly - scented! When we listed some scented Phalaenopsis last year, they sold out in under 24 hours! We expect the same this year, so be in quick or be prepared to wait.
Our upcoming newsletters will be on miscellaneous species and hybrids, Cattleya (lots of new colours), Oncidium (heaps of scented and brilliant patterns), and something really special for later on the in the year. Along with these we have new shipments of orchids from around the world and have been choosing a lot more varieties to tempt you.
Recently we attended one of the first large Auckland Shows of the year, at Mt Albert Hall. There were lots of other vendors with their orchids and a queue over 100m long waiting for the doors to open at 10am. I estimate there were somewhere near 1000 customers through the show in 6 hours. Within minutes the flowering orchids were being gobbled up and in 1 hour the first vendor had sold out. It took me nearly two hours to completely sell out of my flowering orchids, despite my 2nd and 3rd customers having already grabbed all my flowering orchids that were priced over $100! For the rest of the show I was selling green leaves (younger plants) with many of the new genera selling out throughout the day. It was pleasing to note that the average price for a flowering orchid was now $45, with some going to over $100. This wasn’t the end though, at 3.45pm (1/4hour before the end of the show) a lovely couple came in desperate to buy some orchids. They had only just heard about the show quite late in the day. I had already started packing up and had a few display orchids being crated up. These were the plants they wanted (of course). I told them they were show-bench, very high quality and wouldn’t be normal prices. It didn’t matter - they kept choosing what I was prepared to sell. One of the orchids, I explained, had won third prize in its class - so it was a show winner…so I couldn’t possibly sell it for less than a suitable price, which was well over $1,000.00
We have been reading numerous newsletters and watching the postings of many of the out-of-town shows and meetings that are happening around the country. We have noticed that there is very little in the way of flowering orchids being offered at these events. However, there are many growers diversifying their own collections with the introduction of many of newly released varieties.
I see an opportunity for some of our customers, who know how to grow and flower orchids, to make a bit of extra space in their greenhouses and garages to produce flowering orchids for their own local shows! We at Tuckers can’t be everywhere after all! Even though in our younger days we would travel to Christchurch with a very full van-load of our new varieties and some very special choices… the Christchurch club has turned inwards and I have hundreds of customers now who have said their show is a shadow of its former self, and they can’t buy any of our new orchids that they want.
In other parts of the country, customers report the same thing. Consider the public's perspective, they spend their time going to an orchid show; there’s usually a display in the middle, but when they come to buy flowering orchids of any variety…. there’s very little or none.
Consider this - if you buy smaller orchids from us and grow them to flowering in 6-12 months, you can probably double your money at an orchid show. Using the recent Mt Albert prices, this could be your lifestyle:
- Selling 10 x orchids will enable you to go to the supermarket and fill your trolley to the fullest after visiting the orchid show
- Selling 30 x orchids will allow you to travel around the country visiting orchid shows and enjoying a weekend of leisure
- Selling 50 x orchids will allow you to fly to New York and enjoy their orchid shows
- Selling 1000 x orchids will allow you to drive to the orchid show in your brand new EV or hybrid car
All the above are within the realm of possibilities.
I am sure there will be a few doom and gloomers out there saying “but you wouldn’t sell that many”…Get in touch with me, tell me how many you have in your collection that are in flower. Even deliver in flower, disease free = Try Me! Our shop operating at Redvale will eat your whole collection in under a week.
Happy Orchid Growing and get Busy
I was having a conversation with someone recently and the phrase ‘artisan business’ came up. What is an artisan business? The word ‘artisan’ is a French word meaning a skilled person who creates something by hand. There is a specific skill, recipe or methodology used and the creation is unique to them. For an artisan business, the item would not be factory mass-produced and would potentially be created to suit a particular customer.
We can apply this thought to ourselves, Tuckers Orchids. We are creating new orchid lines through hybridising using years of accumulated skills and knowledge. Understanding what characteristics are potentially passed on to the progeny, creating an orchid with certain attributes to meet our customers’ wishes and desires. Listening to our niche market and striving to attain the ideal orchid.
As you can understand, growing orchids is very personal and individualised. Everyone has their own ideas of what their perfect orchids will be. Whether it be a large blousy Cattleya or a miniature Oncidium, there is an inherent demand on us to create orchids for everyone. We believe we can offer the largest range of uniquely created orchids in New Zealand. As we have listened to you in the past, we have many new varieties and creations to tempt you over the next few months.
We appreciate and value your input and ideas. You might get your creative juices flowing when you visit our unique show/display/sales room. Please keep letting us know what your ideal orchid is. We endeavour to cater to the hobbyists of all stages of collecting, from your first orchids through to your show champions. All of these orchids are created by artisans, specialist orchid creators and hybridisers – the team at Tuckers Orchid Nursery.
Well hello there! As the newest member of the team, many of you won’t have “met” me yet. I’m Vikki and I am blessed to be here helping Susan around the office. I do a lot of waffling on (in the store AND in the office) so I felt the segment should be reflective of that. You may not hear from me every month, but I will do my best!
RTBoss (who loves a good naming ceremony - although usually for plants) has officially dubbed me Lady Vikki - Web Mistress; as I do the majority of the fancy finger work behind the website updates and social posts. As RTBoss mentioned in his blurb this month, our improved up to date website has some new and helpful functionality improvements…so here is a taste of what’s been going on in cyber-space:
- Most new plant products will now be loaded with a reducing stock number, so that when you make your selection we know that (all things being equal) it will be available and ready to ship… also when it reaches zero we can remove it from the visible listings to avoid shopper disappointment. We anticipate that with some of our highly sought after products they may well only last 24 hours on the live website. So it really is a case of “you snooze - you may lose!”
- Welcome to Afterpay! This is a new, fantastic option for you to pay for your order, possibly best described as similar to the old style “buy now, pay later”. A good many customers have already taken up this option, as it’s so easy to use with the website - you may just need to create a new Afterpay account (if you don’t have one set up), then it will deduct smaller fortnightly payments for your purchase. Afterpay is accepted in many large chain stores now, and has its very own app to track your purchases and due dates, so we’re keeping up with the Joneses! RTBoss calls this your “Buy now and throw out the budget” option.
- “Specials” - We still offer a special discount to our loyal Online Orchid Club Members, it just operates a bit differently now. You’ll already know that is easy to access your discount if you have read your last newsletter carefully… down near the end you will find your discount code to get your 10% off selected items once added to your cart. The discount is product specific, so is not across all items, but is set to take advantage of our newly listed products.
We will have more to say on our social media platforms also…we aim to give you some snippets of insight into our team, what our orchids look like, what’s in store and a taste of all the special types that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere… a visual feast of all the colours, shapes and textures for you to admire, cherish and drool over. It is a work in progress, so look up and follow our Tuckers Account on a platform near you soon!
See you there, Lady V
FEATURE OF THE MONTH – PHALAENOPSIS
The genus “Phalaenopsis” was named by C.L. Blume in 1825. In Greek, the name means “looks like a moth,” giving rise to the plant’s common name, “moth orchid.” The orchid’s large, curved petals do indeed look like a moth with its wings spread. Another common name for this orchid is the Birds head Orchid – referring to the shape of the column and pollen cap that often resembles a bird’s head with the beak being the tip of the pollen cap. Have a look next time you see one, it really does! More than 50 species of Phalaenopsis have been identified; Phalaenopsis amabilis being one of the most popular and America’s favourite orchid. They are very often seen as decoration in the background on TV I’ve noticed.
The genus is comprised of 50-60 mostly epiphytic (grows on trees) and lithophytic (grows on rocks) species, spread throughout most of Asia east of India and the Pacific, to the Philippines and south to Australia. It is monopodial (means it grows upwards from a central stem) with large succulent, drooping leaves with short stems, growing off the stem from among the leaves is a flower spike, which can have a few, to a hundred flowers with a distinct 3-lobed, clawed lip. They grow in dense, wet forest regions where there is a marked contrast in day and night temperature, usually from 17- 22o C at night, up to 35oC by day. They are, by far, our most popular plant here in the nursery, and this year we will flower about 10,000 plants in all colours. They readily breed with other genera in the Vandaceous family.Visit our Digital Newsletters to view the full issue