A friend recently turned me onto a deal hiding in plain sight: orchids. The gorgeous fresh flowers last for three months, and a small potted orchid costs only $16 at Whole Foods, she told me. That means she pays $16 for three months of fresh flowers! That price can’t be beat.
Do you buy fresh flowers?
I’m actually too cheap to buy fresh flowers, unless it is a very special occasion, like a visit from my Mom. (And even that I cut out by making a beautiful bouquet of paper flowers for the guest room.) I can count the number of times I’ve bought fresh flowers on one hand: my twin nephews being born, a baby shower I hosted. I have several house plants, but they are of the lower maintenance variety.
I never considered buying orchids because they are notoriously difficult to keep alive. They need strong but indirect light, fertilizer once a month, special soil, a very small amount of water, preferably in mist form, and can be easily overwatered. But if an orchid dries out, that is a disaster, too. Exact care depends on the particular type of orchid, and there are hundreds of them. Talk about a high maintenance plant!
Who has the time to hover over a flower?
Still, I’m drawn to orchids because my grandmother grew them, and my mother still has an orchid that belonged my spirited Grandma Jo. What a beautiful family heirloom! (And a lot of pressure. I’m glad it is she who cares for it.) My sister also grows orchids, and they look so lovely in her bathroom. (My bathroom is too chilly to keep an orchid happy. And with two small children, who has time to shower anyway?) I would like to have some kind of plant in my bathroom, but must be hardy because the tile gets very chilly in the winter.
And now that I know orchids bloom for three months, paying $16 for one at Whole Foods doesn’t seem so bad. Plus, I have seen them on sale for even cheaper at Home Depot. I’d make a guess that Trader Joe’s also has orchids for a bargain.
Jen Y says
I bought an orchid once & killed it. :o( I paid $10 for it al Aldi. It was beautiful & bloomed for a very long time.
I do grow lots of other house plants though. I have African violets that bloom for months at a time & some amaryllis that were passed down from my husband’s grandmother. They bloom every winter. My house plants get me through long winters. Most of mine were given to me by friends & family – starts from their own plants – or traded.
Bargain Babe says
@Jen Y Even if you eventually kill the orchid, you still get to enjoy the blooms for weeks, if not months! That $10 bought you quite a lot of fresh flowers. 🙂
I’ve never had luck with African violets, even when I use the special type of soil they require. It seems that even a small amount of water on their leaves causes them to rot and die. I wish I could grow them because they are so pretty.