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Next wave of emerging orchid varieties

Floral trends are cyclic, ebbing and flowing like the surf. We are currently in a mass-market trend with the wildly popular Phalaenopsis orchid plant. Since 1999 the orchid industry has been riding the crest of a wave of popularity with the moth orchid. Sales and demand are still growing, mainly through creative marketing concepts and the introduction of new colors and sizes.

However, like top surfers, orchid growers around the world are looking out on the horizon to capture the next big wave, so they’ll be ready to ride it when it arrives.

Matsui Nursery in Salinas, CA, is one such grower and told Floral Marketing in The Produce News about some of the new plants on its horizon.

Miltonia orchids

Matsui Nursery’s team has worked for years to perfect the art of growing these beautiful pansy-like orchids. They produce prolific and fragrant flowers that last for several weeks to months. After the blooms are spent, the evergreen foliage lasts indefinitely.

“I’m especially excited about our 2014 Miltonia orchid crop because it’s really something the industry hasn’t done before, particularly at this size and with as many blooms as we’ll have. Most of our Miltonias have three to six stems, which means dozens of flowers,” said Andy Matsui, company owner and founder. “And we couldn’t ask for more ideal weather to grow Miltonia. It’s the perfect crop for Salinas.”

Exotic orchids

From Oncidiums to its exotic intergeneric crosses, expect to see the best varieties from Matsui Nursery in 2014 and 2015. “Instead of 100 varieties of Oncidiums just for the sake of having a selection, we’re choosing the 20 or 30 that last the longest, have the most intense colors and produce the best foliage and flowers,” said Doug Brothers, vice president of sales and marketing for Matsui Nursery.

Phalaenopsis orchids

Harlequins, patterns, assorted sizes and a rainbow of colors will dominate the lineup for 2014. “While Matsui Nursery’s world-famous white cascading orchids will continue to be a staple, consumers are starting to try new and bold flowers for their homes, so we’re responding as quickly as we can grow them to that demand,” Brothers said.

Vanda orchids

Matsui Nursery is not the only grower exploring new orchid possibilities. Silver Vase Nursery in Homestead, FL, has introduced exclusive varieties of the vibrant Vanda orchid to supplement its current Phalaenopsis offerings. With no growing medium required, along with proven easy care instructions, Vandas are ideal for any home décor.

Look for these and other new varieties to start showing up from plant suppliers around the country this year and next. The new wave is coming, get your surfboards ready.