Great opportunity for orchid-lovers

Lee Neale of Auckland’s Leroy Orchids is bringing a vanload of plants to the market day.

Orchids, growing gear and free advice from experts are on offer this weekend to anyone interested in having a go at growing the botanical beauties.

All things orchid are coming to Tauranga with a market day at Wesley Church Hall in 13th Avenue on Saturday, November 28.

Doors will be open from 9am-3pm with cash sales only.

The Tauranga Orchid Society is holding the market day to replace this year’s Covid-cancelled show.

“We know people have missed the opportunity to buy plants and growing gear so decided to host some out-of-town vendors for a special day,” society president Conrad Coenen says.

“It’s also a chance to chat to experts about orchids and hopefully solve any problems people might be having.”

Stallholders are coming from as far afield as Whangarei, Auckland and Whakatane.

As well as orchids there will be rare and unusual plants, including carnivorous ‘pitcher’ plants for sale, along with pots, stakes, growing media and fertilisers.

“There’s a perception that orchids are difficult to grow, that they need special conditions,” Conrad says.

“While that’s true of some, there are many more that thrive outside in our climate or that just need shelter in winter but are fine outside the rest of the year.

“Orchids grow on six continents and in a range of conditions and temperatures. We’ll always be able to find one to suit your situation,” he says.

Society member Sandra Simpson believes the appeal of the plants lies in their exotic look and the huge range of varieties available.

They come in a multitude of colours, some with a fragrance, and flowers can last anything from months to just a few days.

“There’s something really different about an orchid flower and it’s a real ‘buzz’ when you buy a plant and then get it to flower again yourself,” she says.

The market will be an opportunity for those keen to have a dabble in orchid growing to talk to experts about what will suit their particular growing conditions and buy a plant for as little as $10.

Sandra says visitors will get much better value for money at the market day than what might be available to them on some auction websites where there are common orchids going for big money.

Entry to the orchid day is free.

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