Orchid Horticulture in the Philippines
One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in the Philippines was that many people grew orchids, and the more I looked, the more I saw - approximately 1 in every 5 homes had orchids in their yard! It was happening everywhere, from cities to small isolated fishing villages! I saw mainly Vandas, Dendrobiums, Onicidiums, Phalaenopsis and Brassias, grown outdoors on dead stumps and tree trunks and some even had shaded areas fashioned from screens and bamboo. I was quite surprised at the abundance of personal orchid horticulture I saw, it can be such a pricey hobby that I assumed gardeners in less developed countries to grow more economical plants. I did know that many orchids grow naturally on the Philippine Islands and I'll admit that the thought of orchid poaching went through my mind. However, on a visit to my first commercial grower I quickly dismissed the thought that the whole country was taking orchids from the wild. I learned that most of the orchids that I saw in gardens are popular hybrids and they are very cheap. For instance I was quoted a price of $30 CAN for a 5' tree trunk with a cement base and 4-6 blooming Vandas, and that's the "tourist price". My dream - to live in a place where you can grow orchids outdoors and for a fraction of the price it would cost you in Canada.