There was a name for this obsession — orchidelierium — a type of ‘madness’ that drove European collectors to not only seek out unique blooms but also spend vast sums on sophisticated Victorian greenhouses, and then patiently spend decades learning how to make their delicate petals reproduce.
Orchids are the most popular plants in North America
Today, orchids are everywhere. And their appeal is greater than ever thanks to modern cultivation techniques and state-of-the-art commercial facilities. This means that orchids are affordable, easily available and a thriving business. In North America, for example, the orchid industry is worth US$288 million and enjoys national sales of 35 million making orchids the most popular plants in the country.
However, like any industry there are challenges. Orchids can take many months to cultivate and years to grow to maturity. In addition, they need to spend large amounts of time in tropical temperatures and are vulnerable to a variety of pests. Low plant costs and high overheads have to be carefully balanced to ensure a profit.
Knauf Insulation’s Green Solutions — the division behind the success of Urbanscape Green Roofs — is now working with commercial orchid producers around the world to help them maximise the potential of their crops.
Our solution offers a growing time advantage of 20%
The unique design of our HUge growing media — a new substrate designed to improve plant growth — can reduce orchid growing times and provide significant cost savings
Jure Šumi, the Business Development Director Green Solutions, says: “There are around 30,000 different species of orchid around the world and cultivating them can take up to 48 weeks. We have created an innovative new growing media which can reduce that time by up to six weeks mainly by fast growth at the early stage of propagation and growing which normally lasts for up to 26 weeks.
That 20% reduction in time provides a significant cost saving advantage for commercial operations that are anxious to improve efficiencies, cut heating bills and get their orchids to market faster. Known as HUge in recognition of its original H and U letter-shaped base design, the new solution is proving to be significantly more effective than traditional alternatives.
“In most cases, bark is used to grow orchids. We have developed a unique media that uses Knauf Insulation’s ECOSE® Technology Rock Mineral Wool which is more effective.