Hundreds of flowers for sale at annual Orchid Fest


Nicole Hasek

Orchid Fest at Reiman Gardens is open. to the public for regular admission price, and free to students.

Orchids are colorful and popular house plants that can easily bring vibrancy to a room. Along with aesthetics, they can help reduce stress and improve air quality.

At Reiman Gardens, these flowers will be displayed in a variety of colors in the observatory for Orchid Fest. This event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Orchids will be available for sale during Orchid Fest. (Nicole Hasek )

Vendors will be selling potted orchids to guests during the event, ranging from $15 to $50, depending on the species. One species available is the Phalaenopsis, which is large and typically blue or purple.

“It’s more species that you don’t find in local garden centers,” said Ed Lyon, Reiman Gardens director. “So they’re probably harder to grow. They’re rare, harder to find, that’s what’s going to make the price go up.”

There will be thousands of orchids for sale, filling the conference room with colorful flowers. Experts will be in attendance to help those with no experience in orchids. Lyon recommends buying orchids that are still in bud, so they last longer.

“They adjust better to taking them outside and putting them in your house,” said Debbi Regennitter, Reiman Gardens glasshouse assistant. “So it’s just better if they’re still fun.”

Orchids are the second largest plant family in the world, falling into two groups: terrestrial and aerial. Terrestrials grow from the ground, and aerials are found on trees.

Four times a year, the observatory is completely redone. Each plant and flower is taken out, the area is soiled and new plants fill the area. This process takes over a week, and the budget for each exhibit is $10,000. Along with orchids, palm trees are also a large part of this exhibit.

“This exhibit was dirt, all the way down to the ground, about three weeks ago,” Regennitter said. “We had some partners from Central Stores help us plant our palms. They’re very heavy, like several hundred pounds each.”

According to Regennitter, 25 to 50 volunteers help change the layout.

“We want the public to be able to come in, and four times a year they’re going to see something completely different,” Lyon said. “This is also our opportunity to have flowers. Especially in a week that’s as cold as this, they know they can come and see the butterflies flying and they come in here and they’ll still see plants flowering that they wouldn’t otherwise.”

It is expected for a few thousand people to be in attendance over the weekend. The butterfly room will also be open for the entirety of Orchid Fest. The event is open to the public at regular admission pricing, and there will be an orchid sale exclusive to members Friday.