US Orchid Imports Have Surged To An All-Time High

Orchids were once only known as the highlight of posh plant shows and grand hotel lobbies. Increasingly, however, the stereotypically finicky, humidity-loving flowers have become an affordable grocery-store commodity and a staple of middle-class households in the US.

There’s a reason they’re everywhere. The US began importing large numbers of live orchids relatively recently. In 1996, the US imported just 223,165 kg (492,000 lbs) of the plants. Imports have grown steadily since. The Census Bureau announced today that US live orchid imports hit an all-time high in 2021, totaling 10.1 million kg—a surge of 64% from 2020.

These data include all types of live orchids, not only Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, which are the most common commercial variety, and most likely to pop up at your local shop.

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