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Exotic and Interesting: Orchid Show on display this weekend

The Grand Valley Orchid Society hosts its annual orchid show at the Gardens.
Underwriting support from:

Orchid Workshops and Talks


12 p.m.- How to select and care for an orchid
1 p.m.- Beyond Moth Orchids: Other exciting orchids for the home
2 p.m.- Orchid repotting demonstration
3 p.m.- Orchid ER: Bring in your problem orchids for advice


1 p.m.- How to select and care for an orchid
2 p.m.- Tips and tools for photographing orchids
3 p.m.- Orchid repotting demonstration

All talks are free to the public.






Red Bromeliad

Red Bromeliad /Roberta F. King

Leggy Orchid in fuschia

Leggy Orchid in fuschia /Roberta F. King

Just when you thought January could not be any more grey, cold or unpredictable, the Grand Valley Orchid Society and the Frederik Meijer Gardens offer up a bright breath of beauty with the 14th annual orchid show. The show is held in the Grand Room of the Gardens and is free to the public. More than 350-400 orchids in full bloom are on display. 

The perception that orchids are difficult and just easily die for inexperienced owners is a myth the Grand Valley Orchid Society is out to bust. The Mei Ling Clemens, chair of the show and herself an aficionado of the flower, says it isn't that difficult. "Just like any other plant you grow, you have to do some exploring, learn about where the plant comes from and what it needs. They have some cultural requirements, and orchid hobbyists are willing to learn about those," she said. "If you can grow roses, garden or grow any house plant you can grow orchids. There's no magic to it, really." 

Clemens says one of the best features of an orchid is the longevity of the blooms. "Flowers can live anywhere from three to six months," she said. This makes them a great value as compared to cut flower which might last a week at best. Orchid plants can be expensive, and exotic varieties can cost as much as hundreds of dollars, but there are less expensive plants available for purchase at the show or at local garden centers and for around $10-15. 

Members of the Grand Valley Orchid Society are on hand at the show to help novices understand the plant and to appreciate the show. Clemens says that members are available to answer questions or show a visitor the specifics of an award-winning plant or even give a private tour. "Just ask one of us," said Clemens. 

The judging is done by members of the American Orchid Society who will travel to Grand Rapids from neighboring states. 

Hours for the show are this Saturday from 12 noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The are a variety of vendors at the show with plants and paraphernalia for sale and on Saturday the vendor booths open at 9 a.m.

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Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos, Roberta. It gives me hope that spring is on its way.