When it comes to plants, we’re what you’d call a high risk, high reward garden. In other words, nothing ventured horticulturally, nothing gained. That was our thoughts last year when we planted our only plant of the rare variegated orchid, Cymbidium goeringii ‘Xueshanbiancao’ in the crevice garden, just months before our coldest winter in five years.
Not only did our baby sail through the winter, but it’s now sporting a flower, which is also variegated with a narrow creamy border. The soil mix in this section is 50% Permatill, 25% native sandy loam, and 25% compost. How cool is that!
We field quite a few calls each year from folks who think they’ve just found the next million dollar plant and want to know how to monetize their discovery. Sadly, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Take our latest discovery above…a nearly albino form of the hardy orchid, Bletilla striata that popped up here in our propagation department.
Despite it looking amazing, does it really have value?
Since it is a near albino, growth will be very slow due to a lack of chlorophyll, so that rules it out immediately for quantity production.
Will the next division also be equally as variegated or will it go back to green? The answer is…we don’t know.
The question then becomes how many people would purchase it, knowing it’s going to be difficult to grow and it may never multiply or could revert to green?
In cases like this, a venue like EBay could be the best opportunity to match it with someone willing to take a chance. Each plant is different…so what do you think we should do with this one-of-a-kind?