Of all the monikers applied to the City of Baguio, three stand out as the most popular – the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the City of Pines, and last but definitely not the least, the City of Flowers.
Apart from its cool climate and the presence of towering pine trees, Baguio has established a reputation as the premier destination for cut flowers. In fact, the city celebrates the blooming of highland flowers at the annual Flower Festival or Panagbenga.
Now, if you are planning to visit Baguio in February and to take home with you a living, breathing piece of the city then, do not forget to drop by the Baguio City Orchidarium.
As quite obvious from its name, the Orchidarium is the perfect place to see and purchase vibrantly-colored orchids and blooms of all kinds. The price of exotic plants range from Php500 to Php2500 – depending on the age, size and rarity of the breed you wish to buy.
The Cymbidium or boat orchid is a favorite among orchid lovers and floral stylists. It is one of the most popular blooms in the Orchidarium. The plant got its name from the Greek word kumbos which means ‘hole’ or ‘cavity’ referring to the shape of the base petals. There are are about 40 species of Cymbidium and thousands of hybrids in diverse range of patterns and colors (white, cream, yellow, pink, red brown, and green).
Cymbidiums can grow 15 to 30 flowers on a single stem and the blooms can last up to ten weeks. This graceful bloom prefers the cool to medium temperature (50°F to 85 °F) but it thrives on adequate light and frequent watering as well. The larger varieties are found in colder regions like the Himalayas and the smaller varieties or miniature hybrids found in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Malaysia, Borneo, Australia and the Philippines.
Apart from orchids, the Orchidarium is also home to a variety of flowering and non-flowering plants. You can choose from several colors, shapes and kinds of anthurium, roses, lilies, Malaysian mums, petunias, daisies, etc.
Visitors who are planning to start their very own organic gardens will surely be glad to find the following herbs – Stevia – a great substitute for sugar; lemon grass and Tarragon – the best ingredients for a perfect pot of tea; Basil, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme; Oregano – leaves that will surely enhance the flavor of your cooked meals; Nasturtium – an edible flower that can add color to a vegan salad; and many more.
Tips on Buying Plants
Here are some tips while shopping at the Baguio Orchidarium:
The plants are cheapest from June to November, so if you wish to add blooms to your landscape or to introduce a new breed of plant to your garden, then try to schedule your tour of the city on these months.
Before you buy an expensive plant like an orchid, inquire first if it will thrive in a climate that is cooler or warmer than the normal Baguio temperature. Then you can better decide whether or not to purchase and bring home the plant you want.
Ask for information on how to take care of the plant/s you will buy. For sure, the vendors will be glad to share with you tips such as how often you should water the plants, which fertilizer works best with the plants you intend to take home, etc.
More photos from the Orchidarium:
How to get there:
The Baguio City Orchidarium can be found in Shanum Street; beside the Burnham Children’s Playground; at the back of the biking area and the Tourist Assistance Center of the Baguio Police District; and in front of the newly-built AXA Building which houses a 7-11 outlet and the Chowking Burnham Branch.