Phytesia 1A

Garden orchids resistant to frost
total amount raised
  • Backed by over 170 investors
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Market positioning

Phytesia markets its perennial orchids at three stages of development (plants in vitro coming from the lab (IV), young plants to be cultivated (JP), adult plants ready to flower (PF)).
Our clients are horticulture wholesalers, horticultural companies, garden centres, mail order companies or companies active in the cosmetics industry.
Our range of adult plants is also available to the general public via an online sales platform.
The growth in our sales turnover is essentially realised by growth in the number of plants reaching maturity in the coming years. This is because adult plants have a substantially greater profit margin than in vitro or young plants.

Market trends

The market for orchids has seen explosive growth since the end of the 90s and today they represent one of the leading horticultural products. For the decorative horticulture sector, nearly 500 million orchids are sold every year in Europe. At present more than 99.9% of the orchids produced are tropical varieties and are sold as house plants or as cut flowers. The products developed by Phytesia (frost-resistant orchids) open the way for outdoor ornamental use (garden design, decoration of terraces, public spaces, etc.). We are talking about a wholly new market, the market for outdoor plants, which is witnessing considerable growth in Europe.

All the orchids present on the planet are today protected by International Conventions (CITES: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which place a total ban on picking them in the wild. Artificial propagation (by man) thus represents the only possibility for bringing these varieties to market. Nevertheless, most of the orchid varieties are characterised by slow or even nonexistent multiplication by traditional techniques (cuttings, division, etc.) and in vitro propagation techniques offer the only possibility for large scale production in relatively short periods of time and at reasonable cost. After many years of research and development, the Phytesia laboratory is the only one in the world to have mastered in vitro production of a broad range of perennial orchids (60 varieties) in substantial volumes (500,000 plants each year).

Aside from the decorative horticulture sector, Phytesia now markets three original varieties for the cosmetics sector. These are varieties that have been used in the past but which are today subject to regulated supply due to the prohibition on harvesting wild plants, or varieties which till now were not used due to lack of available plant resources. The benefit of the technology developed by Phytesia is enhanced when one realises that most cosmetic firms have made ‘protection of the environment’ their motto.

The technology developed by Phytesia is also used today for the production of one variety whose principal active components go into products for therapeutic applications.

Finally, this technology could revolutionise the market for Salep (beverages based on perennial orchid bulbs and in particular on many varieties produced by Phytesia). According to current estimates, between 10 and 20 million orchid bulbs are illegally harvested each year in Turkey for the preparation of Salep. In the medium term, the establishment of artificial production of these varieties in inevitable.


Phytesia presently has very few direct competitors in the market for perennial orchids. Until a few years ago, these plants were offered only by a few horticulture specialists who produced them by conventional techniques of cutting and division. These techniques were incompatible with large-scale production and the plants were only available in very small quantities (several thousand plants per year) at exorbitant prices.

With more than 200,000 plants sold in 2014 (all stages taken together: IV-JP-PF), Phytesia is the first company to have developed mass production of these species and the only one able to offer today a broad range of varieties (nearly 60 varieties).

For several years now a Dutch company has also been producing and marketing several perennial orchid varieties.

With only two major players, the market nonetheless remains largely open (several hundred thousand perennial orchid plants are sold each year in Europe versus 500 million tropical orchids).