Orchid Growers

A look into the lives of people passionate for plants



I had the unbelievable pleasure of immersing myself into the world of orchid growers. I visited people's homes to learn about their plants, I attended the National Capital Area Fall Orchid Show to meet orchid experts, and I explored the U.S. Botanic Gardens to gather insights into the world of orchid growing. The people of the orchid community welcomed me with open arms, excited to share their stories and passion for orchids.


Here's what I learned

People develop unique orchid personalities.

With over 30,000 types of orchids, people tend to gravitate towards specific types of orchids. Whether it be microscopic-size orchids, dry-climate orchids, or exotic orchids, each person finds their niche. Depending on how involved one is in the orchid community, they may even become known for it.


It’s all about the bloom.

For orchid growers, the excitement of spotting a new bloom is equivalent to the excitement a child feels on Christmas morning. For many, it brings a sense of reward in overcoming the challenge of growing a plant that others may not be able to grow or one that takes awhile to bloom.

It’s a fever—one plant is all it takes to get hooked.

Hundreds to thousands of plants later, it’s a matter of deciding which plants get prime real estate in the greenhouse.


Orchids are like kids: each has its own personality and doesn’t always know what’s best for itself. 

Some orchid plants will continue to bloom at the expense of its own wellbeing. As an orchid grower you need to identify the unique needs of each individual plant so that you can take care of it—better than it can itself.

Orchid growers share a greater appreciation for all living things.

Orchid growers don’t just grow orchids. Each person has a passion for another living thing whether it be an animal or another plant (ie: African violets).


Killing plants is simply part of the hobby.

Each orchid grower kills more plants than he or she keeps alive. Growing orchids is a constant learning experience.

Life’s too short to nurse a sick plant…unless it was Aunt Bertha’s
— Gene Schurg, orchid grower