Omar Gonzalez

A chemist by trade and botanist at heart. I have found orchid growing a rewarding and enjoyable hobby. Work skills are used and are enjoyable for a change. Solving problems is another aspect I enjoy. I had moved back to Miami from Iowa in 2011 when I met a man that gave me some orchids. Spathoglottis, Vanilla, and Sobralia. It took a while for me to give up on a vegetable garden. Eventually I attended an orchid show before my first trip to Hawaii. I visited Akatsuka, Carmela, and became even more obsessed in Orchids. Upon my return, I started growing seedlings under lights, after a year it was obvious that I needed a big yard. An opportunity to volunteer at the Bonnet House gave me lots of hands on experience in managing a Vandaceaous collection. From then on, I would learn from anyone that would talk to me, seeking out knowledgeable growers, attending society meetings throughout Florida. I would attend every orchid show from Miami to Fort Pierce. Especially if they had lectures. Eventually some growers took a liking to me and they were a pleasure to get to know. All their wisdom was used to make my collection grow and I figure out how. In that time I cannot tell you of how many plants were lost to being a stranger in my own back yard. I have go on to do orchid seed culture, hybrids, as well as caring for collections in private homes or businesses. I enjoy growing a myriad of genera, thanks to Springwater Orchids, Redhawk Orchids, Bill Thoms, Andy’s Orchids, Tamiami Festival, Redland Festival, you get the picture. My hands on experience is extensive with Cattleya, and Vandaceous. I also take care of private collections. Come hear me share the monsters divided, finding the best conditions for orchids, the pests and diseases and many other topics if time allows .