‘Being nice makes all the difference’

Tony Romani started his own vanda nursery completely out of the blue more than twenty years ago. By now, R&R Orchids has become one of the largest, leading vanda producers in the United States. That’s not to say that Romani – aka ‘The Vanda Man’ – has no further ambitions; he still sees plenty more opportunity for growth.

“The population of West Palm Beach aren’t thrifty; they happily pay top price for a pretty vanda. Thousands of euros for a single plant isn’t uncommon”, reports Tony Romani. His company R&R Orchids is located in the south of Florida. In Loxahatchee Groves to be exact, near West Palm Beach. The inhabitants of this city are among the richest in the world; even Donald Trump has a home here.

The 41-year-old American grower, whose father was from Cuba, grew up in Miami. He had no background in the floriculture sector and never thought he’d work in the field when he was young. After he’d finished high school, he started working in the furniture industry. Until he bought a vanda for his girlfriend, now his wife, in 1998.

“I’d never heard of this orchid, but I absolutely loved it. So much that I decided to keep the plant myself, instead of giving it to my girlfriend. A friend of mine, who had an orchid nursery, told me how the vanda is one of the most difficult to grow varieties. After hearing that, I wanted to keep the vanda beautiful and get it to flower again and again. It worked, and that was the start of a new hobby: I began propagating vandas. I taught myself all the ins and outs, I read scientific publications. Hard work and dedication, that’s the secret to growing a beautiful vanda.”

Click here to read the full article on R&R Orchids in Floribusiness magazine.

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