Jim Roberts - Owner/HybridizerWe strive to grow and sell the best quality orchid plants for all our customers, and to build a lasting reputation in the industry as one of the very best.
Florida SunCoast Orchids is led by Jim Roberts, a leader in the growing orchid industry of Florida, operating throughout the state of Florida as well as supporting national market demands.
It was in the college days of 1979 when I first encountered orchids during a routine doctor's visit. While there, I noticed a large cattleya orchid on his desk. I asked the fateful question: “What kind of flower is that?” To which the physician laughingly replied, "You do NOT want to know!" A short story by the doctor about his all-consuming hobby ensued and within two days I had gotten two orchids of my own.
During those college years in Northfield, Minnesota, I was put in charge of the St. Olaf greenhouse and its repository of orchids. I knew little about the plants but read everything I could get my hands on. After graduating, I moved to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands where I happened upon a sidewalk sale by the local orchid society. I joined the group, learned much about growing in a tropical arid environment, the native orchid species, and won my first AOS award for Encyclia bifida 'Loves Favor' AM/AOS.
Leaving the island three years later, I found myself trying to take 10 boxes of plants through customs back to Minnesota. Little did I know that the customs encounter would be easiest part. It was a totally new experience trying to grow plants in a cold Midwestern state. Many plants did not survive. Many did, and I learned that orchids actually could be grown quite successfully in the stifling environment of a house surrounded by ice and snow.
During those return years in Minnesota, I worked in the horticulture industry, served in various capacities with orchid organizations and lectured to many garden clubs. I also had the privilege of traveling extensively around the United States, Europe and Hawaii for my career, visiting all of the major orchid nurseries. It was during this time that I started to turn my avid hobby into a small business.
In 2001 we moved to Florida with a small collection of plants and the dream of operating an orchid nursery became a reality. We currently grow our beauties in three gutter connected greenhouses encompassing 10,000 square feet of growing space. As always, I strive to grow and sell the best quality orchid plants for all our customers, and to build a lasting reputation in the industry as one of the very best. My deepest thanks to my wife Mary, my kids, and all those who patronize our business.