Our product’s story begins in NE Portland in the early 1950s when my grandparents were given a cymbidium orchid plant as a gift. They were already growing fuschias and other warm-climate species as a hobby in their backyard greenhouse, but their success with this one plant sent the family off on a fateful tangent.
They propagated the plant and added to their cymbidium collection. As a biologist, my grandmother hybridized and cloned the orchids, and they eventually expanded into a larger greenhouse in the heart of Mississippi Avenue in North Portland (only recently torn down) and started selling cut orchids to local florist shops.
My dad, Tom, worked there after school as a teenager and decided to study horticulture and business in college and do the orchid farm thing for real. He later expanded the operation to yet larger greenhouses south of Portland in Milwaukie.
To compete on a wide scale, he needed the longest-lasting blooms that could make it cross-country and into a wedding bouquet, which is what drove his obsession with the fertilizer. He sent leaf tissue samples to the lab every month for years, tweaking the formula. Lo and behold, it did great things for all the houseplants, too.
Neilson Orchids, Inc. became one of the biggest orchid growers in the country, fueled by the perfect nutrient blend.
For bottling purposes, the product can’t be fully concentrated without losing quality. (See our FAQ for more info), hence the 1:3 usage instructions.
Cheers, Julie Neilson