Monday, January 17, 2022

Orchids, Friends & Fun

Something new in the Southwest Florida orchid world.

Like orchids? Then there’s a new organization just for you where you can learn how to grow them, conserve them and enjoy them to the fullest.

A group of orchid enthusiasts from around Southwest Florida have aligned to form the Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance, Inc. (GCOA) to promote interest in orchids by bringing something new to the Southwest Florida orchid world.

“What makes us unique is our desire to reach out to the community to inspire others to share in our passion. We want to pass on our knowledge so that everyone can have fun with orchids,” said Robert Printz, president of the new group.

“More people grow orchids in South Florida than anywhere else,” Printz said. “We see a need to offer educational talks, workshops, and demonstrations to show how easy it is to grow, enjoy and conserve orchids. We are developing programs for every level of hobbyist, from beginner to advanced grower. Even kids will have fun with our program about unusual and odd-scented orchids. To encourage younger enthusiasts to get involved, we offer free membership to anyone under 18.”

GCOA is off to a running start with its first Orchid Sale at the Naples Botanical Garden during the Garden’s Second Annual Plant Sale on November 17-18. The public is encouraged to attend on Saturday and Sunday from 9am-2pm at the Garden located at 4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples FL 34112 ( Admission to the sale is free.

Look for GCOA’s booth in the big tent on the Garden’s event plaza where exotic and flowering orchids will be offered, and where members will be on hand to give advice about orchid culture, care and conservation, and how to become a member of this new exciting group. Sale proceeds will benefit GCOA’s educational and community outreach projects.

Learn how to create your own orchid garden at 11:00 am on Sunday November 18 during the Garden’s event. GCOA members will show various ways to mount orchids, and onlookers will have a chance to win some of the orchids that have been mounted.

The Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance is committed to providing educational opportunities to learn about orchid culture, where beginners to advanced hobbyists can exchange information and ideas in an enjoyable and enthusiastic atmosphere.

On December 20, 2012, GCOA will begin holding monthly ‘Third Thursday’ Membership Events at the Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church at 1255 Piper Blvd., Naples, FL 34110 from 6:30–8:30 pm. Look for the tall steeples across from Sam’s on Immokalee Road. Guests are most welcome.

Mark your calendars for these exciting events! For information please call (239) 498-9741 or

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