Sundance Orchids & Bromeliads
A little about us…
Sundance Orchids and Bromeliads is a retail and wholesale nursery located in a beautiful, upscale south Fort Myers community called Briarcliff, 2 miles off of U.S. Hwy 41 and 1 mile off Michael G. Rippe Parkway (Metro Extension).
Nine modern, clean and organized greenhouses sit on nearly 5 acres of landscaped grounds amongst pines and palms. Founded in 2001, Sundance caters to not only the orchid fancier, but also to the collector. We carry cattleyas, oncidiums, encyclias, phaleanopsis, dendrobiums, bulbophyllums and other genera, as well as a large selection of vandaceous orchids imported directly from Thailand. As the area’s largest retail orchid nursery we offer choices rarely found in similar locations. With over 20,000 square feet of orchid space, we have a large selection of hybrids, as well as species, with many blooming any day of the year. In addition to the sale of orchids, we offer orchid repotting services, all types of supplies, ‘Summer Camp for Orchids,’ and plenty of free advice.
We also feature a huge selection of bromeliads readily adaptable to the landscape, lanai, or even indoors. Bromeliads are a great way to add color and a tropical feel to any location, with very little maintenance. Many varieties are available, ranging from shade to full sun plants. With over 3,000 known species, and even more hybrids of bromeliads in the world, we are constantly adding new selections to our inventory. If you have a landscape company or similar type of business, special wholesale pricing is available.
In addition to landscape bromeliads, we have Tillandsias, commonly known as ‘air plants.’ They are a different type of bromeliad, and come in many shapes and sizes. We offer a vast selection of rare and hard to find varieties of air plants all year long. Driftwood and African Mopani are also available for attaching air plants, orchids, and bromeliads to, which allows customers to create their own one of a kind ‘live log arrangements.’ Plus, you never know what else you may find at Sundance, as staghorn ferns, succulents, begonias and many more interesting plants are known to occasionally make their way into our inventory.
Our employees are plant enthusiasts with many years of experience specializing in the care of orchids and bromeliads. We are here for any questions you may have and enjoy helping customers learn about the plants they purchase. Frequently, we offer orchid repotting, live log arrangement making, and bromeliad care classes for those customers that are interested in learning more. If interested, you can sign up for and view class dates on the calendar located under the Services section of the home page.
So please, come visit and enjoy the wonderful smells and beautiful colors at Sundance Orchids and Bromeliads!
Sundance Orchids & Bromeliads was founded by Lee Behrhorst in 2001. After retiring in the mid-nineties he decided to move from his home in Pittsburg to sunny Southwest Florida. As an avid gardener, he soon found that the gated community he lived in was not a great place for his hobby. With little chance to have a large garden, he shifted his interests to orchids and began collecting them on his lanai. Quickly his collection grew and one day while reading the paper on the lanai, his wife was unexpectedly soaked by his automatic sprinkler system that he had installed for the plants. Not happy, she strongly suggested he figured out a new location for his ever growing collection. So his search for a nursery began. In summer of 2001 he found a rundown greenhouse, made all the necessary repairs, and in November he opened a little retail orchid business called Sundance Orchids.
Just like his orchid collection grew rapidly, so did the business. Opening with approximately 3000 orchids, the business now has grown into a collection of approximately 25,000! As the business grew, more greenhouses were added. As years went on, Mr. Behrhorst also became interested in bromeliads, and decided to add them in to the collection. The once little orchid nursery now also carries a huge selection of approximately 20,000 bromeliads! In what has went from approximately 9,000 square foot of greenhouse space to 70,000 square foot of greenhouse space!
In 2016, Mr. Behrhorst was ready to retire again. However, he wanted Sundance Orchids & Bromeliads to continue on. After many talks with his long time employee and orchid enthusiast Jacki, Mr. Behrhorst agreed to sell the business to Jacki and her husband Elijah.
Jacki, originally born in Iowa, but long time southwest Florida resident had worked at Sundance for 7 years. Crazy about plants, with a background in studying horticulture, she was excited for the opportunity to keep Sundance Orchids & Bromeliads going. Elijah, born in Indiana and resident of Fort Myers since 2005, however had no background in plants. Except for his very crowded lanai full of Jacki’s ever growing plant addiction. He had been working for an aftermarket automotive parts manufacturer in Naples for 10 years, selling what he calls ‘engine jewelry’ for custom hot rods and muscle cars. However, ready for a chance to get out of the office setting and outside, he was eager to take on the challenge with Jacki.
In January 2017 the ownership change took place. However, that first year for the first time business owners proved to be a challenge, as nine months later Hurricane Irma wrecked havoc on the nursery. Greenhouse roofs were ripped off, plants were destroyed, and half of one of the buildings was put out of commission completely. While the cleanup process has been long and slow, Sundance Orchids & Bromeliads is finally starting to get back to normal. The garden landscapes have been redone and a lot of the needed repairs to our greenhouses have been fixed. We hope that if you have been here before you will come back to see all the new changes that have been made. If you haven’t seen the nursery before, we hope you can find the time to come out and enjoy the surroundings at Sundance Orchids & Bromeliads.