Contact Us
Ridgewood Daily Voice serves Ridgewood, NJ

Menu

Ridgewood Daily Voice serves Ridgewood, NJ

Nearby Towns

business

Orchid Paradise Blooms In Ridgewood

Rueben Kim, the orchid hunter.
Rueben Kim, the orchid hunter. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
One variety of Hawaiian orchid.
One variety of Hawaiian orchid. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Mini orchids, which are all the rage in Europe.
Mini orchids, which are all the rage in Europe. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Rueben Kim tending to orchids.
Rueben Kim tending to orchids. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Orchids abloom.
Orchids abloom. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Rueben Kim of Paramus can’t stop smiling when he looks at the international array of plants that fill his new Ridgewood shop.

“Orchids are exquisite. They’re nice,” said Kim, the owner of Orchid Hunters on Godwin Avenue. “The more I get to know them, the more intrigued I am.

“There are monkey orchids. They look like monkeys. There are dancing lady orchids and butterfly orchids.”

There also are the popular Phalaenopsis orchids, originally from Taiwan -- and Lady’s slippers from California, Cattleya and Grammatophyllum from Hawaii. Miltonia, too, from South America, and many more.

In keeping with the shop’s name, Kim searches for orchids from all over the globe.

A wholesaler, he deals with greenhouses in New York State and Pennsylvania that grow strong, hearty orchids from imported stems. One stem can yield as many as 10 to 12 buds.

Kim cherry-picks what he wants and then sells and delivers the orchids to the upscale floral shops in New York City, including Zezé, Renny & Reed, Alexander Brothers, and Plaza Flowers.

He was looking for a place in New Jersey to store his orchids when his wife, Mikkie Lee, had the idea to open a retail space.

“Now, if I buy 20 or 30 of a kind of orchid, I leave four or five in the shop,” Kim said. “So the people who come into the shop will get to see a lot of different types of orchids.”

They can expect to have a healthy, radiant orchid for three months, according to Kim. That’s typical for orchids grown in prime conditions that are not overly reliant on fertilizers.

Others who visit Orchid Hunters may just want to look or photograph -- and that’s fine with Kim and Lee. They want to share the beauty.

The orchid business has exploded in the past decade, according to Kim. That’s mainly because of a new sphagnum moss that allows the delicate plants to be watered only once every 10 days during shipping.

Before, they had to be shipped in bark chips, which required watering two to three times a week.

The advent of LED grow lights also helped bring down the cot. Orchid Hunters is bathed in red and blue light, regulated to promote the optimal health of the plants and their flowers.

Kim considers working with orchids one of the best things he’s ever done.

“They make me a happy person,” he said.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Ridgewood Daily Voice!

This is a one time message inviting you to keep in touch

Get important news about your town as it happens.