“The Gubler family has loved and grown orchids for three generations. Swiss citizen, Hans Gubler, who grew up in a family-owned orchid-growing business, came to America on a Missouri Botanical Gardens scholarship in 1918. He returned to Sweden but emigrated to Temple City, California, in the mid-1950s. Hans bought the Landers nursery in 1975.” ~06 Aug 1989 The San Bernardino Sun
Landers, California, was originally settled in the early 20th Century by prospectors starting with Charles Reche in 1914. Gubler Orchids now occupies part of the former Reche Ranch. Reche was a deputy sheriff wounded by Willie Boy in the last great American manhunt of the West.
“In 1985, Hans said Landers was an excellent environment for growing orchids because it cut the days of growing orchids by 20-25%. He added it wasn’t the intensity of the sun, it was the abundance of sunny days.
According to Hans Gubler, it takes from four to 15 years to grow an orchid from seedling to a full blossom, depending on the type of plant. Once a plant blossoms for the first time, it will continue each year thereafter.” ~23 Aug 1985 The Desert Sun
Now it is Hans’ son, Chris, who continues the legacy, along with his sister, Heidi and daughter, Kelsey.
When visitors tour the nursery they see thousands of varieties of hybrid orchids, many which were created by Hans Gubler.
The plants start from seedlings germinated in an agar solution in a sterile environment. Gubler grows nearly 5,000 varieties of rare orchids.
When we visited Gubler Orchids in January, employees were sewing 30,000 orchid seedlings into tiny Sphagnum Moss pots.
Gubler currently ships their plants to Texas, which distributes orchids to over 700 companies north of Texas.
Busy hands make for a happy heart, and in this case, beautiful flowers too.
Although Gubler Orchids does not sell corsages themselves, they certainly supply the orchids other distributors use to make the fragrant wearable arrangement of flowers given as a gift that are especially popular for proms and weddings.
Everywhere one turns at Gubler’s, they are treated to colorful sights for the eyes and a cornicopia of smells for the nose.
Gubler Orchids offers a nice selection of carnivorous plants. Pitcher plants use a passive method in catching their prey. Their tube- like leaves form pitchers that hold water and digestive fluids. Gubler also grows Droseras, a semi-active carnivorous plant, and Sundews with gooey red tentacles. Gubler even has Butterworts, another bug-hungry plant, all available for purchase.
The popular Morongo Basin Orchid Festival was first held in October of 1996 and has been successfully running every October since.
2200 Belfield Blvd
Landers, California 92285
Watch for the signs on the corner of Highway 247 and Reche Road then again at Belfield in Landers. Tours are free, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Plan ahead. There are other sites in the local area you may want to visit too, like the Morongo Basin Historical Society Museum (free, open Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.), Giant Rock on BLM land (free), and the Integraton (by appointment only), all in Landers.