About Us

History of Jewell Orchids

Jewell Orchids is a second-generation family business.  The business was started in the 1980s by David Johnston. His orchid passion began while he was a student of botany and horticulture at Iowa State University, and grew as he was manager of the Iowa State University Botany and Plant Pathology Research and Teaching greenhouses. As David’s personal orchid collection increased, he decided that the natural step would be to turn his passion into a business and thus began Jewell Orchids which was named after the town of Jewell, Iowa where he resided at the time. He took an interest in Cattleyas, Oncidiums, and Encyclias primarily focusing on species, blues, and rare varieties. He also had an extensive collection of unusual orchids of botanical interest to him--a true botanist at heart. Over the years, he grew his breeding program from his carefully curated stud collection with the intentions of always improving the cultivar further using plants with the best color, shape, growing habits, etc.

In the early 2000s, David and his wife, Angel, moved Jewell Orchids from Iowa to Colbert, Georgia. Following David’s passing in 2015, Angel kept the business going until it began a new chapter in 2017. The older of their two daughters, Leah Weil, along with her husband, Brian, have taken on ownership and operation. Leah was very involved in the business throughout the years and has wonderful memories of growing up around orchids. She took a big interest in the breeding program, laboratory, and flasking in her childhood and still greatly enjoys this aspect of the business. She is excited to follow in her father’s well-laid footsteps and continue the tradition of growing quality plants and maintaining a high-standard breeding program. Angel remains an integral part of the business in the daily greenhouse operations and runs our customer service and manages the office. 

The greenhouse is located in Canton, Georgia in the Atlanta metro area.