Plants and reptiles have been a passion of mine since my teenage years. I bought my first terrarium plants when I was 14, mini African violets and a mini Sinningia, and was hooked. I got my first job with reptiles when I was 16, and immediately started trying to find a way to combine the two. Vivarium magazine came out around that time, and I started my obsession with dart frogs and planted tanks. My first attempt at 16 was to waterproof a melamine tank and build a waterfall, and while it was functional it will not be remembered as one of my best efforts. Finding materials back then was nearly impossible, there were only one or two nurseries specializing in terrarium plants, and they were usually back ordered or in limited supply. A year later I left my job at the reptile store, continued my education in biology and chemistry, and started working in the plant department of Home Depot. After being pushed by my coworkers to do something more with myself, I went back to school as a Horticulture major, along with an internship running the school’s greenhouse, and also began working as a gardener at Disneyland. Unfortunately, my career at Disney was short-lived due to an on-the-job accident that resulted in 8 years of surgery and me left struggling to find another job.
Verdant Vivariums was created in 2011 after my surgeries finally came to an end. I realized there was still a rather large hole in the market for terrarium plants, and I now had the time and knowledge to try and fill it.
In 2012 I moved from an apartment to a house with a large yard and was finally able to build my large shade houses and greenhouses, more room to experiment! After some difficulty finding information on the plants I was working with, I began volunteering at The Huntington Botanical Garden, working with their rare mini orchids and tropical plants in the back greenhouses.
In early 2018 I realized I had reached capacity at the house, evidenced by overflowing plant racks in the garage and dining room, and decided to expand further by getting a 1,400 sq. foot warehouse where I could build a showroom and grow the more delicate plants that weren’t tough enough for the greenhouses.
As of today, we are growing over 1,000 bromeliads and several thousand more tropical plants and orchids, with the emphasis on terrarium plants and oddities.
We also produce isopods and springtails, and carry a large assortment of vivarium building supplies, mainly as an excuse for me to have more things to play with in my builds, but also because I know how frustrating trying to find what you need can be. As for reptiles, I currently keep and breed several Uroplatus (Leaf tailed gecko) species, along with some other smaller geckos and of course dart frogs.
Owner, Verdant Vivariums