Owner of Hesperian Cleaners Raises Orchids As A Hobby

Sung Lee has run his dry cleaning business in San Lorenzo for 31 years. In his spare time he raises orchids and teaches others to do the same.


Sung Lee has run Hesperian Cleaners in San Lorenzo since 1982. Over the years he has opened satellite shops in Castro Valley and Danville. 

But day after day he can be found at his storefont at 15848 Hesperian Boulevard, where this video clip shows him with a customer at the counter.

When he isn't working Lee raises orchids, a hobby he has practiced for over 25 years.

"I have close to 1,000 orchids of various genera," Lee says. "The oldest orchid I have is approximately 75 years old. It was given to me 10 years ago by a customer who passed away. It had belonged to her mother."

He adds: "Orchids do not have lifespan."

Lee said that over the past decade there has been a renewed interest in orchid cultivation thanks to a new process that propagates orchids more quickly.

Taking an orchid from seedling to full bloom could take 5 or more years, he says. But using this new process growers can bring an orchid to full bloom in a year to 18 months.

"There is money to be made," he says. "That is why there are so many orchids and they are so cheap."

But Sung said most orchids end up in the trash can after they bloom. So he holds periodic classes on how to take care of orchids so that they continue to bloom year after year.

Ask Sung about orchids next time you visit the shop.

To learn more about Hesperian Cleaners and its environmentally-friendly dry cleaning process visit the shop's web site.

Do you have a green thumb? What do you raise?




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