Newsletter Distribution - 526
"Grooming Your Plants for Show Judging" with Alma Marosz. Its not too early to start thinking about ways to help your blooming plants to look their best at showtime. Learn from a member who uses artistry and creativity to arrange her orchids for show. Alma will show you how to train, groom and label your plants so they will look their very best for Ribbon and Trophy judging in March. Youll learn how to stake them so the blooms present well, how to clean those mineral / fertilizer deposits off the leaves, and how to choose a nice basket or cachepot to complement each plant. These tips are simple once you know them, and can make quite a difference in "dressing up" your plant for the show. And Alma is a great teacher. Bring your questions, and even a plant you want some help with. With this class, youll be all set for the fun and excitement of entering those special plants in Orchid Odyssey 2000!
Doesnt it seem strange that our year date is now 2000 instead of 19xx? Welcome to the new millennium and may every year be just a little bit better than the previous year. Lets promise to grow those orchids just a little bit better this year than last.
When we closed out our year, we did it in a truly grand fashion with our Holiday Season party. Plants, plants everywhere and for everyone, plus the outstanding entertainment! Everyone is still talking about the outstanding performance by the young dancers of the Philippine group Samahan. Not only was the performance energetic and full of beautiful costumes we also had first-hand insight about Philippine culture.
At this months meeting we start off the year with an old friend of the San Diego County Orchid Society, at least hes been a long time associate of some of our commercial growers. Louis Del Favero of Tampa Florida is our guest speaker for this month. Over the years he has been an outlet and distributor of Florida and Caribbean species orchids throughout the world including our San Diego. He is providing us a presentation titled "Native Florida Orchids and Habitat". Over the years Louis has given personal witness to the stripping of orchids from their Florida habitat in the name of modern civilization. As a result he led and participated in all sorts of Native Florida Conservation projects that have included orchid rescue projects within the Tampa area (as close as the property abutting his property), the Cypress Swamp of South Florida and the Sakahatchee Strand State Preserve, also in South Florida. If you do not happen to know where the Sakahatchee Strand State Preserve is located, it is in alligator alley just east of Naples, Florida. Talk about exotics, hes going to tell something about rescue efforts of the Ghost Orchid and Leafless Orchid, both native to Florida.
During Louiss presentation he will have available a very rare edition of "Native Florida Orchids". How rare? Well, a real bargain price is $600 and its not unusual for some sellers to ask $2,000. Louis is willing to allow as many members as possible to thumb through this truly unique publication during the meeting.
This is what Louis has to say about himself:
"I am a native of Miami, Florida. I received my first orchid as a birthday gift when I was 12. This started a love for orchids as well as a life long business. I started selling orchids when I was 16 in 1969. I would collect and sell native Florida orchids and bromeliads from areas of the state that were being developed in the early 70s
With the recent publication of the "Orchid Thief" there seems to be a renewed interest in Florida native species and conservation of natives.
In the 1970s I also traveled and collected extensively in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, and shipped species all over the country and various foreign countries.
In 1981 we moved to Tampa, Florida, where we expanded our growing area and also expanded into Vandas and other Asian hybrids and some species as Central America and Caribbean Countries were closed to collecting due to CITES regulation.
I have always dealt primarily in orchids. Over the years I have also dealt in Tillandsias, Bromeliads, Cacti and Succulents. We love all types of plants, but orchids have always been our main interest and primary business focus ."
Louis is also providing the plants for our Plant Opportunity Table. He expects to have mostly Caribbean species mixed with some Vandacias alliance, Psychilus and native Florida orchids such as Encyclia tampensis.
Congratulations to Fred Clarke on winning an FCC/AOS!
On December 13, judges of the AOS / American Orchid Society awarded a coveted FCC (First Class Certificate) to Fred Clarkes cross of (Cyc. chlorochilon X Morm. frymirei) Sunset Valley Orchids. Only 10 or so FCCs are awarded among ALL plants entered for AOS judging each year. Fred also earned a second AM/AOS (Award of Merit) on Cycn. Midnight Magic grex, an HCC/AOS (High Class Certificate) each on Cycn. Painted Desert, Paph. Rolefi, Lc. Liptonii, and Slc. Jungle Beau, a total of 6 AOS quality awards in one sitting. "All in all", Fred said, "it was a good night!"
Freds discerning eye for excellence has earned him an uncommonly long list of AOS awards since he started exhibiting plants from his collection just 2 years ago. To date, he has garnered 48 quality awards: 1 FCC/AOS, 11 AM/AOS and 36 HCC/AOS. At the 1998 San Diego Orchid Show, Fred won Best of Show with a fabulous plant, Laelia harpophylla "Mayan Fantasy" AM, CCM/AOS, which had 260 flowers on 45 inflorescence! In September, he received Best Species trophy at the Del Mar Orchid Show for an Encyclia phoenicea "Choco Milk" AM/AOS. For those of you who smelled "Choco Milk" the wonderful fragrance of chocolate is unforgettable.
When asked what his current hybridizing goals are, Fred replied, "My efforts have been focused in the development of mid-sized, compact-growing plants with large flower heads of red, orange and yellow flowers held on a strong stem above the foliage. More recently Ive expanded into flared, blue and spotted types. An intergeneric genus is named after me, Clarkeara. The species in a Clarkeara are, Diacrium, Brassavola, Laelia, Cattleya, and Sophronitis. Over the last 5 years I have registered 34 hybrids with the Royal Horticultural Society."
"For judging, I like to select plants at peak performance, supporting the best possible flowering on strong growths. Plants with flowers of high color and/or purity in color are appreciated by the judges. Plants will be screened if they have damaged or old flowers or insects. However, the most important thing is to take plants in to judging. Youll never get an award if you dont."
I highly recommend a visit to Freds nursery, Sunset Valley Orchids in Vista. It includes 3 greenhouses, covers 4,000 sq. ft. and houses over 10,000 plants. The greenhouses are organized into 2 environmental zones, one for Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilums, and two for Cattleyas and Catasetums. He has developed his growing skills to an art and grows some of the finest plants in San Diego. His Business hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 5. It is a good idea to call first. submitted by Cindy Hill
Meet A Member
When you have the chance to see Jim and Lise Wrights yard, dont pass it up. Their deeply-shaded 35 year-old garden, filling two city lots just east of Mission Bay, is truly an oasis. Youll find several HUNDRED palms representing 80 species, plus ferns, bromeliads, and orchids in this great collection. While Jim is well-known locally as a leading expert on palm trees, orchids are near and dear to his heart as well. His first encounter with an Epidendrum pseudepidendrum about 20 years ago started it all. Its astonishing lime green sepals and petals and a bright orange molded-plastic lip were "fantastic", he recalls. When he learned it needed to be grown in a greenhouse, he decided against buying the plant, and instead began to collect only plants that can grow happily outside year-round.
These days, Jim estimates he has "a couple THOUSAND" orchid plants in his yard. He raises Cymbidiums in a 15 x 40ft area of the back yard and other genera in the shade structure on the lot next door. Reed stem Epidendrums, including his favorite Yamada hybrids, thrive in several areas where they can receive the most light. (Lises lovely roses and daylilies enjoy the sunshine, too.) He has noticed a big improvement in the Yamada Epis now that he shelters them from rain and hail. While rain and cold do bother them somewhat, they are more tolerant of cold when they stay drier, and now they reward him with big clusters of showy blooms throughout the year. Jim also grows Cattleyas, Oncidiums, Zygopetalums, and Dendrobiums.
What do you like about growing orchids? "I find that its a really interesting and nice way to make new friends even when youre far from home. A few years ago, I sent my daughter, who lives in a small coastal town near Coos Bay, Oregon, one of our show T-shirts. Someone in town noticed her wearing the shirt one day, and asked her about it. She told the fellow her Dad was an "orchid nut", and the next time I was up there visiting her, she introduced us, and weve been orchid friends ever since."
How do you best learn about orchids? "Two major waystrial and error, and listening and watching what other people do. I dont get a lot out of books. Id rather see peoples collections. I like to see firsthand how they do what they do, and maybe I can learn and try it at home."
Any advice for someone just beginning with orchids? " Id say adequate light and fresh mix are most important. No more than two years in the same mix. Repot in March or April, into early summer. Always repot soggy plants!"
What do you enjoy most about our Society? "I like the speakers and the camaraderie of the group. I enjoy Species meetings because of the chance to see how other people grow their orchids. And I really enjoy volunteering with our spring orchid showworking together as a team, going from an empty auditorium to a spectacular display in a day and a half...its always fascinating!"
Jim and Lise enjoy travelling, especially trips with an ecotourism and wildlife focus. As this goes to press, they are on a cruise ship visiting Panama, Mexico, and the Caribbean, doing some snorkeling and on the lookout for orchids.
Any final words for fellow Society members? "Call me and come over for a visit!"
by Esther Sivila
I apologize for missing the column in the last issue. Something beyond my control happened. My computer was in the repair shop and I was so miserable without it. I hope that now that it is back, it wont shut down on me again. Okay, where were we oh, yes. Lets continue in the generic names and their pronunciation.
GENUS NAMES PRONUNCIATION
Many more Cattleya species names still to go! Did you find some names you were mispronouncing a little? Well continue in the next issue
Dates to Remember: January
January 4, 7:30 pm
January 8, 9:00 am
January 11, 7:00 pm
January 14, 7:30 pm
January 18, 7:00 pm
Members In The News
Paul and Ann Tuskes are co-authors of "A Review of The Genus Comparettia" published in the Oct-Dec 1999, Volume 63 (4) issue of The Orchid Digest. Their article includes over 20 excellent color photographs they have taken of various Comparettia species.
Ann and Paul were also featured speakers at the December meeting of the San Diego Horticulture Society. Their talk, "Orchids of Costa Rica", focussed on the two trips they have made to that country, especially the flora of higher elevations, including the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Wilson Botanic Garden/Las Cruces Research Station near the Panama border.
The Horticulture Societys monthly Newsletter provided an interesting introduction for this interesting couple: "Ann received a B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Parasitology from UC Berkely, then went to medical school at UT Houston, and specialized in Dermatology at UCSD. She has an interest in species orchids, especially Paphiopedilums. Paul last spoke to us in June, 1996, about growing orchids outdoors. He is a past president of the San Diego County Orchid Society, and founder of the Orchid Species Study Group which meets monthly. Paul has a genetics/toxicology/engineering background and is a principal engineer at Solar Turbines, with responsibilities from Australia to Canada. In addition, he is co-author of The Wild Silk Moths of North America, published in 1996."
Look for an article by Paul in the Horticulture Societys March newsletter. It will be a great way to let San Diego gardeners know about our big orchid show and sale coming up later that month.
Happy New Year
God bless you orchid lovers, may
The New Year bring you cheer,
Not only just for New Years Day,
But throughout all the year.
May your problems all be minor,
May your orchids bring you peace.
May they fill your heart with happiness,
And may it never cease.
May your plants all thrive and prosper,
May your insect pests be few.
May you share your blooms with others,
Not as fortunate as you.
May you work with your Society,
So it may thrive and grow,
May awards be in your future,
When you enter in a show.
May you aid the new beginners
And see that they get started right.
If you have excess divisions,
Share some with a neophyte.
May you have good health and prosper
May your troubles be but small
And as we start a brand new year,
God bless you, one and all.
- Clarence S. Lindsten, 1973
How To Grow Orchids on Trees
Gardeners in the subtropics and tropics can fill their trees with flowering orchids. It is important, though, to match the orchid to its environment. Orchids originate in diverse habitats, from tree tops in full sun to shaded swamps. Evaluate your gardens exposure, and select the appropriate species and hybrids. In sun, consider vandas. In dim light, try oncidiums, phalaenopsis and cattleyas. Many varieties are suitable for intermediate conditons A local orchid nursery can help make selections.
Choose a tree that admits adequate light. Oaks, citrus, bottlebrush, palms and schefflera are prime candidates. Ficus often casts too much shade. Rough bark is an asset, though not essential for success. Begin to attach orchids to trees when root activity on the orchids starts (usually the regular potting time). Many orchids produce roots year round, so they can be established on trees during almost any warm month. For example, since Cattleya skinneri roots and flowers in March and April, set it on trees in January or February. Late summer is appropriate for Cattleya bowringiana, since new roots emerge in early autumn, just after blooming ceases.
Position the orchid so the flowers will be enjoyed from a patio, walkway or inside the home. Match aesthetics with cultural needs. Try seedlings, divisions or established plants. The back pseudobulbs of cattleyas rapidly adapt to life in a tree. Set the plant directly on the trunk or limb; do not apply a pad of sphagnum moss, osmunda or other medium. Doing so may keep the surface too wet and induce rot. Roots may grow into the medium, but not onto the tree, reducing their ability to cling to the host. Attach with cotton string that will eventually decompose. It fades in a few weeks, blending in with its surroundings, and the plant will have rooted in place when the fibers deteriorate one year later. Plastic ties and monofilament are alternatives. But since these synthetics are not biodegradable it is necessary to loosen them as the stems grow, and eventually remove them once the roots form. Hot-glue guns are another choice; take care not to injure new leads. Place a dab o f glue on the rhizome or pseudobulb and hold against the tree for a few seconds.
Provide adequate care, especially during the first few months. Mist with a hose, or run a sprinkler line up into the tree. Lightweight PVC pipes are easy to hold in place. Established plants are almost carefree, although periodic applications of water and fertilizer are beneficial. When it is necessary to prune trees on which orchids grow, take care not to injure the epiphytes. Once established, orchids last for many years.
Copyright © 1999 American Orchid Society.
All rights reserved.
Mentoring The New Hobbyist
...in the spirit of conservation
Many of us have entered the orchid hobby by way of a smiling face at a show, a first purchase or gift of a beautifully flowered orchid, or by joining an orchid club to learn more about the hobby and to meet similar-minded people. By whatever means we were lured into the orchid hobby passion, we likely remember, fondly, the friendly face at our first show, the helping hand when we first tackled re-potting, the thoughtful guidance of a hobbyist-mentor when we wanted to expand our collection and the advice of a seasoned exhibitor when we took the plunge and decided to display our pride and joy. Many of us remember the wise counsel of a senior hobbyist who cautioned about disease transmission, or who pointed out that "To save a plant, you give a division away".
Few horticultural specialties focus so strongly on species as orchids do. Cactus, succulent and rock garden specialties are a few of the other hobbies with species in mind. Some of us have the privilege of having rare species in our collections. When we show generosity by propagating rare plants either by seed or pollen exchange or by raising and distributing seedlings, we show new hobbyists that orchid hobbyists care about conservation.
All plants are subject to a panoply of pests and diseases. Most orchids happen to be vulnerable to virus diseases which are bothh deleterious and contagious. When we practice sanitation in our collections and employ methods to reduce the transmission of virus diseases such as using a new razor blade to cut flowers from each plant, we show new hobbyists that we care about the health of the plants in our care.
Orchid hobbyists love to show what they grow. New hobbyists are especially keen to exhibit either in a society display or as individuals. Often it becomes the responsibility of some of these new enthusiasts to stage an exhibit for the club. The mentor(s) can demonstrate not only how to assemble the props and walk plants through the registration process, but also how to care for the precious entries of hobbyists not at the show. From the time of unpacking, staking and staging to the rushed takedown and re-packing for the trip back home, the new hobbyist will see how the mentor cares for their own plants and those of other members. When your plants are in their care, the appropriately mentored hobbyist is likely to take good care of those plants.
adapted from Marilyn H.S. Light, Copyright 1999
This article is reprinted from OrchidSafari, a great web link for orchid chat and postings from all over the world.
January / February
Cattleya Watering and fertilizing will be at a minimum, as will potting. Be on the lookout for senescing sheaths on your winter-into-spring bloomers. Careful removal of the dying sheaths will still allow buds to develop without the danger of condensation-induced rot. Low light will lead to weak spikes, so, and as noted above, staking is critical. If you have a chance to get out to nurseries, there may still be a chance to acquire good plants in sheath for spring bloom. Getting them now not only ensures that youll have them, but allows them to acclimate to your conditions and bloom at their best.
Cymbidium We are well into the flowering season now. Outdoor growers should be cautious of freezing temperatures. Damage starts to occur below 30 F. Be diligent about tying the inflorescences for best arrangement of the flowers. Also watch closely for slugs and snails. If weather is quite wet, protect the plants from the rain and this will help to reduce the risk of botrytis spotting.
Lycaste The most glorious of all orchids, Lycaste, will be moving toward their flowering season. Make sure the palm-like leaves do not interfere with the emerging inflorescences. Tying them loosely together often is helpful. Some growers cut the leaves off at the pseudobulb, but this removes part of the attractiveness of this elegant orchid. Resist picking up the plant to inspect those beautiful buds and then setting it down in all different directions as the flower buds will be forced to re-orient themselves to the light source each time and will not open as nicely as they should. Keep plants a little drier during the shorter days. Discover 10 great lycastes for beginners.
Paphiopedilum The standard Paphiopedilum insigne-derived hybrids, which are called "bull dogs" and "toads," are at their peak. Unlike most other orchids, they can even be potted while in bud. There really is no wrong time to pot a paphiopedilum, and no other orchid responds so favorably to fresh mix and a cleanup. Keep an eye on watering until roots begin to grow.
Phalaenopsis Now is the peak of spike development, with the first plants in full flower. Staking and plant preparation is a must for those all-important spring shows. Correct staking now will give a better display and also make it much easier to transport to your society meetings and shows. Care with watering is vital to avoid mechanical damage to the flowers, as well as rot-related problems. Keep spent blooms cleaned up to avoid botrytis inoculation. Do not repot this month. Now youll be seeing lots of phalaenopsis at orchid shows and sales. Hint: Its a great time to learn how to buy a phalaenopsis.
Zygopetalum For the most part, the flowering season will have ended for this group, providing the grower a chance to do some repotting. The plants will then have a chance to become well established before the hotter months of summer arrive. Most growers use bark mixes, but some exceptional results have been seen lately using rock-wool blends. You may want to try this mix, but do not change your whole collection over to this new media until you are sure it is right for you. First, experiment with a few plants to see how they respond.
Prepared by Ned Nash and James Rose.
Copyright © 1999 American Orchid Society
How to Buy An Orchid
Many consumers, both retail and retailer, find themselves in a position today of having to make purchase-oriented decisions about an entirely new to them, at least class of plants: orchids. What should they be looking for? How can the purchase dollar be maximized? How can the best shelf-life of vital importance for both the retail and retailing consumer be obtained?
The Plant Should be in proportion to the container, have roots in the media, be clean and unblemished, turgid and medium green, free of pests.
The Flowers Should be lustrous and held well above the foliage on a strong, well-supported spike, be unblemished and free of fungal spotting, have some buds yet to open (never, ever accept a plant with flowers open to the tip of the spike, as it is impossible to judge flower life after all flowers have opened), and have a generally appealing aspect that fits with your decor.
The Vendor Is the overall aspect one of cleanliness and order? Do the production plants look good? Is the staff attentive and interested in your welfare? Can they answer the most elementary of your questions?
Selecting an orchid plant isnt really that different from any other flowering plant purchase, except for the satisfaction that comes with the proper decision.
Ned Nash, AOS Director of Education & Conservation.
Copyright © 1999 American Orchid Society.
Orchid Community News...
Maisie Orchids Opens Retail Nursery
Michael and Teresa Fung of Maisie Orchid Nursery (father and daughter) have just opened a new retail location in San Gabriel. They offer a wide range of hybrid and species orchids, including Paphiopedilums, Cattleyas, oriental and standard Cymbidiums, Dendrobiums, Phalaenopsis, Oncidiums, Miltonias, Masdevallias and more. The nursery itself covers about 2.5 acres. Right now, Teresa says, they are concentrating on the 1500 sq ft greenhouse, and later will expand into the outside growing area.
With their partner at Las Tunas Nursery, they also carry a full line of nursery and potting materials, including decorative handmade pots from China, Bonsai, fruit trees, shrubs, grass, even garden furniture.
When you are in the area, plan to stop in, say hello, and look around their new nursery. Michael and Teresa are long-time participants in our annual Spring Orchid Show and Sale so you can look forward to seeing their plants on display and for sale here in San Diego next March 24--26.
Maisie Orchid Nursery
Open 7 days a week, 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Phone: (626) 332-4599
1155 E. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, California 91776.
Between Rosemead Blvd and San Gabriel Blvd exits. The immediate cross street is Burton (traffic light). They are across the street from the old Stewart Nursery.
"SERVICE TO OUR MEMBERS SECTION"
HELP HOTLINE: The SDCOS offers a service to members who seek cultural information about their orchids. Here are some friendly hobbyists who have a great deal of experience and knowledge about certain types of orchids, and who have kindly volunteered to answer your questions. There are no commercial growers on this list.
Oncidium/Odontoglossum, and Vandaceous, Greenhouse grown,
West SD county Forrest Robinson - (619) 270-6105
San Diego County
These are many of the
hard-working volunteers that keep our Society running.
There are many others with no titles that help these
folks make it happen. You are invited to help. Ask any of
these people how.
Photography ©Greg Allikas