James Rose on “The Laelias of Mexico” – November 5, 2014

We are very fortunate to have James Rose of Cal-Orchid, Santa Barbara. Mr. Rose will give us a talk on the ‘Laelias of Mexico’. . James lecture will deal mostly with the variability of the many flowers and the habitats and conditions from which they grow. Hopefully, we can all share some knowledge in the wonderful world of Orchids. Cal-Orchid also will provide plants for our Plant Opportunity Table (POT)

James attended University of California, Santa Barbara as an anthropology major.  In 1971 he began working at Santa Barbara Orchid Estate. After 16 years there, and becoming manager, he left to establish his own nursery with his wife, Lauris.  In 1987 they purchased Orchids By Rowe, a 2 acre cymbidium nursery 2 blocks from the Pacific Ocean in 1987, and totally redesigned the former cymbidium cut flower range to what is now a world re-known orchid nursery providing one of the largest varieties of orchid species and hybrids in the U.S.

Cal-Orchid maintains an active breeding program and stud collection built upon decades of international travel.  James is very well known for having a distinctively selective ‘eye’ for the new unusual plant, and Cal-Orchid’s new and long-time customers enjoy reaping the benefits. The nursery’s inventory features the Cattleya, Cymbidium, Odontoglossum, Masdevallia,  Lycaste, Paphiopedilum alliances as well as a good assortment of African species. James and Lauris have become recognized for their superior ‘Pacific’ line of reedstem Epidendrums, which have evolved over 12 years of selective breeding and have garnered awards around the world.

James has published in the AOS, Orchid Digest, and CSA magazines, and is well respected for his vast knowledge as well as his distinctive sense of humor. He lectures all over the world at orchid shows and World Orchid Conferences. He is a Cymbidium Society of America Judge, former member of the AOS Conservation Committee, and active member of the Japan Grand Prix Organizing committee where he has judged every year at the world famous Tokyo Dome. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about Laelias and hear this excellent speaker.

June 4th SFVOS Meeting Topic “Preventing Orchid Pests and Disease”

Our next meeting for the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society will be on Wednesday,  June 4th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.   Our very own Pamela Aitchison will be our speaker for our June meeting.  Pam is a Certified Master Gardener from the University of California and has been for many years.  She is regular guest lecturer at California State University at Northridge (CSUN), and is also a mentor and trainer for the new class of Master Gardener interns each year.   She regularly teaches gardening classes at Garden Clubs, Community Centers and Schools and answers gardening questions in the Gardening Information booth at the LA County Fair every year.

Pam has served on our SFVOS Board of Directors for the last two years, is our (http://www.sfvos.com) webmaster and Co-Editor for our newsletter.  Pam lives in Northridge and has loved orchids most of her life. She has been growing orchid plants for many years and grows many types of orchids in her small greenhouse and outdoors.  Her favorites include Arpophyllum, Cattleyas,  Dendrobiums, Epidendrums, Oncidiums,  Miltonias, Vandas, Vanilla Orchids and Zygopedalums.

At our June meeting Pam will be sharing information about growing conditions that can lead to problems, pests such as insects, snails and spider-mites and she will discuss both fungal and bacterial diseases that can infect your beautiful plants and decimate your collection.   Pam will bring a PowerPoint presentation with many colorful photographs that demonstrate what to look for and how to deal with problems when they occur.   Please join us at our June meeting to learn about how to keep your orchids healthy and free of pests and disease

SFVOS Annual Orchid Auction April 2nd @ 7:00 pm

We are pleased to announce that the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society will be holding it’s annual Orchid Auction on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014.  We were very lucky to get orchid expert, Doug Overstreet, to be our auctioneer again this year.  It will be held at our normal meeting place, the Sepulveda Garden Center.

Plan to arrive early as the doors will open at 6:45 pm so the bidders can take some time before the auction to preview the plants and mark down the  numbers of their favorites.  This is your chance to bid on good plants and raise money for the SFVOS. These funds pay for next years guest speakers and their amazing programs.

Remember the date:
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Sepulveda Garden Center
16633 Magnolia Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316

Door open at 6:45 pm and the auction will begin at 7:00pm.

Refreshments will be served.

 

 

San Fernando Valley Orchid Society Annual Auction April 2nd

The SFVOS will be holding their annual Orchid Auction on the first Wednesday in April.    The doors open at 7:00 pm so that bidders can preview the beautiful plants before the auction starts. The bidding will start at 7:30 pm, and we will go until we run out of plants.    Refreshments will also be served.

We are very pleased to announce that Doug Overstreet has graciously agreed to be our auctioneer again this year. Doug is very knowledgeable about all orchids as as each plant comes up for bid, Doug gives us a brief description of each plant and describes the type of environment needed for that orchid to thrive.   If you haven’t seen Doug in action,  you must come and learn from his vast wealth of knowledge.

This auction is our major fundraiser for the year, some come out to help support your society.   It is a win-win situation as this is your chance to add some great orchids to your collection at bargain prices, while helping the SFVOS fund it’s various activities throughout the year. Come early to get a good seat and have enough time to check out all the orchid plants that will be put up for bid. 

The auction will be held at the Sepulveda Garden Center,  just like our regular meetings.  For the address, directions and a map, see the home page of this website.    You don’t need to be a member of the SFVOS to attend.  Guests are always welcome.     Plan to attend this great auction and bring a guest!   See you there.

 

AOS Monthly Checklists Now Available

Please check out our new menu item featuring the AOS Monthly Checklists.  The current issue covers March and April.  These checklists are designed to help hobby growers learn how to care for their orchids in every season.   Each checklist features several types of orchids, and explains what is going on with them at this particular time of year, what we should be watching out for and what practices to adopt and/or avoid at this time.  There are six of these checklists a year.  I hope you find them as helpful as I do.  Enjoy.

Santa Barbara International Orchid Show 2014

Mark your calendar.   The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show is almost here.  It is always a great show with beautiful displays of every type of blooming orchid put together by Orchid Societies and Orchid Vendors. There are classes taught by experts and there is a huge room filled with vendors selling orchid plants and supplies.   If you haven’t already visited this show, it is definitely worth the short drive to Santa Barbara.

Additionally,  many of the Orchid growers that are in or near Santa Barbara hold Open Houses that same weekend so you can drop by the various greenhouses and see where the orchids are propagated and grown.   Mark your calendars.  You won’t want to miss these great events.

Why won’t your orchid bloom?

proper light for orchids

Like all plants, orchids require sufficient light in order to produce flowers. 

Insufficient light is the most common cause of failure to re-bloom your orchid. Leaf color indicates if the amount of light is adequate. The lus, rich, dark green of most houseplants is not desirable in orchid leaves. A grassy green color (light or medium green with yellowish tones) means the plant is receiving sufficient light to bloom.

The Endangered White Egret Orchid

Habenaria radiata is a small terrestrial orchid that grows in grassy wetlands throughout Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Russia and some parts of eastern China.  It is commonly known as the White Egret Flower.  It is also sometimes referred to as the  Fringed Orchid or Sagiso.

This orchid’s flower indeed looks much like a Snowy Egret with its wings wide open.   Japan is home to many snowy egrets and they often share the same habitats with this little flower.   This rare orchid has recently gained recognition around the world for its beauty, but ironically this species is now considered imperiled in the wild.

The leaves are similar to grass blades, between 5-20 cm long, and about 1 cm wide each. New leaves form every spring. Flowering commences in late July and peaks in August.  The flower stalk holds anywhere from 1 to 8 flowers, each being around 4 cm wide.  The lip, as well as the petals,  are pristine white, whereas the sepals are small and greenish.

whte.egret.orchid.sm.pot.imageThe plant grows from a small underground tuber, no more than a couple centimeters long,  Because this plant is deciduous the tuber serves as an energy source early in its growth cycle, allowing new leaves and a flower spike to form.

This species is in rapid decline over its entire range.  Over collection may be a contributing factor, but for the most part the loss has been due to habitat destruction.  In the distant past these plants grew in lowland bogs and marshes in the same areas where rice patties were later situated.   Rice cultivation rapidly increased, taking more and more of the unique habitat, which was then followed by urbanization, and in lowland areas this species became more and more rare in the wild.

Nowadays, Habenaria radiata exists mostly in upland bogs and seepage slopes in moderate to high mountains (over 500 meters elevation).  Because these areas are not considered suitable for agriculture this plant (along with other rare plants) has found its last remaining habitat in modern Japan.  While it still can be found on all of Japan’s main islands it is endangered throughout its entire range and is completely gone in some areas.

Most experienced orchid growers find it quite difficult to keep for more than a season or two.  This orchid requires conditions not easily duplicated outside it’s natural environment.   Because this orchid is endangered  one would hope that orchid growers would recognize the need to stop collecting them from the wild so we can keep as many of them alive in their native environments.    We should be grateful we can enjoy these orchids vicariously through photographs, and hope we can preserve these unique and beautiful orchids for generations to come. 

AOS Book Review: The Orchid Whisperer

Book Review:
The Orchid Whisperer

By Bruce Rogers. 2012. Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Softcover. 143 pages. 75 color photographs.

The Orchid Whisperer is an eminently intelligent and attractive book for beginning orchid growers. While not actually advocating muttering at plants (at least not as an active growing tool), it presents plenty of easy-to-understand advice to get novice growers on the road to success. At the same time, author Bruce Rogers, a longtime commercial orchid man, makes it all so readable. Unlike some other “beginner”advice books, Rogers’ language is engaging and humorous, and strikes the right balance between being easy to read and needing a science degree to understand.

Rogers departs from the frequent novice- formula of analyzing conditions and buying plants to match those conditions. Instead, he suggests new growers buy what they like and then look for places inside their homes hospitable to the plants. His topics include practical advice on buying and selecting plants, mixes and repotting, light and temperature, watering and pests. In addition to the usual recommendations about beginning with phalaenopsis and cattleyas, he provides details on other genera such as miltoniopsis and reed-stem epidendrums. Rogers is unabashedly organic, offering green solutions to common pests like mealybugs, aphids and spider mites. He is also unabashedly optimistic, assuring his readers that their orchids can be kept blooming “no matter your experience level, budget, or locations.”

Then there’s Rogers’ humor:
“My advice is to learn how to repot cymbidiums, then find a job that pays well enough that you can hire someone to repot your cymbidiums.”

Graphically, the color photographs by Greg Allikas are excellent and the occasional checklist of tips practical and well organized. Rogers even adds a chapter on decorating with orchids, which is interesting enough to challenge even experienced growers to new levels of creativity. One more chart summarizing the light, water and temperature requirements of the included species might have been beneficial, but that’s available from other sources. The Orchid Whisperer is one to put on the holiday list for novice orchidists, or for those who may cuss while repotting.

— Sue Volek has been growing orchids as a hobby for more than 15 years, in San Diego, Washington, DC, and now Portland. She is on the board of the Oregon Orchid Society, an AOS affiliate, and has been an AOS member for more than 15 years.

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Bryce Augustine on Orchid Propagation

Bryce Augustine will be our speaker for the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society meeting on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013.  Bryce is a long time member of the Santa Barbara Orchid society and an American Orchid Society judge.   He owns and operates Monsoon Flora Orchids (monsoonorchids.com), which he established in 1991 and where he produces Paphs and Phrags in flasks, compots and seedlings.

He is a 20-year veteran of the American Orchid Society judging system as an accredited AOS judge and brought AOS judging to the central coast in April 2008 by creating a new Judging site in Santa Barbara where he served as its chairman for two years. His presentations are always fun and informative and this coming meeting will be no exception.  He will cover many different aspects of Orchids, covering how propagation from seedpods, rainforests, and your own backyard jungle are interrelated. If you were unable to attend the July meeting at the Malibu Orchid Society, you missed a real treat.  I went to that meeting, and learned a great deal.  He had a great PowerPoint presentation and a live demonstration.  After the meeting, I asked Mr. Augustine if he would come and talk to our group, and he graciously agreed.  He also brought some great items for the POT.  Some were “compots” of many small plants in a single pot.   Mark your calendars so won’t miss this fabulous speaker!