SFVOS Annual Orchid Auction to be held April 1st

On Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 please join us for the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society Annual Orchid Auction This year, the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society (SFVOS) is proud to offer a great selection of beautiful, rare and blooming orchids.  Orchid expert, Doug Overstreet, will be our auctioneer again this year.



The San Fernando Valley Orchid Society is a non-profit organization that was established more than 55 years ago.  We are dedicated to promoting the culture and appreciation of orchids.   Each month we invite experts in the field of orchids to visit our society.  Their presentations are interesting and informative. This auction is our major fundraiser for the year.  Proceeds from this auction help to fund our speakers and programs throughout the year. For additional information, please visit our website at http://sfvos.com, or email Millie Peskay at peskay@att.net.  Please tell all your friends, and we hope to see you there!   The Sepulveda Garden Center 16633 Magnolia Boulevard Encino, CA 91436 Viewing 6:45pm Auction Starts at 7:00 pm       Download: 2015 Auction Flyer

Peter Lin “12 Months of Orchids” talk at the SFVOS

12 Months of Orchids – Building a collection with blooms every month of the year.

At our next regular meeting at the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society, on January 7th at 7:00 pm,  Peter Lin will be presenting his newest talk on “12 Months of Orchids”.  This fast paced PowerPoint presentation will show you how to build an orchid collection to have blooming plants for each month of the year.

Peter started growing orchids over 30 years ago, but then stopped due to school and starting a career.  It wasn’t until about 11 years ago that the orchid “bug” came back and he is now heavily involved once again.  He is an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society and a hybridizer of mini-catts.  He enjoys meeting with other orchid enthusiasts, and can often be found at various orchid shows and societies around the country.  He also has hundreds of photos of his orchids that he maintains on Flickr.  You can view them by typing this address into the internet: http://www.flickr.com/photos/minicatt/collections/

Due to limited growing space, Peter likes to specialize in miniature orchids, both species and hybrids, and has received numerous AOS awards.  His other interests in orchids include Dendrobiums, Angraecoids, and Neofinetias.  He maintains a collection of a thousand or more orchids at his home in Southern California in 3 small greenhouses, as well as an offsite greenhouse.

Don’t forget to bring a notepad and a pen.  You just might want to take notes.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!




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.

Dr. Daniel L. Geiger, Ph.D. to speak at the SFVOS on October 1st

Oberonia under the microscope

Please join us Wednesday, October 1st at the Sepulveda Garden center to hear Dr. Geiger’s talk and watch his PowerPoint presentation on this interesting subject.
Oberonia is a literally and figuratively overlooked genus of orchids with minute flowers. Daniel has become interested in this genus with some 150-300 species. An overview of the genus is provided, including many never seen before images taken with light and scanning electron microscopes. Most specimens available in the trade are misidentified; the process of checking the identification of a plant is detailed. Approaches to experimental culture of oddball orchids rounds out the presentation. This may be particularly interesting to growers who want to expand into under-appreciated orchids, or may be tempted with small research projects.

Dr. Daniel L. Geiger is Curator of Malacology (mollusks) at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, where he also oversees the electron microscopy facility. As a hobby orchid grower, he specializes in Oberonia and Hippeophyllum, which are grown in two terraria and a small greenhouse. Due to his botanical interest, he also holds an appointment as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Huntington Botanical Garden. He has written a number or articles for AOS Orchids and the Orchid Digest, and received an AOS exhibit award for a display on Oberonia. For further information please see www.vetigastropoda.com

Arthur Pinkers to speak at the SFVOS on September 3rd, 2014 7pm

Subject: Miltoniopsis

Many of you will recall what an interesting speaker Arthur is from a previous talk he presented.  His goal is to make it fun while teaching us to be successful growing orchids.

The Miltoniopsis may be distinguished by their pansy-like petal arrangement.  Arthur is bringing selected orchids from a Santa Barbara grower for the Plant .Opportunity Table.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to be a winner so be sure to bring cash or a check to participate in the drawing and possibly go home with a lovely plant.

See you at the next meeting at the Sepulveda Garden Center, at 7:00 pm.



By pamaitchison Posted in Meetings

Orchids of the Shan Plateau will be presented by Winn Winmaw 7/2/14

This month’s speaker is none other than Newport Orchid Society member Winn Winmaw.  Winn and his wife, Chitsaya, are on the Board of Directors for the NHOS.  Winn was born in Shan State, Eastern Burma, where Cymbidiums, Vandas, Dendrobiums and Paphiopedilums are found abundantly in the wild.  Winn began collecting orchids at the age of 7 and has been fascinated with them ever since.

As an undergraduate of physics at the University of Rangoon, Winn was a member of the Department of Botany’s Orchid Society.  Winn also lived in Japan for four years for further study and training.  He moved to the United States in 1998 and settled in Orange County.

Winn recently made several trips back to Burma to study orchids in their native habitat.  He made an expedition to the Shan Plateau, which will be the subject of his talk on Wednesday night.   Winn will talk about his adventurous and treacherous journey and bring us photographs of the orchids he encountered along the way.   Don’t miss this exciting presentation at the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society’s next regular meeting on July 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

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

Heat Stress

Heat Stress

By Susan Jones

Like people, orchids, especially those that prefer cooler, shadier environments, can suffer from heat stress during the hot summer months. The midday sun is intense, especially during the summer, and the high temperatures that bright sunshine brings can burn your orchids quickly, especially the more sensitive types such as phalaenopsis, pleurothallids, paphiopedilums and miltonias.

Heat stress is a condition that occurs in orchids and other plants when excessive heat causes an imbalance in transpiration, the process by which moisture evaporates from the plant’s tissues. When that rate of evaporation exceeds the pace at which moisture is being replaced through water taken up by the orchid’s roots, the plant becomes dehydrated — leaves soft and wilted, pseudobulbs wrinkled and ridged. The instinctive response in this situation is to overwater the orchid to correct the dehydration. This can instead make matters worse by rotting the plant’s root system, further hampering its ability to take in much-needed hydration. The roots can only absorb so much water at one time. In addition to watering, control of heat and humidity play a significant role in the prevention and management of heat stress.

Avoiding heat damage - © 2008 by Greg Allikas
Placing a mounted plant in an empty clay pot can help retain moisture around roots. The microclimate of higher humidity helps prevent heat stress and aids stressed plants in recovering.

Signs of Heat Stress
These symptoms may appear singly, even in otherwise fairly healthy orchids. When they appear in combination, however, it is usually an indication of heat stress or an underlying problem (such as root loss) that has lead to heat stress.

Yellowing of Plants and Leaves Too much light causes a plant’s chlorophyll to deteriorate, which can turn your orchid an anemic yellow-green, and eventually cause premature loss of leaves. Most healthy orchids receiving appropriate light levels will be a robust light green.

Withered Leaves The culprit, especially in summer weather, can be overheating. If your plant’s leaves feel warm to the touch, they could be getting too much light, and need increased air circulation and shading, or a move to a more protected area.

Sunburn Initial signs of sunburn, as in humans, appear as a reddish-purple tint or freckles on leaves and pseudobulbs. In advanced stages, leaf tips and roots may brown, flowers drop, buds blast or flower spikes fail altogether.

Shriveled Pseudobulbs Your orchid’s pseudobulbs serve as its water-storage organs, so shriveled pseudobulbs indicate a dehydrated orchid – it is in a stressed state, having used up its moisture reserves.

Leathery Leaves This goes beyond mere wilting, and occurs in the advanced stages of heat stress, indicating severe desiccation and possible damage on the cellular level. Depending on how long the condition has persisted, the type of orchid and its overall health aside from the leaf damage, it may or may not recover once its leaves are parched.

Mounted orchids are suceptible to heat damage - photo © 2008 Greg Allikas
Mounted orchids are particularly sensitive to higher temperatures and require additional water and humidity during hot weather. This Cattleya hybrid exhibits the yellowing leaves and wrinkled pseudobulbs typical of heat-stressed plants.

Your orchids need lots of attention during the summer months, especially on hot days. With higher temperatures, orchids require more frequent watering to prevent dehydration. High temperatures quickly dry out mounted orchids, those in baskets and even potted plants.

Maintaining the balance between keeping orchids sufficiently hydrated and over-watering can be a challenge. A simple rule of thumb is that an orchid’s need for water increases and decreases with the ambient temperature, so water thoroughly and more frequently during higher temperatures. Most mounted plants and those in baskets, especially vandaceous orchids and other genera grown with little or no media, will benefit from daily watering in warmer weather.

In addition, keep humidity high and air movement continuous, as both of these factors help plants keep their cool on hot days. Adding a fan to the growing area, or locating your orchids where they receive the caress of summer’s breezes, as well as spacing your plants to allow for sufficient air circulation between orchids, can make a big difference in their environment and overall health. This will also help to keep rots from fungi and bacteria at bay.

The benefits from misting orchids during hot weather do not have much sustained effect, so unless one has a misting system in place to maintain that added humidity throughout the day, it is probably not useful to your plants. When watering or misting, always be certain that plants have ample time to dry before night falls, so as to discourage bacterial and fungal growth.

When moving orchids outside for the season, start them out in a shaded spot and gradually increase their exposure to sunlight to acclimate them to the higher outdoor light levels. Make sure to protect them from the strongest sunlight as midday summer sun has more intense UV rays that can burn tender plants. Check the amount of exposure your plants receive at different times during the day as the sun moves, and throughout the year as the earth’s orbit around the sun makes its gradual seasonal changes, which in turn changes the angle of the exposure your plants receive.

For greenhouse growers, consider using shade cloth for added protection during the summer months. Windowsill growers may want to add a sheer curtain during the summertime to keep sunlight reflected by the window glass from causing sunburn.

Finally, always have someone care for your orchids while you are away on summer vacation.

Once an orchid has suffered the effects of heat stress, it may take a long time to rebound. Apply fertilizers sparingly, using a weak solution, and flush the growing medium with clean water between applications of fertilizer, as the salts in fertilizers are difficult for dehydrated plants to assimilate, and a regular dose may further burn the plant. Be especially alert for pests on distressed orchids – insects and viruses are more likely to attack weakened plants.


Dodge, Vivian M. 2003. “Sun Protection.” Vivi’s Orchid Corner. 8(6).

__. 2000. “Tips for August.” Vivi’s Orchid Corner. 5(7).

Withner, Carl L. 1997. “Good Orchid Growing or the Concept of Stress on Plants.” Orchid Society of Nova Scotia newsletter, May.

Susan Jones was the editor of Awards Quarterly and assistant editor of Orchids. American Orchid Society, 16700 AOS Lane, Delray Beach, Florida 33446 

All reuse must contain the follwing:
Reprinted from the JULY 2004 issue of Orchids — The Bulletin of the American Orchid Society. Copyright American Orchid Society — http://www.aos.org

By pamaitchison Posted in Meetings

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.