President’s Message July 1, 2015

A Message from our President: Millie Peskay

We closed our fiscal year with a Pot Luck dinner at the June meeting.  Members contributed  generously and innovatively for the Pot Luck tables.   Dinner was followed by member­speakers  Art Mendoza and Millie Peskay who told of their experiences with cymbidium and

Vanda orchids.  Thanks Art and Millie.

Millie donated a lovely plant purchased at the Conejo Orchid Society’s annual sale.  It was sold  at auction with proceeds to our Society.

Treasurer Bob Peskay gave a short summary of our finances for the Fiscal Year 2014-­2015.   Expenses exceeded income by $557 for the year and would have been more except for  contributions of $625 from our members.  Bob pointed out the great help of the contributions to  support the ongoing programs and was greeted with generous contributions from Frank and  Florence Shimizu and new member Jessie Broussard.   Members may contribute at meetings or  by mail directly to the treasurer.  A more detailed financial report is elsewhere in this newsletter. We all had fun with three Bingo games with P.O.T. drawings between each game.  Prizes were  orchids purchased from Cal Orchids in Santa Barbara.

Finally, thanks to all the members for making a great year.  As Usual, there will be no meeting in  August so I look forward to seeing everybody on September 5th .

Millie Peskay

May 6, 2015 – The SFVOS will present “Orchid Care Basics”

Mastering the Art of Growing Orchids at Home

 Our next monthly meeting we will be showing an educational video entitled Orchid Care Basics: Mastering the Art of Growing Orchids at Home.  The host of our program is Mr. Mark S. Lee, a well-known Orchid Grower and expert.  Mr. Lee discusses many aspects of growing including light requirements, watering and feeding techniques, repotting, selecting the proper potting mix, managing pests and disease and much, much more.  It is a well done program and whether you are just getting started growing or have been growing orchids for years, everyone will learn something.

waterOrchidCarePam Aitchison will also be giving us a virtual tour through our very own website:  sfvos.com.   Pam will demonstrate all the features of the website including orchid care, culture sheets, links, as well as show you how to find instructional videos on YouTube.   Please join us for our next SFVOS monthly meeting.   It should be very interesting and informative.

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!

 

 

 

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.

Vandas

Vandas are impressive orchids that are relatively easy to grow.Vanda.in.cage

Vandas are monopodial, which means that the new leaves grow from the crown of the plant. This means the vanda is continually getting taller. Vanda flowers come in beautiful and superbly vibrant colors, including purples, blues, reds, oranges and yellows.  The flower spikes are very long and they usually have  8 to 10 blooms, which are located in a cluster at the end of the stem. The flower stem grow from the base of the leaves and can last for several weeks.   The long, heavy, flower laden stems can sometimes make the plants difficult to hang up and display at Orchid Shows or in your home, and may require additional support during blooming.

LIGHTING
Vandas need an abundance of light. They like either bright  morning  sun and/or  late afternoon sun, providing the sun exposure occurs gradually.  The plants need to adapt slowly to the any increase in lighting.  A good tip is to provide full morning sun whenever possible.  You don’t need a greenhouse to grow Vandas.   Any outside location with bright morning light will do, but  be careful while making the change to brighter light.  Try not to expose it to direct sun on the leaves,  just bright light.  Move it gradually, over the course of several weeks,  into brighter and brighter light and be careful to do it a little at at time.

I had my first Vanda for five years and it never bloomed.  I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.  It seemed healthy but wasn’t flowering.   I was fortunate that at one of our SFVOS meetings,  there was an expect who shared his knowledge about Vandas and explained to me that Vandas are happiest when they get very bright light.  The very next day, I moved my Vanda from the east side of my greenhouse to brighter west side of the greenhouse and I hung it up from the rafters at the top.      I am happy to report that since moving my Vanda to  brighter light, it has bloomed three times in the last year, and each bloom is more beautiful than the last.

TEMPERATURE
Vandas prefer to be kept on the warm side.  Vandas do best when when the nighttime temp is between 55 to 70°F and when daytime temperatures range between 65 to 95°F.vanda.multi.colors.

WATERING
The general “Rule of Thumb” for watering Vanda should be:  Hot temps = more water, and cooler temps = less water.

My Vanda is growing in a wooden cage with the roots all flowing out.  Some of the roots are 24 inches long. I have very little potting media in the cage, and most of the roots are loose and free, but many of them have attached themselves to the wooden cage itself.   I generally water mine about once a week, but when the temperatures are over  95 degrees and the humidity is low,  I give it a daily shower.

Remember that Vandas grown in baskets, without potting media, require more frequent watering.  In baskets, they may need to be watered daily during the summer. Always allow your Vanda to dry out between waterings. Try to water the plant early in the day, so that the foliage will be dry by nightfall.   If you are growing your Vanda in a greenhouse, and the humidity is constantly high you can use Physan 20 once a month (add it to your water) to prevent bacterial and fungal disease.

HUMIDITY
Although Vandas generally prefer 60% to 80% humidity, I can report that my greenhouse almost never has humidity this high.  If you can increase the humidity during the growing season, from early spring through late fall, your Vanda will thank you for it.  During the summer, watering should be supplemented with daily misting of the leaves. Humidity trays may be needed if your Vandas are growing indoors.

FERTILIZER
Vandas are heavy feeders. They must be fertilized on a regular basis! For best results, use nutrients every week. The experts recommend that you water the plants first with plain water, and then water the plant with a 1/4 strength nutrient solution.  Once a month water only with plain water to flush out any excess fertilizer.vanda_orchid_plant.in.pot

POTTING
Vandas may be grown in a medium to large sized Orchid Bark Mixture or you can grow them in wire or wooden baskets, which can then be  suspended (hung up) by a wire hanger attached to the cage.  Plants grown in baskets do not need to be repotted often as those in pots. Vandas grown in regular potting mix in pots should be repotted once every two years.  Repotting should be done in the spring.

It is almost impossible to extract a vanda from a “basket” or  “cage” once it has become attached to it.  When my vandas outgrow their smaller “baskets” I generally leave them in that basket and just place the entire small basket inside a larger basket.  I carefully thread the roots through the holes of the new basket and try not to damage the roots as much as possible.  One of my Vandas which is currently in an 8″ square wooden (redwood) cage has three smaller “cages” inside the basket from prior stages of  its life.   It does no harm to leave the old basket(s) there if they are in good shape and not starting to rot.

If your Vanda’s home “Basket or cage” begins to rot (which may also mean that you are overwatering) then you must re-pot for the health of the plant.  You will need to extract the roots as carefully as possible before re-potting it in its new home.  Soaking the roots for a couple of hours before attempting this will soften the plants roots and make it easier for you to handle them and try to get it out of its old pot.  Take your time, and save as many roots as possible.    Even if you lose a few roots, the plant should rebound and adapt to it’s new home in no time.

SELECTING YOUR VANDA

Vandas are becoming more available to hobby growers and can usually be found for sale at Orchid Shows and they are also available for purchase from many Orchid Growers websites.    You will probably want to start with a smaller specimen, as they are much easier to transport and would be much less expensive.   Your Vanda may need to get a bit bigger before it will bloom.   Your patience will be rewarded with a spectacular show of flowers.

 

PESTS  Common pests associated with Vandas are scale and spider mites.  Check your plant often to make sure it is pest free. Check our section on pest control if you notice any “freeloaders” hanging around your plant.  Vandas hung up from the rafters and/or suspended  are much less likely to get pests.  Best of luck with your Vandas and enjoy the spectacular blooms.