April 2016

Well, it’s SHOW TIME at last for our society. Yes, unless you have been out of touch with FCOS, you know that our/your show is April 1-3 with setup on Thursday, March 31. For that weekend we need both YOU and your orchids. Hopefully you have signed up to help at the show on at least one of the days. We have many tasks (most of which involve sitting on a chair) to accomplish and when many people help the work will get completed easily. If you do not volunteer you will miss out on a great and FUN experience.

Some EXCITING NEWS is that we will begin a new ORCHIDS 101 gathering prior at each of our regular meetings. Bob Asbell is coordinating this new and exciting program and has volunteered to lead the first discussion group. YES, we hope it will be a discussion instead of a presentation. It will start at 7:00 pm and end about 7:20 pm or so. The topics at the April 14th meeting will be "What distinguishes an orchid from a non-orchid" and "What do all the ribbons and trophies at the show mean".

We will also have a booth at Nipomo High School during the Nipomo Greenhouse Growers open house on Saturday April 16 from 9 am until 3 pm. We will have some on a table display and I am hoping FCOS members will volunteer host the table and answer questions about FCOS and the dreaded question "how do I get my orchid to bloom again"? I plan to have at least one experienced grower at the table at all times so if you do not know a lot about orchids they will answer the difficult questions. (You may even learn some good stuff.) So do not hesitate to help us at this event and email me about your availability on that day.

Another easy task for you can help FCOS retain members. Volunteer as the program coordinator for the OrchidCoach program. I would like to set up this program for FCOS members and new recruits. So hopefully someone will step forward and give me a call (489-9046) or talk to me at the show or next meeting and volunteer for this position. The coordinator's job will only take a small amount of time. We will also need more Coaches to help with the program so don't be shy as I know all of you like to talk and know more about orchids than a true beginner.---- Or you know someone in FCOS who will know the answer.

See you at the show setup or show or meeting on April 14----or better yet, ALL 3 of these events.

Chris Ehrler FCOS President

Thanks to Eric Holenda, Alan Durham and Chuck and Judy Scheithauer for handling our display in the Santa Barbara show the beginning of March. It was really lovable with all the stuffed animals hiding in the orchids. Congrats to Chuck. His LC Color Guard ‘Parade’ won the Best Cattleya of the Show award.

april 2016 01 april 2016 02 april 2016 03

FCOS was pleased to have members Larry Vierheilig and Eric Holenda speak to us about prepping our orchids for display. They first suggested cleaning off all brown portions (sheaths) that are around the base of the growths and inflorescences. It is easier to remove them if you wet them first and it also helps if you split it in at least two pieces and remove them separately. New growths could be growing under this material at the base of the bulbs so pull up instead of down so you do not damage the new growth. Larry suggested not removing sheaths on Cattleyas until they have finished blooming.

To secure the spikes, they suggest putting a loop in the upper end of a wire and then bending it at 90 degrees to the wire and then insert the bottom of the wire into the potting media. Then put the spike into the loop you made in the wire. You can also use a bamboo stake and then secure the spike to it using a small wire. Add the wire or a bamboo stake before the spike is well developed so that the blooms will present well when it opens. Both Larry and Eric suggested soaking your cutting tools in a saturated solution of TSP for at least 15 minutes to sterilize them so you do not transfer possible virus or other inflections between your orchids.

Larry likes to clean his plant orchid leaves by wiping them with a soft cloth dipped in reverse osmosis (RO) water after pulling off the sheaths described above. He also cuts about 1/2 to 2/3 of the bristle height off an old toothbrush and then uses this as a cleaning tool to remove the final sheath material on Cattleyas. Eric suggested using a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water as a bactericide and fungicide spray on your orchids.

SOOOOO you can start prepping your orchids for the show. We setup Thurs---please have them dropped off by noon. Be sure to label pot with your name.