February 2015

February Notes

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next-mtgBig night on February 12, 2015
Our February meeting will be devoted to preparation for the Show, MARCH  27 - 29.   I know this is not the most "fun"  meeting like we usually try to have.  Our club  views our Show as our contribution to the public out there that love seeing orchids, and look forward to the opportunity to shop with a vast array of orchid choices.  So,  I ask that we all make it to the meeting and do our part to contribute to the group effort that is necessary for the Show to happen.  By all working together,  we create something larger than any single person could ever do. 

We won't be doing an opportunity table drawing.  We should be able to spend a little more time on Show and Tell. 

During the meeting we will address:

  • Distribution of posters and 1/4 sheet handouts.  Barb has done another great job on the graphics.
  • Friday Nite Preview party preparations and ticket sales.
  • Our big challenge,  Volunteer worker sign-ups.
  • Display orchids and prepping those blooming orchids to show.

Another contribution to the orchid world we will be doing again this year is a display in the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show,  MARCH 13 - 15.  We go down to S.B. on Wednesday March 11 to set up our display.  Anyone interested in helping that day please contact Eric.  If your math is sharp you will note that our March meeting happens the next day after set-up.  This means that we'll have no Show and Tell.  ALL OUR BLOOMING ORCHIDS WILL BE DOWN IN SANTA BARBARA!      ----- But here is the good news:

Because he is in the area for the SB Show,  we have been able to secure JASON FISCHER  for our next month's  guest speaker!  His nursery, Orchids Limited,  is all the way in Minnesota,  so it is indeed a rare opportunity to hear him.  More info will be in the  * MARCH*    newsletter.

Recently, Chuck and I were on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Chuck had to work so I had lots of time for some walkabouts. I spent a day at the McBryde Gardens on the south coast of Kauai. It is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden system. Of course. I enjoyed the orchid section. It was part of the Biodiversity trail. They also take care of plants that are confiscated from smugglers, thieves, etc. Most interesting. If you are going to be on Kauai, I highly recommend a stop at the Garden.

Speaker Notes January 2015 FCOS Meeting

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mtg-summaryEric Holenda, an FCOS member and head of the society's annual orchid show, spoke to the group about a number of topics related to transplanting orchids and prepping them for a show. He stated that leaf cleaning can be accomplished using a damp (moist) cloth and water spots (from our hard water) can be removed from the leaves by adding either milk or vinegar to the water before rubbing the leaves. When transplanting Nobile Dendrobium you should wait until after blooming has finished. They live in the wild in the Himalayan Mountains and in India. During their growing season the weather is wet (monsoons) and warm and when the rains stop in fall the weather turns cool and dry. They need the dry rest in order to bloom each year. Some of the species require a 5 month dry period. During their dry rest you should lightly mist the orchids about 2 times or so each month. You should begin their dry period when the vegetative growth stops (around Thanksgiving) and then begin watering them again about the middle of February (Valentine's Day). Cattleya walkeriana (grows wild in Brazil) is difficult to grow. Needs lots of air around the roots and the media needs to dry between watering. Eric suggested growing them in large bark and perlite. If they are mounted they need high humidity. Santa Barbara Orchid Estate uses chipped granite around the bottom of the pot and lower roots and then Eric suggests filling the rest of the pot with the bark and perlite mixture. Oncidiums have fine diameter roots so when transplanting them use a finer bark mixture. Eric suggests that for this group of orchids you use a mixture of bark, perlite, lava rock and cut up styrofoam. When transplanting Oncidium, make sure each division has at least 3 growths. Plant the Oncidiums so that the new roots will come out just about the planting media so they will easily grow down into the media. He also suggested that you pack the media so that they are not any large air pockets where the roots might dry out too much. Make sure you clean all the old planting media off the roots using water if possible. For large orchids (especially Cattleyas) he also suggested that you turn them over and put styrofoam peanuts (non-dissolving type) into the center of root mass..

Instead of using alcohol to kill a few bugs, Eric suggests mixing 80% hydrogen peroxide and 20% water with a small amount of liquid soap. He says the alcohol has a tendency to dry out the plant too much.