October 2014

Speaker for October 9th

Written by

Paul Gripp from Santa Barbara Orchid Estate (SBOE) will be our featured speaker for the October 9th meeting. His topic is ‘Orchids for Outdoor Growing’. This will be a very informative presentation since SBOE grows many of their orchids outdoors under shade cloth. We all tend to think of orchids and tropical climates. However, those that grow at higher elevations, and there are many, grow under the same or similar conditions as we have here. Paul will tell you about climate, culture and other conditions and needs of these orchids. SBOE will provide the opportunity table and Paul will be bringing plants for sale also. FCOS will be hosting Paul for dinner at the Quarterdeck Restaurant at 5:30pm. Join us for some sharing and good eats. Please RSVP to Eric or Larry if you are coming.

September Speaker Notes

Written by


Heather Vallier "The Plant Doctor" spoke to FCOS at the September meeting. Heather is a local professional plant pathologist and her topic was 'The Bearer of Bad News' which centered on figuring out orchid ailments. Heather acquired her interest in plants from her mother, who was also a horticulturalist and the hope is that her daughter will continue the family trade. She said there are three main misconceptions about laboratory results: 1) there are no instant results; 2) there could still be a problem even if the lab cannot find a problem, and 3) if an organism is found in your orchid tissue, it might not be what is causing your orchid's problem. Heather mentioned that if you are going to send them a sample for analysis make sure you send enough material and send it in a ziplock-type bag with a dry paper towel inside the bag (not a moist towel). She mentioned that some fungal infections can look similar to bacteria or viral infections. Nematodes are very small and bore into and live inside the leaves. Viruses are not evenly distributed in the orchid leaves with new leaves not showing virus symptom right away. The leaves can grow faster than the virus can move in the plant. Heather also mentioned that heavy metals in fertilizers are over used and under needed by the plant for healthy growth. She stated that thrips are very small, live on the outside of the leaves, cause a stippling of the leaves, generally do not travel very far, and can over winter in your orchid media. They do not like high humidity so if they are present increase the humidity and spray the leaves with water early in the day. Black spots on the top of the leaves (but not on the bottom) could possibly be edema which is caused by too much moisture being picked up in the day and then the cells burst when the plant cools at night.