next meeting

Doug Overstreet
"Greenhouse Pathogens and Pests and Their Remedies"
Monday, March 9, 2020
(Doors open 6:30PM)

Meeting Hall, First Christian Church
221 South Sixth Street, Burbank, California

about our speaker

Photo of Doug OverstreetDouglas Overstreet was born and raised in southeastern New Mexico.  Mr. Overstreet comes by his interest in plants and animals naturally.  His family has been American farmers since 1684.  He began growing orchids at the age of 10.  The first orchid he purchased in 1972 was Cattleya Trimos, a primary hybrid between C. trianaei and C. mossiae.  The first orchid he flowered was a phalaenopsis hybrid. 

Doug moved to California in 1975 and continued his love affair with orchids.  In 1984, his collection began to grow by leaps and bounds with his first professional job.  He also became an active participant in the local orchid community.  Over the years, Doug has served on the Board of the Orchid Society of Southern California, is a Past President and active board member of the Southland Orchid Show Committee.  He is a former Ribbon Judging Chair for OSSC and is an Accredited American Orchid Society Judge in the Pacific South Region.  Doug has written several articles for Orchid Digest and has served on the Editorial Committee of that publication as Assistant Editor.  In 1998, he wrote, produced and hosted Anyone Can Grow Orchids…Even You!, a how-to video about growing orchids in the home.  Currently, he is the orchid specialist in charge of the Thornton Conservatory of the Huntington Botanical Gardens.

Click here to learn more about OSSC's regular meetings.

news in brief

  • RE-BLOOMING PHALS  [Submitted by OSSC Member David Lafond on April 17, 2018]

    I have most of my orchids on my outdoor patio, which receives about two hours of direct sun mid-day. Not ideal at all! Not all orchids can handle two hours of direct sun around noon, so my Phalaenopsis are grown indoors by the window in less than ideal lighting. Sometimes we make due with our situations and hope the plants adapt.

    I assumed my Phals would bloom indoors, but last year they did not. Phals need cooler temperatures below 77 F to stimulate bloom. The temperature inside my apartment is less than 77 F so I assumed they would bloom indoors if I kept the heat turned off at night during October. They still didn’t send up any flower spikes. Carol Beule told me she keeps her Phals outdoors until Thanksgiving, and the cooler temperatures stimulate blooms. The only way I could keep my Phals outdoors is to carry them outside and night, then take then inside, protected from harsh sun during the day. The “hobby” was turning into a lot of work, so I didn’t do it, assuming the Phals would bloom during winter indoors where my apartment was below 77 F. Around March, my Phals still did not initiate bloom spikes indoors. I was seriously thinking of discarding them if they weren’t going to bloom indoors, so in a last ditch attempt, I decided to take them outside every night, then take them back indoors every day. So far 3 of the 7 plants have bloom spikes started…..a little late is better than never! I suggest you consult the article “Growing the Best Phals – Part 3” which gives details about temperature requirements to re-bloom Phalaenopsis.

    I need to go put my Phals back outside!

  • PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:   [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on December 28, 2017]

    Ed Freeman is a photographer/artist, newly in love with orchids, and looking for orchids to photograph, particularly the more exotic varieties. He can go to your home but prefers to work in his studio, where he has better equipment. In return, he will supply copiles of the finished pictures to the owner of the orchid. You can see examples of Ed's current work with orchids here.

    If you are interested in this arrangement, take a look at his web site and contact him by email.Ed Freeman Photography: Website: Email:<.

  • ORCHIDS – CONTROL OF A COLLECTION, PART 2 [Submitted by OSSC Treasurer Wendy Fischer in December, 2017] .

    Well, after reading Krystine’s article a couple months ago about getting rid of her first orchid — she waited until the trash truck was approaching her house before tossing the orchid in the container so it was gone an instant later and irrevocably irretrievable — I printed out a very incomplete and error-prone list of my orchids and set out to “cull” the herd [see my previous article (September 2017) referencing Sue Bottom’s article]. Clipboard in hand with list, pencil, pen, and blank tags, I ventured forth. I decided to start in my orchid house, a shade house crammed full of orchids organized with no rhyme or reason. I started on the top back right and picked up my first orchid... well tried to pick it up. Its roots had connected to the wood slats it sat on. As gently as possible I disconnected it, thinking it was desperate for repotting. Once undone, I realized it had two sheaths on it, and the process of picking it up caused 3 other plants to tip over and at least a dozen spiders to scurry away wondering who this interloper was, interfering in their private sanctuary. So not off to the best of starts I backed off to regroup. First things first, I found a bigger pot to set the overgrown plant in — repotting will have to wait — but, wait, I can give it its new number, and check it off the list.When I tried to pull out the tag to read it, it broke in 3 pieces, the bottom piece inaccessible and unreadable in the pot. I tried to push the other 2 pieces down in the pot near the 3rd and went in the house to do some non-orchid chores.

    Not one to give up, I have slowly over the last 6 weeks gone through almost all of the orchids in my shade house. As I do, I renumber, re-write new tags if necessary, find it on one of my lists, and consolidate information under the new number, including the checkbox for “needs repotting” — all updated on an Excel spreadsheet. I started my renumber with number 1000 and am now at 1172 plus another 35 in my 3000 series (orchids I have either lost the tags or that never had one.) Come to find out, all this has been the easy part. Probably half of the plants need repotting and many of those desperately need repotting. After updating Excel with the day’s work, I began repotting.

    Oh, and remember I talked of “culling the herd”? Well, I’m not any better than Krystine (and, it appears, far worse). Although I did find two totally dead ones that went into the trash without remorse, I now have a row of orchids that should be thrown out. They are not in good shape, but they are all still trying. They have little new growths amidst their shriveled mostly-dead leaves. They haven’t given up — how can I give up on them? Can you say “anthropomorphize”?

    Throughout this whole process, I have identified the biggest problem with my orchid collection, one I’m sure to which most of you will relate. I’ve run out of space. I have fit more in by going somewhat vertical; but while outer space may be limitless, space in my orchid house is quite limited. I shrug and move on…

    OK, I just walked into my guest room and found the 15 orchids I bought at the Huntington Show. These all need to fit in my shade house…. and repotted, numbered, added to the Excel file, etc. Back to work.

  • ORCHIDS – CONTROL OF A COLLECTION, PART 1 [Submitted by OSSC Treasurer Wendy Fischer on September, 2017] .

    I have been trying to gain control over my orchid collection. Part of this is creating an Excel file of my orchids that enables me to easily add new orchids, sort when I want to know something specific, such as if I already have an orchid before I invest in another of the same. I find that when I go to an orchid show, I get obsessed wanting to buy buy buy, but without knowing if I already have that orchid. At the last Huntington International Orchid Show, I bought an orchid one day and, without realizing it until the show was over, bought another of that same orchid the very next day. One would think I could remember something for more than a day.

    In designing my Excel file, I wanted to write out the full name of the orchids, not just the abbreviation. The first one I wasn’t sure of was a “Rlc.” so I turned to the internet to find the full name. To this end I came across an article written by Sue Bottom called Changes in Orchid Nomenclature – Cattleya Alliance (get it HERE ). This introduced me to the genus Guarianthe which split off the Central American Cattleyas into Guarianthes. DNA had a lot to do with this. I sent her an email expressing my appreciation for the information in the article, where upon she wrote back saying change may still be in the air so don’t jump to changing all the names quite yet. Fifteen minutes later in a flash of synchronicity, my copy of ORCHIDS (AOS Bulletin) arrived in the mail. Flipping through it I came to an article written by, who else, Sue Bottom [coincidence?], on orchid triage. In it she addresses one of the major issues with my collection, that of not wanting to give up on anything. The term Sue uses is “culling” and involves getting rid of non-performing, poor growing plants. Our bench space isn’t big enough to accommodate all. I’m going to attempt to follow her guidance. We’ll see how that works for me. Stay tuned.

    Meantime, an unsolicited plug for ORCHIDS. It is a wonderful magazine, full of beautiful pictures and great information. If you aren’t already an AOS member, this is worth the price of admission. Join. You will gain back far more than the meager monetary outlay.

  • I THREW OUT MY FIRST ORCHID PLANT TODAY [Submitted by OSSC Past President Krystine Chaparro on June 4, 2017. Originally published in October 2011] .

    I waited until Friday, just before the garbage truck came by to pick up the barrels. I waited. I held the plant in my hands, almost to say good bye. I didn’t water it for some time. I watched it die, but it didn’t. It was the dry period for this plant and then the plant started its new growth with new roots. The new growth still looked pretty sad. I tested it and it’s bad! It’s virused and It must go! The garbage truck is turning the corner. Here she comes. She just set the neighbors bin down. It’s my turn. I quickly threw my orchid plant in the bin and closed the lid just in time for my garbage lady to drive up, reach out with her automated arm, pick up the bin, dump and it’s gone. I can’t retrieve it now. It’s gone like it should be. It was virused and because of that it had to go.

    What a pleasant surprise I had this morning. Cattleya Hawaiian Jewel x (C. angelwaker x white gem) bloomed today. It could have been easily infected if I had not tested and checked for virus and properly disposed of it.

    *When watering, never let water from one plant drip or drain into another plant.

    *Never, never cut or groom another plant with the same tools without sterilizing first.

    *Try not to have plants touching one another. Test! I say. If it’s virused, let it go! Because, the best is yet to come.

  • SMARTPHONE CAMERAS [Submitted by Ben Boco on April 24, 2017]

    Convenience and simplicity. That’s the best way to describe the phenomenal rise in the use of smartphone cameras.

    About a year ago, I made a presentation to OSSC on the subject of orchid photography. At that time, more photographers were taken with cameras than smartphones, probably a 60 to 40 ratio. But that’s no longer the case. When I visited the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate show in March, I was amazed to see that at least 80 percent of the attendees were using their smartphone cameras to take orchid photographs. In fact, on the photo-sharing website Flickr, the top five most popular cameras are now smartphones. There are several reasons for this change, all beneficial for the casual photographer.

    The compactness of the smartphone camera makes it easy to carry with you wherever you go. Accessories such as photo cards and extra lenses are no longer needed, and the cumbersome camera bag has now become a thing of the past.

    The technology of the smartphone camera makes sharing your photos easy. You can take a picture of your favorite orchid and share it with your friends, either locally or internationally, via the Internet or through Facebook or Email.

    It is also possible to electronically connect your smartphone to your home computer. Photos taken on your smartphone when you’re away from home can be transmitted back, and will be waiting for you when you return. If your smartphone camera is not compatible with your computer, you can still transmit the images by simply sending yourself an email with the photos as an attachment.

    The point and shoot aspect of smartphone cameras has made photographing orchids available to everyone. At a recent orchid show, I used only my smartphone camera and was thrilled by the quality of the photographs. And the fact that the pictures were waiting for me on my home computer took away the work and made everything fun.

    It has been personally rewarding to me to watch people become comfortable with cameras and see them enjoying photography more. The intimidating aspect of cameras can be forgotten. The smartphone has become a part of our everyday life and we never leave home without it. The fact that we also have a camera with us at all times means that we can record life’s special moments with convenience and simplicity.

  • IT WAS A WILD NIGHT: [Submitted by 1st Vice President Carol Beule on November 14, 2016]  It was a WILD night, wasn't it? Our monthly November meeting was certainly not staid, prim or proper. But hey…… the mold needs to be broken every now & again. Who else to break it but the OSSC, the oldest orchid society in Southern California? And we certainly made a great big mess that was easily cleaned up with the help of everyone. Thank you all.

    And additonal thanks to everyone who helped make this experimantal night a smashing success. It was was exciting and vibrant, something orchid meetings are not often found to be. OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn wrote a masterful piece for our website that drew new visitors to our fold last night. I think they will become new members in the future. Krystine Chaparo and Norma Skinner’s help with coordination couldn't have been more generous and positive. I thank all 3 of you again. And lastly, many thanks to Linus, without who's help this never would have happened. I'm sure Linus Bittner will know all about it wherever he happens to be right now! All of his plants have new and happy homes. David Dassey and I have several plants that we have kept to auction off either this winter at one of our monthly meetings when they are in bloom or next June during our annual money making auction for the society.

    Art Mendoza, Harry Sinanian, Donna Ballard and David Lafond all must be given kudos for how they all prepared and executed their participation in last night's meeting. Erin Maxick and Wendy Fischer both contributed a great deal to it's success as well. They also helped to rescue Linus’s plants as did David Dassey who was in New Zealand running another marathon instead of being at our meeting. We met over the weekend at Wendy's house to arrange for items to be delivered and chose what might be needed for the night. Lastly, Alberto Osso stepped in as an additional “orchid expert” to help new members learn how to repot orchids when we realized we needed more help.

    It was loud and raucous, if you can ever consider an Orchid Society meeting to be something of that nature. EVERYONE had a great time I believe and thought it was both a cultural and social success. There were calls for more of this in the future.

    Ben Boco and Donna Ballard both have connections to people who have Phalaenopsis in need of rescuing. I spoke with both and we will need to coordinate another meeting of this nature. Possibly in May of 2017. We will keep you posted.

    My thanks and sincere apologies to any I have forgotten. I doubt last Monday’s meeting can ever be equalled!

  • NEW MEMBER BENEFIT: [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn on March 2, 2014]. Starting this month, every new member and their sponsor will each receive a certificate good for one 1-gallon Cymbidium orchid, courtesy of Orchids by Art in North Hills, CA, which is owned and operated by OSSC member Art Mendoza. The society expresses sincere thanks to Art for this generous offer. This offer supercedes the prior offer from Rudvalis Orchids.

other orchid news

(Most recent articles listed first.)

Bookmark and Share
Cattleya unknown Cym. Accent x Pinata Hotlips Den. unknown Amazon Associates Promo
You can save money AND help OSSC by clicking on the logo above to shop at OSSC will receive a small percentage of the money you spend, at no additional cost to you!