next meeting

Tim Culbertson
"Beautiful Miniature Vandaceous Orchids for Outdoors"
Monday, October 12, 2020
7:00PM - NOTE DIFFERENT TIME!
NOTICE: THIS MEETING IN THE CHURCH HALL HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS. INSTEAD, THE PRESENTATION WILL BE ON THE INTERNET. OSSC MEMBERS WILL BE SENT A LINK WHERE THEY CAN HEAR AND VIEW THE PRESENTATION AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE DATE OF THE PRESENTATION.
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OSSC is reserving a limited number of seats for visitors for this presentation. To reserve your seat, simply email your request to .


about our speaker

Photo of Tim CulbertsonAlthough he teaches middle school kids for a living, one of Tim’s passions has always been plants. Mr Culbertson began growing orchids as an offshoot from working at Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia just after college. From the very beginning it was all about paphs, particularly awarded and select clones of historic importance, of which his collection numbers nearly 3000. While Tim loves finding old, rare stepping stones in paph breeding, he also does a little hybridizing, and growing up his “own babies” is a blast. Mr Culbertson is the youngest accredited judge with the American Orchid Society and has served in various capacities with various orchid societies in California and on the East Coast.

He loves meeting other people who like orchids too, and doing so often finds him traveling to shows, vendors, and peoples’ greenhouses to see the latest and greatest in new hybrids and to get the best orchid gossip. Tim likes to be involved in plants as much as possible; in addition to Longwood, he has worked at the Smithsonian Institution tending to their orchids, and for years for the United States National Arboretum, collecting rare plants and documenting cultivated species and hybrids for their herbarium. In short, he really likes plants!

Tim will be sharing a presentation titled “Beautiful Miniature Vandaceous Orchids for Outdoors.” These plants are easy to grow and flower, are vigorous, and have low cultural demands; they are natives of Australia or Japan and will grow easily outdoors in California. Tremendous advancements in breeding Sarcochilus and Neofinetia have been made recently, and he will share these, as well as help identify some of the important parents in the backgrounds of new and modern colors found in these genera. By the end of this presentation, you will have a new appreciation of what goes into breeding trends for these types of plants, as well as an appreciation of their beautiful flowers and ease of growth. Tim also will be providing an opportunity to purchase some of the newest, modern, cutting-edge, temperature-tolerant vandaceous species and hybrids; see the link elsewhere in this newsletter.

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news in brief

  • IN MEMORIUM [Submitted by OSSC Webmaster Ted Augustyn, with input from Merle Arnold and OSSC Golden Circle Member Alfred Hockenmaier on May 28, 2020]
    Photo of Dan DickeyIt is with a very heavy heart that we announce the passing of OSSC Past President and Golden Circle member Dan Dickey. He died on Sunday, May 17 in his Santa Rosa Valley home, accompanied by his partner of 35 years Arnold Merle, after spending seven months fighting stage four metastatic cancer. He was a real “trooper” throughout this entire ordeal enduring four surgeries and many rounds of chemotherapy. Being a very private person, he did not want any notices posted on social media till he was gone.
    His lifelong passion was the growing of orchids for which he received many awards and honors, including the Masatoshi Miyamoto Cattleya Alliance Award of the American Orchid Society. He was pleasantly surprised when one of his prized plants appeared on the cover of the Awards Quarterly of the American Orchid Society. Dan also used to regularly exhibit his plants at the annual Santa Barbara Orchid Show and at the East West Orchid Show in Los Angeles. He was an invited speaker at many of these shows and was always willing to share his knowledge of orchid horticulture. Dan’s success with orchids was his attention to detail in every aspect of cultivation. He would spend hours repotting just a few plants having custom, painstaking techniques that ensured his success that few could match. A few years ago, he donated his entire Paphiopedilum orchid collection to the Huntington Botanical Gardens.
    Mr. Dickey served as 2nd Vice President, then 1st Vice President of OSSC. He stepped up to the office of President when Leonard Dean, who was OSSC President in 1999 and 2000, left Los Angeles in late summer of 2000. Dan exhibited strong leadership during his tenure of 2001-2002, and continued to proactively mentor the officers who followed him, for which we will forever be grateful. As mentioned, Dan was a Golden Circle member of the society, its highest honor which is reserved for only those very few individuals that have gone above and beyond in support of the society and given so much in their time and energy.
    Dan's family and friends will organize a Celebration of Life when Covid 19 restrictions are eased.
  • 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!

Prior articles found in this section are archived here.

other orchid news

(Most recent articles listed first.)

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