Want something printed in the newsletter? E-mail it to nwos_news@nwos.org no later than the 25th of the month.

December 2018
Volume 72, Issue 5

Deck the Halls in holiday orchids


About the December Meeting

December 10, 2018

7:00 p.m.

University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street
Seattle, WA 98105


Holiday Potluck, Introduction of new Officers, and Orchid Awards

Happy Holidays!  It's once again time to put our growing skills to the test. Please join your fellow NWOS members in our friendly annual competition. We have two trophies to award, the Schoenfeld Trophy as well as the Rebecca T. Northen Miniature Orchid Trophy. Each person is a full-fledged member, whether they paid for a single, dual or youth membership. So each person is entitled and encouraged to participate in winning one or both of these trophies.  All you have to do is bring in a blooming plant for each.


Let's make this a strong, lively competition. Bring your blooms whether you think they'll win or not. After all, we LOVE to see lots of orchids.


The Schoenfeld Trophy is awarded to the best blooming plant of any size.

The Rebecca T. Northen Miniature Orchid Trophy is awarded to the best blooming plant that is 6 inches or less in height, excluding the bloom spike.

Schoenfeld Trophy

Rebecca Northen Trophy

Everyone at the Holiday Party will cast a vote for each trophy. The winner will keep the trophy until the December 2018 potluck.


We will welcome our new officers and board members and thank those who are retiring.

This year at our annual Holiday Potluck Party we will continue our annual tradition of gift plants.  These are quality plants purchased specially for this event.  Each member who's dues were paid by Nov. 12 will be able to select a plant that is suitable to their growing conditions.  You must attend in order to receive your plant.  To be clear, each person is a full-fledged member whether they joined as a single, dual or youth membership and will receive one free plant as a gift from the society.

To kick off the festivities the society will provide beef or a spiral cut ham and a turkey breast along with the plates, utensils, etc. We are asking everyone to bring additional food: a main dish, salad, drinks or dessert to share for our Potluck Party. For reference and to help decide what delicious food to bring, you could use the handy list. If your name starts with:

A - I = bring a main dish
J - R = bring a dessert or drinks
S - Z = bring a salad or vegetable

Consider this a guideline only, if you have a dish you are known for, or just want to share with others, please bring that instead.

Display Table:

No display table this month, but bring in your best plants to compete for one or both trophies.


Sales Table:
No sales table this month, but extra holiday plants will be available to purchase after the members have all received theirs.


No raffle this month.


NWOS Library: 

No library this month.

Tom's Monthly Checklist
Watchful Eyes Notice Details Necessary to Grow the Best Orchids
By Thomas Mirenda, originally published in ORCHIDS, November 2011

Communication can take many forms; talking, writing, singing, tweeting (and not just for birds). Then there are the nonverbal ways we connect with each other: body language, facial expressions, pheromones, even possibly psychic phenomena. Sometimes I think writing — sitting alone at a keyboard trying to compose a salient and engaging communique to persons unknown — is a strange and solitary, even a lonely, endeavor. One might ask, “Are these just murmurings in the dark?” Of late, I’ve come to realize that writing for Orchids is a powerful thing. I’ve learned that the earnest industry of writing for my readers each month has earned me friends around the world that I would never have met in a thousand lifetimes without this platform and opportunity. Recently, a dear friend of mine going through a difficult time said that she felt like a plant in the wrong environment: a vanda in the masdevallia house, or an epiphyte in terrestrial medium essentially denied the basic things necessary for her to thrive. We, as humans, have the tools to communicate our problems to each other and reach out for help. But the murmurings of orchids are much harder to discern. Subtleties abound in orchid culture and as their stewards we must endeavor to interpret what they are telling us in their own language. The best growers are sensitive and develop an ineffable connection to their plants. I’ve seen it and it is a beautiful thing I hope to develop someday.

TURN, TURN, TURN: For most of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the outside world has morphed considerably since June. The days are shorter, the temperatures cooler and our moods are settling into indoor mode. Perhaps we don’t realize how much more time we spend outside when it’s warmer, but it is a simple truth. Orchid plants are also sensitive to these seasonal turns. Even if you supply them with the same heat, moisture, fertilizer and humidity year-round, they are still likely to slow down in winter. This is not only a natural but often a necessary part of an orchid’s life cycle. The cooler temperatures and shorter photoperiod in November are often the triggers for plant metabolism to slow and spike initiation to begin.

Many Cattleya species, such as this Cattleya percivaliana 'Teresa' HCC/AOS bloom reliably at specific times of the year. Their dependence on seasonal temperature and photoperiod must be understood to bloom them successfully, especially in the house. Grower Carlos Cahiz; Photographer Greg Allikas.

WINDOWSILL WOES: One mistake many growers, particularly those who grow indoors, often make is to provide their plants with constant temperatures and watering year-round. Even in tropical orchid habitats there are seasonal changes. Granted, these are not as radical as the changes we see as we approach the poles, but those subtle fluctuations in temperature, rainfall and light levels are the factors that allow plants to thrive and bloom in season. Allow cattleyas and standard dendrobiums to get much drier than you would in summer when they are in active growth. Catasetums and other orchids from seasonally dry habitats are deciduous (losing their leaves during the dry season) and serious damage can occur if they are drenched with water at this time. Your plants will murmur their needs to you by dropping some leaves or sprouting some new roots or growths. You must learn what those murmurings mean for the individuals in your collection.

EVER SO LIGHTLY: Another pitfall of the winter for indoor growers is our propensity to stay up late. Orchids that bloom in season are sometimes triggered by photoperiod. In other words, they are genetically programmed to bloom when the day length shortens in midwinter. Think of poinsettias and Christmas cactus, for example. If your lights are on until midnight where your plants are growing, they might sense they are experiencing a long summer day rather than the long cool winter night that would trigger blooming. Many cattleyas are like this, producing blooming sheaths by the autumn, but not developing buds until the nighttime temperatures and day lengths are right. Greenhouse growers rarely experience these kinds of problems because they don’t cohabit with their orchids day and night. Greenhouses tend to provide more naturalistic seasonal and daily temperature and photoperiodic fluctuations than we can provide for our houseplants. But just being aware of this potential drawback is often the cure. While not always possible, keeping your orchids in a room you rarely use at night can help them bloom in season.

MITE MAKES RIGHT? : I think not. Mites are probably the most insidious pest you may come across on orchids during the winter. Encouraged by the lower humidity situations of most winter growing spaces, less frequent watering and less likelihood of getting washed away by a strong spray of the garden hose, mites can proliferate quickly in such conditions and cause serious damage. While softer-leaved orchids, such as miltonias or lycastes, seem especially susceptible, I believe mites can damage the new tender growths of more succulent orchids too and may be responsible for many abnormalities we see later on when these damaged growths mature. Look especially on the undersides of leaves for what appears to be dust or even tiny cobwebs. These tiny arachnids can suck the life out of individual cells from underneath and damage will eventually appear on the upper surface of leaves as an almost silvery effect. Mites are ubiquitous and can’t really be completely avoided, but a gentle washing of the underside of affected leaves with a solution such as Safer Insect Killing Soap will seriously slow them down. Larger collections infected with mites may require the use of a commercial miticide for adequate control.

Tom Mirenda has been working professionally with orchids for over three decades. He is an AOS accredited judge and is the chairman of the American Orchid Society’s Conservation Committee. He recently coauthored The Book of Orchids: A life-size guide to 600 species from around the world. (email: biophiliak@gmail.com).

News from the American Orchid Society

As we reach the end of the year in the December issue of ORCHIDS our AOS President, Susan Wedegaertner, expresses gratitude to all those who so generously donate not only money but their time and plants to the AOS. These people and their dedication are what ensure that the AOS continues to thrive. They are appreciated for their success and thanked.

It’s easy to find the scheduled webinars and to register on the AOS website. You’ll find the link under the All About Orchids tab. If you check there, you will find any webinars that have been scheduled after the production of the monthly Corner.

What makes a great Vanda? with Robert Fuchs
Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 @ 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST      Open to all

Please join premier Vanda grower, AOS Judge, and AOS Vice President Robert Fuchs as he talks about the beautiful Vanda Alliance and gives us judging tips as to what makes a good Vanda.  Register now using this link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7644174664979492355

Vanda Amy Mitchell 'Crownfox Pink Lady' FCC/AOS; Photographer: Greg Allikas

Note: After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the seminar.

WHAT ARE WEBINARS? Webinars are an Internet conference where you can hear the speaker and view his presentation, ask questions, and hear interactions from other members of the audience. You can join either on your computer or by phone. You can join from anywhere, via your Mac, PC or even your mobile device. Audio is included, so attendees can phone in or use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). You will need a microphone for your computer to use VoIP.

WANT TO LEARN, BUT CAN’T MAKE THE DATE? The live webinars will be recorded and posted on the AOS website, where you will find a link allowing you to view the webinars at your convenience.

Photograph of the week 11/21/2018. Masdevallia pleurothalloides Photographer: Wiel Driessen


 MAGAZINE will feature great articles and beautiful pictures on:

The New Refugium Botanicum - TBD
• Form Meets Function - White Fringed Orchids by Thomas Mirenda
• For the Novice - Leaf-Spotting Fungi in Cattleyas, Part 2 - Cercosporoid Fungi by Sue Bottom
• Orchids Illustrated - The Genus Renanthera by Peggy Alrich and Wesley Higgins
Exploring Central and Eastern Madagascar by Johan and Clare Hermans
Beauties of the Beast: Cattlianthe Chocolate Drop and its hybrids by Jean Allen-Ikeson
Orchid Photograph of the Week - a collection of some of the best submissions for 2018

Paphiopedilum Shadow Walker 'Blood Moon' AM/AOS; Photographer: Bryan Ramsay

For each NEW AOS member that we refer (note: membership renewals don’t count) the NWOS earns a one-month extension of our AOS society membership.  Make sure to note your Society Affiliation in the comments section of the application.


SO TELL SANTA THAT YOU WANT AN AOS MEMBERSHIP AS A GIFT.  Remember, the AOS wants to sweeten the deal and give you every possible reason to join AOS today! If you become an American Orchid Society member, you have considerably more resources at your disposal making growing orchids even more enjoyable and successful.

Digital Access to Over 350+ past issues of Orchids magazine extending back to 1932!

Rhyncattleanthe Princess Takamado 'Jocelyn' AM/AOS; Photographer: Ramon de los Santos

ALSO FEATURED IN ORCHIDS MAGAZINE! 16-page award gallery of breath taking pictures of recently awarded orchids.


See fabulous pictures of the most breathtakingly beautiful orchids receiving awards from the AOS! Visit the new “Latest Orchid Awards” page on the AOS website to enjoy these stunning photographs! Click on the thumbnails to see them in larger format. Free to members and non-members.

Let's Grow Together,
Denise Lucero, Vice-Chair, AOS Membership and Affiliated Societies

Report from the November Meeting

David Sorokowsky


Abigail Chang, President, welcomed our new members and visitors before introducing our Orchid Basics speaker, Lillian Otani.  Lillian showed a large array of pots suitable for growing orchids.  It was really helpful to learn when and what containers to use depending on the cultural requirements and our personal growing conditions.


Next, Abigail and George conducted the election for next year's Officers and Board of Directors.  Robert Culver was nominated from the floor to the open Board position as published in last month's newsletter.  A vote was taken to accept the slate as presented.  It passed unanimously.


Treasurer Chris Peterson gave us some figures from our Fall Show at Swansons Nursery and Abby talked about our successful show including the displays, talks, potting clinic, etc.  Thanks to all who helped and contributed in many different ways.


Joe Grienauer talked about the NWF&G Show coming up early next year and announced a committee meeting for 12/6 for anyone interested in helping with the planning.  Thuan Nguyen, who took many of our plants to the WA State Fair in Puyallup, presented cash prizes to the winners.  Abby asked if anyone would be interested in chairing our Communications Committee.  She also said that we sometimes get questions so we need people who are willing to serve as plant experts.  Let her know on what topics you're comfortable with helping out.  Our Librarian, Joe, talked about the items that he had available.  He also announced his Open House at Emerald City Orchids on Saturday, 12/1.  Mike Foster asked us for suggestions on what we'd like for future Orchid Basics talks.  He talked about our upcoming December meeting and described the Northen and Schoenfeld awards. 


Mike then introduced the evening's speaker, David Sorokowsky, from Paph Paradise in California.  David gave an excellent talk on Multifloral Paphiopedalums.  He covered the main building block species, classic hybrids, some 'oddball' hybrids along with new breeding trends, and concluded with their culture.  It was interesting to see how the recently found (1990's) Paph. adductum and Paph. gigantifolium have influenced current breeding crosses.  And of course his culture instructions were spot on for helping us grow these fantastic plants.  You could tell how well-received his presentation was by the number of questions and continued discussion after the slides were done.


George Krasle reviewed the plant table.                           Photos: Diane Drisch and Allan Lee

David Sorokowsky gives advice to interested members
'Get Potted' - Lillian Otani's
Orchid Basics presentation
George Krasle reviews the plant table

There was quite a large group of us checking out
the plant table during the break
Pah.(Maudiae x Hamana Reef) x (Hsinying Macbeth x Mishima Citron)'Green', Ben Johnson

Wilsonara Opalescent 'On
 The Edge', Robert Culver
Taking a closer look
So many beautiful flowers and people
interested in checking them out
Oda. Castle de Noez,
Robert Culver
George uses his discerning eye on Joff's
Dendrobium during the plant table review

Den. Enobi Purple 'Splash', Joff Morgan

Oda. (Helen Stead 'Tiffany' x
Picotee #16), Robert Culver
Odm. wyattianum,
Robert Culver
Odm. (Snow on Fire x Rawdon)
x Crystal Palace, Robert Culver
Odont-Oncidium hybrid, Barb Roberts
Onc. Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance', George Krasle Holcoglossum wangii, Michael Cory
Rhyncholaeliocattleya (BC) Campobello
 'Newberry' AM/AOS, Michael Cory
Epicatanthe Don Herman,
Michael Cory
Blc. Chunyeah 'Tzeng-Wen',
Nancy Wright
Blc. Liu's Joyance 'Tai Young #8',
Nancy Wright
Blc. Vermillion Sunset
'Copper Nugget' x
Slc. Katherine Clarkson 'SVO',
 Mike Foster and Donna Pierce
Cattleya Sapphire,
Mike Foster and Donna Pierce
Potinara Ruby Delite,
Don Bilbrey
Cattleya bowringiana var.
superba 'Augusta', Michael Cory
Cattlianthe Memoria Francis Takakura 'Parker' AM/AOS, Matt Godlove
Bulb lilacinum 'Cherokee',
Mike Foster and Donna Pierce
Dockrilla rigida,
Mike Foster and Donna Pierce
Cymbidium NoID, Ben Johnson Cycnodes Wine Delight 'J.E.M.' FCC/AOS, Allan Lee
Den. Lai Klang Oon,
 Nancy Wright
Den. eriaeflorum (clarjeelingense),
Joe Grienauer
Den. Hibiki 'Tiny Bubbles',
Joff Morgan
Miltonia cognoxiae 'Snowflake' HCC/AOS x Miltonia candida
 'Norma', Daniel Cura
Ledebouria socialis,
Daniel Cura
Mormolyca rufescens,
Joe Grienauer
Restrepia brachypus,
George Krasle
Restrepia sanguinea,
George Krasle
Macodes petola, Ron Webb Phal bellina var. coerulea x sib, Allan Lee
Phal. NoID, Inga Lajauskiene
Phal NoID, Barb Roberts Dtps. Purple Gem x Doritis pulcherima, Barb Roberts Phal. NoID, Inga Lajauskiene
Ascocentrum pusillum,
Joe Grienauer
Vanda Twinkle (falcata x miniata),
Mike Foster and Donna Pierce
Paph. Poulsbo (kolopakingii x glanduliferum),
 Ellen Macomber
Paph. Saint Swithin 'Penn Valley' AM/AOS,
 Ellen Macomber
Phrag. Paul Eugene Conroy,
Mike Foster and Donna Pierce
Phrag. bessae,
Ben Johnson
Phrag. schlimii,
Mike Foster and Donna Pierce
Phrag.Eumelia Arias,
Mike Foster and Donna Pierce

Schedule of Upcoming Events


December 10, 2018 - NWOS meeting - Potluck dinner, Christmas Plant giveaway, Schoenfeld and Northen Trophy contests, and installation of new Officers and Board of Directors.


January 14, 2019 - NWOS meeting - Speaker: Shawnee Luciani, “Bugs that Bug Orchids”

February 11, 2019 - NWOS meeting - Speaker: Ron Midgett, topic to come. There will be plant pre-sales as well as meeting sales. (http://www.newearthorchids.com)


NW Flower & Garden Festival

February 16-19 - Garden Setup at Convention Center

February 20-24 - Show is open to the Public

March 11, 2019 - NWOS Annual Auction


April 6, 2019 - NWOS Show and Sale at Volunteer Park Conservatory, 10am-3pm, free admission

April 8, 2109 - NWOS meeting - Speaker: Andy Wright, “Bulbophyllums”

May 13, 2019 - NWOS meeting - Speaker:  Norman Fang, topic to come. There will be pre-sales only. (http://www.orchids.com)

June 10, 2019 - NWOS Annual Meeting, Gary Baker Service Award, Potluck Dinner and Scholarship presentation.

August ???, 2019 - NWOS Annual Picnic

September 9, 2019 - NWOS meeting - Speaker: Alan Koch, topic to come. There will be plant pre-sales as well as meeting sales. (http://www.goldcountryorchids.com)

Reminder for Officers & Board Members


The schedule of Board Meetings for this membership year is: 1/8/19, 3/5/19, 5/7/19.  Meet at 7 p.m. at Mike & Sheila Cory's house unless notified that it's been moved elsewhere.

Shopping on Amazon?  Use this link to Earn $$ for NWOS


If you go to http://smile.amazon.com and sign in to your account, you'll be given information about supporting various non-profits.  You can type in "Northwest Orchid Society" and it will then send .5% of your purchase price to the organization.


It's really easy, but you have to remember to go in through the 'smile' subdomain when you place the order, otherwise it will go through as a regular order.

NWOS Website Links

Special Announcements


No Special Announcements this month.                     ©2018 Northwest Orchid Society