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April 2018
Volume 71, Issue 9

Angraecum didieri


About the April Meeting

April 9, 2018

7:00 p.m.

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

Orchid Basics

This month's session will be presented by Mike Cory.  His topic is the "Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia".  Starts promptly at 7 p.m.


Speaker:  Brenda Oviatt, "Angraecoid Orchids - Keeping a Piece of Nature Alive"

Brenda has just revised her presentation on Angraecoid Orchids. It begins with conservation  and includes many images of species not readily available in cultivation that are critically endangered in nature. She will then give expert cultural advice so that we can be successful in growing angraecoids.


Brenda travels and gives talks about Angraecoids.  Botanica Ltd. is owned and operated by Bill Nerison (architect) and Brenda Oviatt (former graphic designer). They began growing orchids in 1983 and over time their growing has evolved from a hobby into a two part business. One half of the business involves growing and selling orchids (primarily species) to other interested growers. The other half of the business is focused on the ex-situ propagation of endangered angraecoids and the education of hobbyists and growers concerned with the plight of many species of plants and animals from Africa and Madagascar.


There will be Preorders with a 10% discount if they are placed no later than April 3.  Go to their website http://botanicaltd.com/.  The plant lists may not be complete so please inquire about species and other plants you may be interested in acquiring that may not be on the website by emailing billn@bresnan.net.


Brenda will also bring a “mini orchid show” and have additional sales at the meeting.


Display Table:

Bring your blooming Orchids so everyone can enjoy them.


Sales Table:
Members may bring up to 10 plants to sell.  Include an extra tag with your name and the price in the plant.


The raffle will be held as usual.  Win a new orchid for your collection while supporting the Scholarship Fund.


NWOS Library: 

If you'd like to check out a book or tape from our Library, please contact our Librarian Joe Grienauer a minimum of 2 weeks before the next meeting.  Besides email, you can give Joe your request at any meeting.  For a list of library items Click on the Library link at the top left of this page or click HERE.

Orchids Needed for NWOS Displays in Spring Shows


The Spokane Orchid Show and Sale is being held

this weekend, April 7-8, at the Spokane Community College, Student Lair. We are collecting plants Thursday to take for setup on Friday. Anything you can send will be appreciated and can be returned at the meeting on Monday. This will be a judged show and sales will include Bill and Brenda from Botanica as well as several other vendors. I don't have many of my own plants in bloom at present so please consider sending whatever you can. If you are unable to bring orchids to my house please call or email to make special arrangements.


If you plan on sending plants to the show, here are the orchid registration forms to use for pre-registration. If you have the PDF copy, do not use it for electronic registration. It can still be used for delivery by other means.

The Oregon Orchid Society Show and Sale on April 21-22 is the last show of the spring season that we plan to participate in. As usual, we will be collecting plants the Thursday before the show (April 19) and again, we urge members to send loan plants to this show so we can mount a display worthy of our society. This show always has an excellent variety of orchids on display and a large contingent of quality vendors. It is will worth the trip to Portland.


For more details, see my comments in last months newsletter (http://newsletter.nwos.org/archives/index.htm) and the Oregon Orchid Society website (http://oregonorchidsociety.org/).

George Grantham
, 2nd Vice President

Urgently Needed! Gary Baker Service Award Nominations


Nominations are needed for the coveted annual award for service to the NWOS during the past year. Nominations are invited from all members. Names are to be submitted to me as 2nd Vice President. Please submit your nominations to me by email no later than May 7th or at the April meeting on Monday. It is suggested but not required that you include some brief notes on the contributions made by the person or persons you nominate.

George Grantham, georgegrantham@hotmail.com

Your Society Needs You!

The NWOS has a couple of open Board of Director positions.  The members who held these positions had to resign for personal reasons.  One of the open positions runs from now until December 31, 2018.  The other runs from now until December 31, 2019.

- Board position - The Member participates in the Board meetings (there are only 6 each year), helps with various committees, providing input and feedback where needed, and helps to guide the Society.

If you are interested in any of these positions, have further questions, and/or you know of a member who might like to join the NWOS Board, please contact the Nominating Committee (Joff Morgan, Allan Kaas, or George Grantham).

NW Flower & Garden Festival Notes

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to each and everyone who contributed to our gold medal garden this year at the 2018 NW Flower & Garden Festival. "Orchid Vanilla Farm" was a great success. Feast your eyes on the many photographs available.

Next year's theme is going to be "Gardens of the World". The show hopes that garden creators will choose a style, plant palette, and/or concept from different countries or cultures around the globe and use that as their garden's focus.

Next year's dates are Feb 20 - 24, 2019, with setup on Feb 16 - 19.

So put those thinking caps on and submit your ideas to me or Joe! We have until July 1 to submit our application for the 2019 Show.

~ Joff Morgan

P.S. Did anyone come home with an extra 25' metal tape measure and a yellow-handled heavy-duty wire-cutting plier? I am missing those items from the flower show setup days.

AOS Pacific NW Judging Center

The American Orchid Society’s Pacific Northwest Judging Center held their final Monthly Judging in Seattle on Saturday, March 17th. This final Seattle judging was held in the Greenwood Branch of the Seattle Public Library, right back where it all started 56 years ago!

The following AOS judges attended:
Abigail Chang
David Edgley
Jennifer Ritchie
Bergen Todd
Charles Wilson
Susan Wilson
Bill Zimmerman
Guests attending:
Ed Hanes
Al Mysiewicz

AOS Photographer:
Mike Pearson

Thirteen plants were brought in for judging, and four of these received AOS awards:

Oncidium Louis Posey ‘Louis’ HCC/AOS exhibited by Bill Zimmerman
Bulbophyllum taiwanense ‘Final Chapter’ CCM/AOS exhibited by Abigail Chang
Paphiopedilum Prince Edward of York ‘Cocoa’ HCC/AOS exhibited by Ed Hanes
Paphiopedilum QF Kulani ‘Cocoa’ AM/AOS exhibited by Ed Hanes

Monthly orchid judging for the Pacific Northwest Judging Center is now held in Keizer, OR, on the first Sunday of each month at 1:00 PM. Also, the Western Canada Judging Center alternates their location between Richmond, BC and Victoria, BC and holds their judging on the second Saturday of the month at 11:30 AM. Details of the exact locations and times are available in the calendar of events on the AOS website.

All are welcome to attend any AOS monthly judging, but be aware that you will not be able to transport your orchids across the border to or from Canada without a lot of additional paperwork and effort, so if you have something that you think may be award-quality and want to get it judged you will either have to travel to Keizer, or or bring it to any of the AOS judged shows in the region.   
                                                                                                          Photos: Mike Pearson

Bulbophyllum taiwanense ‘Final Chapter’ CCM/AOS Oncidium Louis Posey 'Louis' HCC/AOS
Paphiopedilum Prince Edward of York ‘Cocoa’ HCC/AOS Paphiopedilum QF Kulani ‘Cocoa’ AM/AOS

HISTORY - Here are a few excerpts from an AOS Judges' Training article by Bergen Todd about the history of the Pacific Northwest Judging Center:

In 1962, the Pacific Northwest Judging Center (PNWJC) was initially organized and met in Seattle, Washington at the Greenwood Branch – Seattle Public Library. In 1981, the Center moved south to Tacoma, where it met at the South End Neighborhood Center. By request, in 2006, the AOS Trustees authorized additional judging sites in British Columbia and Oregon, to improve grower access to judging services.

In 2009, the Tacoma judging site moved back north to Seattle, meeting at the Center for Urban Horticulture near the University of Washington campus. In early 2017, the Seattle judging site moved again to the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Regretfully, this judging site is closing due to a multi-year decline in participation and support.

An essential goal of the AOS judging system is to provide quality orchid judging services to the orchid-growing public. To comply with that goal, the PNWJC provided orchid judging services to societies located in the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and the Canadian Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Occasionally, we are asked to attend shows in Saskatchewan or Montana. In 2011, orchid shows in Manizales and Guadalajara de Buga, Colombia, South America, were added to our region.

The PNWJC covers a large territory; currently there are approximately six or seven shows per year and it is necessary for judges to travel in order to fulfill our judging responsibilities.

(Note: This year there will be 6 AOS judged shows in Western Canada and 11 in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Additional shows have been added to the region in Popayan, Perriera, Bogota, Manizales, and Armenia, Colombia over the past several years, so this is a VERY wide-ranging judging center.)

Mike Pearson, AOS Photographer

Membership Renewal Reminder


Unless you joined since July 1, it's time to renew your membership.  The NWOS membership year now goes by calendar year.  During this transition year it will go from July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018 (18 months).  You can pay at most meetings by cash, check, or debit/credit card.  You can mail a check (payable to NWOS) to PO Box 51021, Seattle, WA 98115-1021.  You can also pay online using Paypal on our Membership page at http://newsletter.nwos.org/membership.  New members should complete the Membership Form.


Dues are $30 for one person or $40 for two people at the same address.  We also have a Youth membership of $15 for one person aged 22 or under.  Dues are kept low to encourage membership but they cover only a small portion of the society's expenses.

Each single, youth and dual membership person will be considered an individual full-fledged member entitled to all privileges and benefits of the society (voting, Christmas plants, etc.).


Please contact Mike Cory for questions about your dues.

Feed ME   
Originally published in the April 2013 issue of Orchids Magazine
Prepared by the AOS Education Committee with Photographs by Greg Allikas

The Basics of Choosing a Fertilizer and Application
IF THEIR OTHER REQUIREMENTS are met, orchids will grow and flower for fairly long periods without fertilizer. Witness the people in tropical areas such as South Florida who grow them mounted on trees and let nature do the rest. Indeed, that is how epiphytic orchids grow in nature. But hobbyists generally try to give their orchids more than the bare minimum so that the plants flower at or above their potential.

There are many different points of view on how to fertilize orchids and what fertilizer to use. Everyone has a favorite fertilizer or supplement. There are so many variables that how and when you fertilize depends on what kinds of orchids you grow and how and where you grow them. This article will offer a brief explanation and general guidelines on fertilizing orchids. For more specific application, join your local orchid society and ask someone there who grows the same kind of orchids as you. It is unlikely that you will kill any orchids with orchid fertilizer so following the recommendations here will provide your plants needed nutrition.

If you are a gardener you are probably familiar with the N-P-K listings on fertilizer bags. Orchid fertilizers have them too. Let’s go over these three elements and see how they affect plant growth. Nitrogen (N) helps make plants green and helps them grow faster. It is the element responsible for vegetative growth (the leafy parts). Phosphorus (P) is good for root growth, disease resistance, seed and fruit growth, and especially for blooming and flowering. Potassium (K) helps with increasing root growth, drought resistance and disease resistance.

OPTIONS  There are three main types of fertilizers used for orchids: balanced, high nitrogen and bloom booster.

◊ Balanced fertilizers have been traditionally recommended for use with orchids potted in inorganic potting media such as lava rock and Aliflor, and tree fern (which has fallen out of favor due to conservation concerns). Plants mounted on cork bark or other substrates also benefit from using a balanced fertilizer. An example of a balanced fertilizer would be represented by the numbers 20-20-20.

◊ High-nitrogen fertilizers have long been recommended for use with orchids potted in fir bark or fir bark mixes. The reason for extra nitrogen is that the bacteria that cause the bark to decay use up much of the available nitrogen, thus depleting the orchid. This practice has recently come into question. Nonetheless, using a high-nitrogen fertilizer, especially in spring at the beginning of the growing season, can promote strong vegetative growth under ideal conditions. An example of high-nitrogen fertilizer would be 30-10-10.

◊ Bloom or blossom-booster formulas are high in phosphorus. Typically, high-phosphorus fertilizers are applied every other week for four to six applications the season before expected bloom. For winter–spring blooming orchids, bloom booster is usually applied in the autumn. Vandaceous hybrids and other orchids that bloom throughout the year can be given bloom booster every third or fourth fertilizing. An example of a bloom booster would be 10-30-20. Fertilizers used on orchids should contain little or no urea. This is because soil organisms must first convert the nitrogen in urea to a form useable by plants, and since orchids do not grow in soil, this conversion does not occur efficiently.

Good cultural practices that include regular
fertilizing will produce well-flowered orchids,
such as this Vanda ampullacea (Ascocentrum ampullaceum) Grower: Greg Allikas & Kathy Figiel.
Vandaceous orchids that were under fertilized (left)
 and received adequate fertilizer (right).

APPLICATION  How fertilizer is applied varies as much as orchids themselves. Typically, plants are fertilized once a week during spring and summer and every two weeks in the autumn and winter. Regardless of the fertilizer that you choose, most experienced growers use ½ the label-recommended strength. Remember, in nature epiphytic orchids’ roots are exposed and the only nutrients they receive are from bird and animal droppings, decaying insects and detritus. The old saying about fertilizing orchids is: Feed them weekly weakly. Fertilizer is best applied in the morning on sunny days. For mounted orchids, or orchids with exposed roots, such as vandas in empty baskets, many growers routinely first water the plants and then follow with fertilizer a half hour later. The watering before fertilizing prepares the spongy velamen of the orchid roots to better utilize the fertilizer. Orchids in pots are usually not watered first but some growers have their own techniques.

Most experienced growers use
 fertilizer at ½ the label-
recommended strength.

There are requirements specific to certain orchids. For instance, do not fertilize nobile-type dendrobiums after early autumn. This rule actually applies to all orchids that have decided rest periods and all deciduous orchids. Fertilizing them while in their rest period keeps them in continual growth instead of resting before producing flowers. In other words, you may get a lot of growth and no flowers.

There are also many secret recipes growers use that supposedly produce stronger plants or more flowers. Certainly, vitamins and micronutrients are as essential as the building blocks of plant growth mentioned above. Elements such as magnesium, boron, calcium, carbon and others are required for strong plant growth. All in all, although there are certain practices that are documented as being helpful, it has not been proven that supplements actually contribute to improved growth in orchids — but it probably doesn’t hurt to use them.

News from the American Orchid Society

In early March the 2018 Spring AOS Members Meeting was held in conjunction with the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show and the Cymbidium Society of America Congress. It brought together AOS members and orchid enthusiasts from around the country for the spectacular show, lectures, vendors and AOS meetings. It’s always great to get together, spend time with old friends and new, and revitalize committees. For me, it doesn’t get much better than spending time immersed in everything orchid!

During this meeting a new slate of Executive Officers was installed, so make sure to read the message from our new AOS president, Susan Wedegaertner, in the April edition of Orchids magazine. We will be looking for host societies to carry on the tradition of our great spring and fall meetings. If your society would like any information about hosting an AOS meeting please send inquiries to: Affiliated_Societies@aos.org. We are here for your support and will work with you to make an event that is a success for all.

Bulbophyllum echinolabium
 'Springwater' HCC/AOS;
 Photographer: Greg Allikas

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.
Judging Bulbophyllum echinolabium with Laura Newton
Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 @ 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST Judging Seminar
Please join AOS accredited judge and Awards Registrar Laura Newton as she details what to look for when scoring judging Bulbophyllum echinolabium and its hybrids.

Register now using this link:

Cattleya purpurata (hort. var. rubra)
 'Shoguns Fire" FCC/AOS;
Photographer: Glen Barfield



American Orchid Society: Greenhouse Chat with Ron McHatton

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 @ 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST Open to all

Please join Ron McHatton, American Orchid Society Director of Education and Science Officer, who will discuss a variety of topics on orchid culture based on questions submitted by attendees. Please send you questions to stillisch@cox.net by Saturday, April 21st.
Register now using this link:


Miltoniopsis vexillaria var. alba 'Princess' CCM/AOS;
 Photographer: Alexey Tretyakov


Our annual Judging Issue will feature great articles and beautiful pictures on:

• Quality Never Goes Out of Style - The 2017 FCCs

• Orchids Illustrated - Lorenz Oken
• "Really Special" Orchids - The 2016
Year-End Annual Awards
• A New Species of Vanilla
• Two New Species in Acianthera sect. Antilla From Haiti
• Tales of a Student Judge
• Genus of the Month - Miltoniopsis


Lealia anceps 'Megan Kiyome' HCC/AOS;
Photographer: Ramon de los Santos


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 nonmembers.

Let’s grow together,                        

Denise Lucero, Vice-Chair, AOS Membership and Affiliated Societies

Report from the March Auction & Potting Clinic

Auctioneer Joe Grienauer


Mike Cory gave a very informative Orchid Basics discussion about how to safely bring new plants into your collection, a very timely topic given all the plants we would be taking home from the evening's auction.


Our President, Abigail Chang, opened the meeting by welcoming new members and visitors who introduced themselves.  She reminded us about the Potting Clinic next week.  George Grantham asked us all to send him nominations for the Gary Baker Service Award.  He also thanked those that helped and contributed to shows at other orchid societies.  Abby made announcements about the website.  She then invited us to participate in the final Seattle AOS Judging on Saturday.

Our members and their guests enjoyed a lovely wine and cheese party hosted by Peter and Kelly Maunsell.  It was very nice to spend time socializing with our orchid friends.


Our auction kicked in with Auctioneers Joe Grienauer and Mike Pearson doing formidable jobs with the many plants brought in by our members.  Abigail also helped out as auctioneer later in the evening.  They were ably assisted by plant runners Al Kaas and Ellen Macomber.  Pat Gossler and Erika Dyer recorded the bids and tallied our our totals while Chris Peterson processed our charges.  It was a fun evening.  We had some great refreshments, we made a little money, we spent a little money and we got some great new additions to our orchid collections.  What could be better?

-                                                                                                                 Photos: Diane Drisch

Members enjoy the wine and cheese reception with hosts Peter and Kelly,


then get their Auction number.

Of course we have to review the plant table to decide which ones we'd like to bid on
Pat and Erika are busy registering each member's bidding plate
Others are working on registering their plants While some raise their glasses in a toast
Mike Cory does his Orchid Basics talk right before we settle down for the main event.
Auctioneers Joe, Mike P and Abigail
Auctioneers with plant runners Al and Ellen what am I bid
Joe G calls for a bid from an attentive crowd

Mike (a.k.a. Vanna) and Abigail
show us what we're bidding on.

After a rousing event, we're
still talking and comparing
notes about our plants.

Then we're back to Pat and
Erika to settle up and take
 our new acquisitions home.


Potting Clinic

Mike Cory began our session by demonstrating on an overgrown cymbidium.  Showing each step along the way he took it out of the pot so we could check out the roots and old potting medium.  He explained the 2 parts of a healthy root, how to trim off the old dead roots, why it's bad to have old medium.  He also told us many things about how to repot including whether to divide it into several smaller plants or leave it as one large specimen plant.  Then:  what size pot, bulb placement in the pot, where are the new growths, and allowance for 1-2 year's growth without over-potting.


It's important to clean your tools in between each plant so you don't transmit disease like virus.  You can get a small flame or use a gas stove.  Or use new tools like a one-sided razor blade that you throw away after each plant. 


He then discussed various potting media, small, medium or large.  You choose depending on the roots and how much water retention is necessary.  Since the current mix had Coconut husk, it needs to be rinsed well in hot water because of the salts it contains.  We then got to see how to hold the plant in the pot, add media and press it into place.


Next up, Mike showed us how to deal with a phalaenopsis with wild roots.  You re-pot when not in bloom and when new roots are starting to form.  Sometimes you have to soak the roots to make them more flexible and able to fit into a pot.


Experienced NWOS members then partnered up with attendees to repot their plants.  Advice was freely given and discussed amongst everyone if there were special questions.  By first demonstrating, and then with hands-on action, we learned all about how to repot our orchids.  They looked so much happier and healthier at the end of the evening.

Mike pulls an overgrown cymbidium out of
its pot and shows us the overgrown root ball
Mike, Chris and Abby discuss the finer
points of dealing with this cymbidium
Here Lillian shows one technique for dividing
the cymbidium...simply saw it in two
Alternately, Chris tears into a cymbidium
and pulls it apart with her hands. 
No need to be gentle with cyms!

Chris shows off the newly re-potted cymbidium

Abby, Mike and Chris show tools and
 how to sterilize after each plant

Mike selects the correct-sized
pot for the Phalaenopsis
Room full of interested orchid growers
Abigail and Nancy discuss a root
bound plant before continuing
Do we divide or not?
cleaning old media off the roots Ellen answers questions
Pat helps by watching and guiding so that
the plant is repotted with good technique
Mike P. demonstrates
Mike C. looks closely at the plants and gives his best suggestions
potting up sizing up the plant and getting good advice
Lillian consults on a small stick mounted orchid and again with a tiny one that's going into a pot
After a full evening of advice, everyone digs in now that they're confident in their new potting techniques

Schedule of Upcoming Events


April 7-8, 2018Spokane Orchid Society Show and Sale, Spokane, WA (see article above)


April 9, 2018 - NWOS meeting - Speaker:  Brenda Oviatt (Botanica Ltd), "Angraecoid Orchids - Keeping a Piece of Nature Alive" 


April 14-15, 2018 - Treasure Valley orchid Society Show, Boise, ID


April 21-22, 2018 - Oregon Orchid Society Show and Sale, Portland, OR (see article above)


May 14, 2018 - NWOS meeting - Speaker:  Wally Orchard, "Growing South African Disa"


June 11, 2018 - NWOS meeting - Annual Meeting, Gary Baker Service Award and Potluck Dinner

Reminder for Officers & Board Members


The schedule of Board Meetings for this membership year is: 5/8/18, 7/ ?? /18, 9/4/18, 11/6/18.  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