Welcome to the Palomar Orchid Society Website!

The Palomar Orchid Society, incorporated in December of 1965 was formed when a few people banded together to talk about orchids. We then grew and bloomed into the roughly 200-member group of orchid enthusiasts that we have today. We represent everything orchid in North San Diego County! Come and join us!!

The Palomar Orchid Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and cultivation of both hybrid and species orchids. We welcome members of all levels to join us for orchid fun and learning! Our mission is to promote interest in the appreciation of orchids and to provide an opportunity for their display and the exchange and dissemination of information relating to their culture.

Next Monthly Meeting

April 2, 2014 - Pavilion at Lake San Marcos

2014 Orchid Auction

The Palomar Orchid Society meets at 6:30 pm the FIRST WEDNESDAY of every month at the Lake San Marcos Pavilion (1105 La Bonita Dr., San Marcos, CA 92078). Traveling on State Route 78, take the Rancho Santa Fe exit and head South. The entrance to the Lake San Marcos Resort is about a mile South of the San Marcos Blvd. intersection. Traveling on I5 South from Oceanside and North Carlsbad, take the Palomar Airport exit and turn right onto Rancho Santa Fe. Traveling North on I5 from South Carlsbad and Encinitas, for example, take the La Costa Ave. exit and turn left onto Rancho Santa Fe. The entrance to the resort will be the first right after the fire station in San Marcos.

Inside the resort at the first "T" intersection, turn left on San Marino Drive. At the next 4-way STOP, turn right on La Bonita Drive. Proceed ahead for one block on La Bonita. The pavilion will be on the left and there is parking in front of the pavilion.

NOTE: The Palomar Orchid Society will hold its 2014 Orchid Auction on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Pavilion at Lake San Marcos. Preview starts at 10:00 am and the auction begins at 11:00 am. More details.

There will be NO MAY GENERAL MEETING, instead, we will be having a volunteer training session on May 7.

April 2014 - Culture Class with Jerry Spencer & Merle Robboy

April’s program will be devoted to orchid culture and feature two of our experienced orchid growers who will discuss cultural aspects of interest to our members.  Jerry Spencer will speak on "Growing Specimen Orchid Plants", while Dr. Merle Robboy will address "Purchasing Orchid Plants for Coastal and Inland Areas and Adapting Plants for Your Growing Conditions." Following their talks will be a Q & A session moderated by Alex Nadzan. Members are encouraged to submit questions in advance on any topic they would like to bring up (call 760-753-6280 or email to anandzan@mac.com) or just raise them at the meeting.  Participants also are welcome to bring in their problem plants for diagnosis; however, please bring plants in either paper or plastic bags if they appear to be infected with a disease in order to minimize transmission to other plants.  We encourage all members to actively participate in the discussion.

The opportunity table is to be supplied by Rex Foster Orchids that will include a number of their novel cattleya alliance hybrids and some select species.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

POS Wins Batchman Trophy for 'Best Orchid Society Display' at the 2014 SDCOS Spring Show

The Palomar Orchid Society Exhibit won Best Orchid Society Exhibit at the San Diego County Orchid Society's 2014 Spring Show & Sale. Many of our members and supporters received ribbon awards for their plants and trophies for their wonderful exhibits.

March 2014 General Meeting

Many thanks to Debra Funakoshi for taking these pictures.

March 2014 – Fred Clarke

We are fortunate to have Fred Clarke as our speaker for March. Fred ClarkeFred ClarkeFred is a long time, generous supporter of the Palomar Orchid Society and one of our most favorite speakers. Fred will be talking on “Growing Catasetums”. His presentation will describe catasteum species and hybrids and share with us tips on how to grow this very interesting class of deciduous orchids. Fred’s talk is not to be missed, as he is an excellent speaker who has lectured on many orchid subjects in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Latin and South America. Fred is also providing the plant table, which will likely include some of his new catasetums hybrids as well as novel cattleyas hybrids.

As many of you know, Fred is a passionate orchid grower and hybridizer whose curiosity in orchids is broad and varied. Accordingly, Fred has created many new hybrids across several orchid classes. Although developing new cattleya hybrids has been a long-standing, primary interest of Fred, he also has produced new Aussie dendrobium, bulbophyllum, paphiopedilum, sarcochillus and zygopetalum hybrids. Moreover, his pioneering work in catasetum intergeneric hybrids led to the development of several unique hybrids, including the grex, Fredclarkeara After Dark, which produced “the closest flower color to black ever witnessed”. To date, this grex has received eight FCCs and six AMs.   Read more »

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

February 2014 General Meeting

January 2014 General Meeting

February 2014 - Sandra Tillisch Svoboda

Sandra Tillisch SvobodaSandra Tillisch SvobodaWe are pleased to welcome Sandra Tillisch Svoboda, current President of the American Orchid Society, who will be speaking on "Breeding with Recently Described Paphiopedilums from Vietnam".  Sandra’s visit is jointly hosted by the Palomar and the San Diego County Orchid Societies.  Accordingly, she will present a talk on Tuesday, February 4 to the San Diego Society on “The Orchids of Bhutan” for those of you who are interested in that topic. This month’s plant table for will be provided by Casa de las Orquideas.

Growing up in Minnesota, Sandra's only exposure to orchids was that prom corsage. After graduating with a degree in nursing, she moved to California and ended up in Santa Barbara. She began her orchid life as a pot washer for her husband Al and became fascinated with the history of her husband's complex paph collection, which included many of the oldies like Paph. F.C. Puddle. Al's knowledge, love, and enthusiasm for orchids were contagious and when they built a second greenhouse, she decided it would be hers and that was the moment that orchids became an important part of her life.    Read more »

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

January 2014 - Dan Newman

We are pleased to welcome Dan Newman of Hanging Gardens, Pacifica, CA, who will be speaking to us on ‘Dan NewmanDan Newman’. The genus Dendrobium is one of the largest and most complex orchid genera of Asia, Australia, and the Pacific, encompassing a great number of horticultural gems among its 1000-plus species.  People often ask how to grow Dendrobiums.  There is no simple answer for such a diverse group of plants, occurring in habitats ranging from the monsoonal foothills of the high Himalayas to the perpetually cool alpine grasslands and steamy lowland swamps of equatorial New Guinea, and from the tropical forests of remote Pacific islands to the temperate, seasonal regions of southern Australia.  Dan’s talk will focus on several popular sections of the genus, starting in the Himalayas and Southeast Asia and working southward to New Guinea and the Pacific, with photos of representative species and discussion of their culture in the context of the habitats where they originate.  The goal of this presentation is to encourage interest in these fascinating orchids and provide useful information about their cultivation.  Dan will be providing the plant opportunity table and also will be giving a talk on ‘Minature Orchids’ to the San Diego Society on Tuesday, January 7 at 7:00 pm should you desire to take in both of his talks.     Read more »

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

January To Do List


  • Short days and cold nights in January will keep most of your orchids in a semi-dormant growth state but Fall/Winter blooming orchids will initiate spikes at this time.  Watch them very carefully and cut back on water and fertilizer as cooler days and nights prevail.
  • Protect your outdoor orchids from winter rains.  Keeping them on the dryer side will allow them to tolerate the cold winter nights we tend to experience in Southern California.  Water and fertilize sparingly during winter warm spells.
  • As watering and fertilizing practices diminish for winter, be sure to leach your plants thoroughly. Make your last thorough watering a leaching process in order to address 'salt built up' issues before diminished watering starts. Roots should readily be able to absorb the little water and nutrients that they may get during this period. Roots heavily encrusted with excess minerals are not able to absorb the ones they need and may develop deficiencies or even excess toxic levels during dryer conditions.
  • Keep cold-sensitive, warm growing orchids (phals, paphs, tolumnias, most vandas and warm growing dendrobiums and cattleyas such as violacea, dowiana and their hybrids) inside or in a greenhouse to protect them from night temperatures below 50°F. An excellent article on ‘Cold Tolerance of Orchids’ by Sue Bottom of the St. Augustine Orchid Society can be found in their October Newsletter (pgs. 9-11)
  • Cold loving orchids, including odontoglossums, miltonias, pleurothallids, masdevallias, draculas, will thrive in cool weather and respond by initiating growth so continue to water and fertilize them during this period but also protect from freezing temps. Take this opportunity to divide or repot them during their winter growth period to encourage new growth and avoid the stress of repotting during the warm season.
  • Winter blooming cattleyas and cymbidiums should be in bud or full bloom by now. Provide adequate water and fertilizer, but do so in the mornings so plants dry out before nightfall. Stake cymbidium spikes to guide inflorescences for support of buds and blooms.
  • Maintain good hygiene practices to minimize transmission of pests and viruses. Watch for fungus, bacterial rot and cold burn in cold and wet weather. Remove infected tissues and treat accordingly. More information on treating these disorders can be found on the AOS website.
  • More details on monthly checklist items for specific genera can be found on the AOS website