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

Next general meeting: May 1, 2024

The Palomar Orchid Society generally meets at 6:30 pm the FIRST WEDNESDAY of every month in the Gowland Meeting Room of the Carlsbad City Library. The George and Patricia Gowland Meeting Room is located in the Carlsbad City Library on Dove Lane, just off El Camino Real in southern Carlsbad. The address is 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011.

April 2024 - Ron Midgett "Kaleidoscope: Breeding with Cattleya Horace ‘Maxima’ AM/AOS"

Ron Midgett          Ron MidgettOur society is delighted to welcome back Ron Midgett from New Earth Orchids. Ron is a shared speaker with our sister society, SDCOS, and will speak Tuesday, April 2nd in Balboa Park on “Green with Envy: Green Cattleyas—Origins” 

On April 3rd, Ron will speak to us on his breeding experiences with Cattleya Horace ‘Maxima’ AM/AOS.   He will explore the fascinating range of colors that crosses with this fabulous parent can create. Ron has personally done crosses with C. Horace with strong yellows among others to create an array of colors. This attribute of breeding with C. Horace seems to be unique to this particular parent. The bonus is that C. Horace hybrids are easy to grow and that Horace imparts good form and size to the hybrid’s flowers.

Ron Midgett began growing orchids in 1969 in the orchid-rich environment of Southern California.  Since then, he has grown orchids in many different regions of the US and in the Caribbean for three years.  Currently, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He is a breeder with an emphasis on Cattleyas, Paphiopedilums, and Oncidinae.  Several cultivars from his crosses have received AOS awards.  

 In 1990, Ron founded the New England Orchid Company in Franklin, MA.  In 2003, he moved his orchid business to New Jersey and changed the name to New Earth Orchid Co., aka New Earth Orchids.  In 2010, New Earth Orchids was moved to Santa Fe, NM.    Read more »

Wed, 04/03/2024 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

March 2024 - Jerry Spencer and Alex Nadzan - Repotting and Dividing Your Orchids

Alex Nadzan & Jerry Spencer           Alex and JerryAs we begin the 2024 orchid growing season, our first culture meeting of the year will focus on the basics of repotting and dividing orchids and provide demonstrations on repotting orchids that are easy to grow in our Southern California climate.  The presentation will feature two of our very experienced growers, Jerry Spencer and Alex Nadzan. Alex will begin the session with reviewing repotting basics that should help both beginners and more seasoned growers prepare for the busiest part of our orchid growing season. He will provide tips and valuable sources for supplies and will pot and divide a cattleya orchid or two.

Anita and Jerry Spencer are well-known for growing and showing award-winning, large specimen plants so Jerry will share his techniques on dividing and repotting a large specimen cymbidium orchid. During the presentation, Alex and Jerry will address any repotting questions you may have so bring them to the meeting.  

This should be a very interesting and educational session for all who want to get a head start on the upcoming orchid growing season.  The session also will provide an incentive for members to produce divisions of your collections for our upcoming POS sale over the weekend of May 24-27 at the San Diego Botanic Garden’s World of Orchids Show (May 4-27) in Encinitas.

 Finally, the plant table this month will be provided by one of our local orchid growers.

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

February 2024 - Donna Ballard

Donna BallardDonna BallardOur society welcomes for the first time Donna Ballard of the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society who will talk to us on ‘Growing Orchids in the Middle of a Drought’. Although we are not under drought conditions at this time, most of our summers and falls in Southern California experience serious drought conditions and we can clearly benefit from Donna’s experience and suggestions for managing our orchids under such conditions. Donna is a shared speaker with our sister society SDCOS and she will be speaking on ‘The Difference Between Orchid Seedlings and Meristem Clones’ on Tuesday, February 6th in Balboa Park, Casa de Prado, Room 101 and Zoom Simulcast at 7:30 pm
Donna is a native Californian, and is an Accredited American Orchid Society Judge. After over 30 years of loving, caring for and studying plants, she went on to work as a professional interior house plant maintenance technician until 4 years ago. She has since retired and works as a part time volunteer at the Huntington Botanical Garden’s Thornton Estate Orchid Conservatory in San Marino. She currently has approximately 460 sq. feet of greenhouse, shade house and interior growing areas where she has over 1300 Cattleyas, Paphiopedilums, Cymbidiums, Dendrobiums, Sarcochilus, miniature Vandas and novelty Phalaenopsis orchids as well as several other genera.
This month’s opportunity table will be from one of our local growers.
Wed, 02/07/2024 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

January 2024 - Carol Beule

Carol BeuleCarol BeuleWe are delighted to welcome Carol Beule from Holllywood Hills to our society as our first speaker of 2024. Carol will talk on ‘Sarchochilus’ a wonderful compact species from Australia that does well in our Southern California climate. While Sarcochilus can be grown in a greenhouse, they can easily grow alongside cattleyas and any other outdoor growing orchids in our area. The species have been extensively hybridized to produce Sarcos in a variety of colors and sizes and, as such, they are perfect additions to every orchid enthusiast’s collection. Most are compact but they also can develop into large specimen plants. Carol will discuss how to grow Sarcochilus and share her extensive knowledge of this interesting class of orchids. 

Carol is a shared speaker with our sister society, SDCOS, who will give a talk on ‘Lycastes’ on Tuesday evening, January 2 at 6:30 pm in Balboa Park should any of our members desire to attend in person or participate on Zoom.

Carol has grown all species of orchids since purchasing a home at the base of the Hollywood Hills 25 years ago, and it has been her quest to discover which orchids will thrive in the unique climate she has in the San Fernando Valley and the surrounding communities. In the search to find the perfect plant for her growing area, Carol now grows Neofinetia (Vanda) falcata, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Laelia, Dendrobium, Lycaste, Asian Cymbidiums and Rossioglossum orchids on her patio and in two small greenhouses.   Read more »

Wed, 01/03/2024 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

December 2023 - Holiday Dinner

Our 2023 Holiday Dinner will be held on December 6, 2023 starting at 6:30 pm in the George and Patricia Gowland Meeting Room located in the Carlsbad City Library. Dinner will be catered at the cost of $30 per person, which includes good Chinese food, soft drinks, water and delicious desserts. Every guest will be gifted a blooming or near blooming orchid.

Please mail the completed RSVP form by November 27th to Bill Wong with your check made payable to the Palomar Orchid Society. We cannot accept payment and/or walk-ins at the day of the event.

Wed, 12/06/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

November 2023 - George Hatfield's Webinar on "Cultural Techniques for Growing Award-Winning Cymbidiums'

The onset of fall initiates the cymbidium flowering season that can last through late spring to early summer.  Accordingly, we felt it would be good to review cymbidium culture at this time. As an affiliate member of AOS, our society has access to a large number of webinars featuring excellent orchid experts on a variety of topics.  George Hatfield, cymbidium hybridizer and grower extraordinaire, produced an excellent webinar on how he grows award-winning cymbidiums. George covers numerous cultural techniques that allow him to produce such beautiful cymbidiums. He also addresses pests and diseases. We will feature George’s video, then ask Jerry Spencer and Alex Nadzan to answer any questions that you may have on cymbidium culture. November’s opportunity table will be from Cal-Orchid.

 George Hatfield holds a Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science from California State Polytechnic University. He was President of the American Orchid Society from 2016-2018 and received the Hudlow Trophy from the Cymbidium Society of America recognizing his achievements in Cymbidium hybridizing.

 George is the owner of Hatfield Orchids, a Ventura County, CA based company, initiated in 2005 with focus on the development of high quality and award-winning cymbidiums. He is an accredited orchid judge for both the CSA and AOS.  George is also a past-president of the CSA and was the Chairman of the CSA Cymbidium Congress from 1998-2001 and president of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show in 2002 and 2003. 

Wed, 11/01/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

October 2023 – Doug Overstreet

Doug OverstreetDoug OverstreetWe are delighted to welcome Douglas Overstreet, Orchid Specialist of the Thornton Conservatory at the Huntington Botancial Garden. Doug will present his talk on ‘My 10 Favorite Oncidiums, Some of Which are Still Oncidiums’. Doug is a shared speaker with our sister society, SDCOS, and he will be presenting the same topic on Tuesday in Balboa Park.’ Doug is a very experienced orchidist who has extensive knowledge on a large number of orchid genera. His talk will present a selection of beautiful and enjoyable species of plants in the Oncidiinae alliance that are easy to locate and grow in southern California. All of the plants used to be considered as genus Oncidium but some have been moved into other genera in the past few years. A brief explanation of these changes will be presented along with specific cultural considerations for each species. This month’s plant table will come from one of our local nurseries.

Douglas Overstreet has grown orchids continually since he was 10 years old. He comes by his interest in plants and animals naturally. His family have been American farmers since 1684. 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.    Read more »

Wed, 10/04/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

September 2023 – Tim Culbertson

Tim CulbertsonTim CulbertsonWe are delighted to welcome back one of our favorite speakers, Tim Culbertson. Tim will be speaking on ‘Encyclias of Mexico and Beyond’.  This is a very timely talk as many members of the Encyclia family are blooming at this time so Tim’s presentation will be very educational for our members.  These spectacular cattleya relatives grow well outside in Southern California, and with their compact habit, great fragrance, and ease of growth, these are delightful plants for every collection.  By extending the traditional definition of Encyclias to include recently separated groups like Anacheilum, Panarica, Prosthechea, Euchile, and others that Tim and many of us grew up calling Encyclia, we end up with a diverse, beautiful, fragrant, exciting group of plants and flowers. If we add those to the wonderful flora of Mexico and Central America, we have a group that every collector should grow.  By the end of this presentation, members will have a new appreciation of the range of plant habits, floral forms, and fragrances of Encyclia broadly, as well as an appreciation of their lovely flowers and ease-of-growth.  This is a talk not to be missed. Tim also will be providing this month’s plant table.   Read more »

Wed, 09/06/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

August 2023 – Satomi Kasahara

Satomi KasaharaSatomi KasaharaWe are pleased to welcome this month’s speaker Satomi Kasahara of Seed Engei who will speak about Neofinetia falcata, a native orchid of Japan. She is being jointly hosted by our society and SDCOS and will speak on the same topic in Balboa Park on Tuesday evening. Satomi will talk about the history of the plants, their basic characteristics, how to grow them, changes in Fūkiran over the past 15 years and will conduct a potting demo. Satomi also will be providing the plant table this month. Recently, the genus Neofinetia has been reclassified as Vanda but many hobbyists prefer to still refer to them as Neofinetias or Fūkiran.

Satomi has been running Seed Engei America for a little more than 10 years. Seed Engei is the family business in Japan that has specialized in Fūkiran (Neofinetia falcata) for 45 years. She started to be part of the business in 2006 after graduating from college in the USA. During this period, she has successfully expanded the popularity of Fūkiran in USA with help from various people in the orchid world. Satomi has fond memories of Fūkiran since she was very little. Her father’s greenhouse was her go to spot for hide and seek with friends and her first job was to find tiny bugs on small Fūkiran for her father. As time passed, she came to understand the differences and beauty of these small but magnificent plants.    Read more »

Wed, 08/02/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm