Monthly Meeting

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.

Next Monthly Meeting

Next general meeting: October 4, 2023

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.

About Our Meetings

Our monthly meetings are a great way to share orchid growing experiences, learn about orchids from our members and expert speakers, and to meet and socialize with other orchid enthusiasts. Our members range in experience level from interested novice to commercial grower. Everyone is invited to attend and participate and guests are very much welcomed.

How the Meetings are Organized:
  • Culture Class
    During culture class, a society member or the speaker of the month will present some basic culture techniques and answer any questions about how to grow orchids.
  • General Society Business
    A brief overview of the current and recent activities of the society will be presented by our president. This is also a great opportunity to volunteer for activities or committees.
  • Monthly Speaker
    Our society strives to invite interesting and highly knowledgable speakers each month to present on orchid-related topics of a wide range.
  • Break for Refreshments
    This is a great opportunity to socialize and to admire the orchids brought in for "show and tell" or available on the opportunity table.
  • Member Orchid "Show and Tell"
    Members bring in their orchids and briefly introduce the plants
  • Raffle for Orchids from the Plant Table
    Here is your chance to help raise funds for the society and win a potentially award-worthy plant for very little money. Plants are typically provided by local growers and are often in bloom.

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

July 2023 – Peter Lin

Peter LinPeter LinWe welcome back Peter Lin, one of our favorite and very knowledgable speakers who will be presenting his newest talk:  Compact Vandaceous Species and Hybrids.  We will learn about the many different small growing species and hybrids within the Vanda alliance. Several of these orchids can be grown successfully outdoors in Southern California, depending on the parents involved in the hybrid or the species.  Peter’s fast-paced PowerPoint presentation will include many pictures along with cultural tips.  Peter also will be providing the plant opportunity table. The talk will be streamed on zoom for those members who can’t attend in person.

Peter started growing orchids over 30 years ago, but then stopped due to school and starting a career.  It wasn't until about 14 years ago that the orchid "bug" came back and he is now heavily involved once again.  He is an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society and a hybridizer of mini-catts.  He enjoys meeting with other orchid enthusiasts, and can often be found at various orchid shows and societies around the country.  He also has thousands of photos of his orchids that he maintains on Flickr.   Read more »

Wed, 07/05/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

June 2023 – Jack Zhu

Jack ZhuJack ZhuOur society is delighted to welcome Jack Zhu for the first time as our speaker on Wednesday, June 7th at 6:30 pm. Jack is a shared speaker with SDCOS and will speak with our sister society on Tuesday evening June 6th in Balboa Park. Jack will speak with us on the ‘Form and Color of Asian Cymbidiums’.  He will give a brief introduction of Asian cymbidium history as well as the main species typically accepted in the Asian cymbidium culture. Then, Jack will go into details about the various flower forms and colors of various Asian cymbidiums. In the end, Jack will briefly go over another talk he is working on, the leaf variegation of Asian cymbidiums and conduct a potting demo on Asian cymbidiums. It is a talk not to be missed. Jack also will supply this month’s plant table.

Jack Zhu is an orchid hobbyist from the Los Angeles area, who focuses on growing Asian cymbidiums and is also very interested in the culture and history of Asia cymbidiums. In addition to growing cymbidiums, Jack also grows a variety of orchids and plants including Neofinetia falcatas, Phalaenopsis, and novel clivias, just to name a few.  He is currently an Associate Judge in the AOS Pacific South Judging Region and has more than twenty AOS awards for his Asian cymbidiums and related orchids, some of which are highlighted in this newsletter.  

Wed, 06/07/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

May 2023 – Fred Clarke

Fred ClarkeFred ClarkeWe welcome back this month, Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids, one of our most favorite and impressive speakers. Fred will present a new talk entitled ‘Modern Blue Cattleyas’ that reviews the successes he has had in developing novel blue and spotted blue cattleyas by using several of the blue or coerulea cattleya species available to hybridizers. Fred also will discuss orchid culture and repotting which is a very timely topic as we enter the spring repotting and dividing season.  Fred will be providing the plant opportunity table so bring yourself and friends for a very interesting and stimulating talk. If you are unable to attend in person, we will be streaming Fred’s talk on zoom.

Most of our members know Fred Clarke well, since he is a frequent speaker, a life member, friend and long-time supporter of our society.  For those of you who do not know him, Fred has been growing orchids for 42 years and has been hybridizing for 38 of those years. With over 34 years as a professional grower and manager in the horticultural industry, Fred applies these skills at his orchid nursery, Sunset Valley Orchids, located in Vista, California, just north of San Diego. His website has a wealth of information on growing orchids, many pictures of his award-winning orchids, as well as a variety of orchid genera for sale.   Read more »

Wed, 05/03/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

April 2023 – Gilberto Castro

Gilberto CastroGilberto CastroWe are delighted to welcome Gilberto Castro, a native of Brazil, to speak to our society for the first time on Wednesday, April 5th. Gilberto will talk about the Brazilian Amazon and share with us some of his extensive knowledge of the Amazon to tell us what it is like, show some pictures of the area and highlight some of the orchids that can be seen there. 

Gilberto is definitely a longtime expert on the Amazon and, since 2006 when he built his Houseboat ‘Otter’, he has conducted many expeditions using the Otter including 5 trips since 2015 for the Orchid Conservation Alliance. SDCOS’s Peter Tobias, who organizes trips for the OCA, will be hosting Gilberto during his visit to San Diego.  Gilberto also will be speaking to SDCOS members on this same topic on Tuesday evening, April 4th in Balboa Park. 

Gilberto Castro was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 8, 1949. He lived in the US from 1965 to 1966, attending as a junior at Benson High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He returned to Brazil to continue his education and graduated in Natural History at the "Instituto de Biologia", “Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro" in 1972, and at the “Faculdade de Educação” of the “Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro" in 1973.   Read more »

Wed, 04/05/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

March 2023 – Culture Class

Our March meeting represents the first culture meeting of the year that features two our very experienced orchid growers, Ken Campbell and Jerry Spencer, who will share their orchid knowledge with us. Ken will speak to us about pest and virus management.  Ken has considerable experience in growing orchids in his small greenhouse that contains both mounted and potted cattleyas, phalaenopsis and hanging vandas. Ken says that if managing the temperature, the amount of light, and an irrigation and fertilization schedule isn’t enough of a challenge growing orchids, let’s not forget dealing with our friends the orchid pests.  Creepy little things like aphids, mealy bugs, scale, snails and the like.  In his presentation, Ken will talk about how to detect the presence of these unwanted visitors, identify who they are, and then successfully deal with them.   Lastly, no discussion regarding orchid threats would fail to include at least a few words about orchid viruses… so he will have a brief discussion covering that topic as well.      

Jerry Spencer will discuss his ‘5 Favorite Orchids’ why they are his favorites, where he grows them, what they like/dislike and when they bloom. As most of you are aware, Anita and Jerry Spencer are well-known for their award-winning orchids and their specialization in specimen size orchids that have won many local and AOS awards. Some of those award winners will be featured in Jerry’s presentation.

Both talks should be very educational for members new to growing orchids as well as our more experienced orchid enthusiasts and are well worth attending to broaden your orchid knowledge.

Jerry and Anita will be providing this month’s plant table.

Wed, 03/01/2023 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm