April 2012 - Bruce Kidd

Bruce KiddBruce Kidd

We are delighted to welcome Mr. Bruce Kidd who will speak to us on “Pest Management in Orchids”. Although Bruce is a retired professional pest control expert, his talk will be geared toward preventative measures for the hobbyist to avoid pest problems in orchid collections, be they large or small. This is a very timely talk and should not be missed, since we are entering the spring and summer growing seasons when such pests become more active and require proactive steps to avoid problems.

It’s been said that the only orchid growers who don’t have pests like scale and mites are the ones with bad eyes. Or, that there are two kinds of growers; those who already have pest problems, and those who will. As the size of your collection grows, problems created by crowding, neglect and the promiscuous exchange of plant material assure that sooner or later you will have most of the major pests either as tourists or residents in all the areas where you grow plants. 

A lot of the critters that live with us are too small to see with casual examination, and the damage they do to orchids is hard to recognize during the early stages when you still have a chance to do something about it. Many of the orchids you thought you couldn’t grow were probably doing fine until some biological agent got involved and began to weaken your plant. When the death certificate reads “over watering”, we need to understand that’s really just code for oxygen starvation and bacterial invasion through wounds, plus any bad karma you contribute. Water doesn’t kill plants, not without help.

The basics of orchid cultivation are environmentally driven, with temperature, light, water, media and fertility the most important. Take care of those and usually the orchid will do the rest, until the family cat knocks the plant over and breaks it. Can’t help you with that one! “Pest Management in Orchids” is about identification and control of common orchid maladies, using cultural techniques and a few miracle cures to illustrate the process. You’ll see some unusual pictures of orchids and the wildlife they attract, learn how the pests behave and how to discourage them safely. 

Bruce holds an M.Sc degree from the University of Arizona in Weed Science and lives in Murrieta with Yasue, his wife of 38 years. Bruce retired in 2010 from a 30-year career with Dow AgroSciences, where he worked as a technical sales representative marketing Dow’s products to the professional turf and ornamental industry. Some of his first experiences with orchids came while recommending pest control strategies for orchid growers in California and Hawaii. He is a past president of the San Diego County Cymbidium Society, a popular speaker at Southern California Orchid Societies, and an avid orchid enthusiast, growing about 500 very tough orchids in a greenhouse and outdoors. 

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm