February 2003 News


President’s Message
The executive has made some changes to make life easier for everyone.  That is if everyone would follow a few simple rules.
The Society rents the floral hall starting at 12 noon.  That means that sellers are NOT to be all set up at noon as many were at the January meeting.
If you have plants for the Society sale table drop them off and sit or help at the Society table--NOT walk around looking at the other sellers plants.
The time slot 12 to 12:30 is for sales setup only.
Why come before 12:30 to stand in line, the hall is closed till then.
There are sellers and buyers carrying large boxes of plants out while the guest speakers are on.  This is extremely rude and disruptive.
The people (sellers and buyers) who are flaunting these simple rules know who they are. 
I will not say anything further on this subject.
If we go back to the ZOO we had before we tried reform then "So be it!" 


February 2, 2003  

Once again, we dip into the pool of talent at the Great Lakes Judging Centre.  Our guest speaker will be John Doherty of Zephyrus Orchids and an accredited AOS judge.  John operates his commercial venture, featuring Phals, Phrags, and Onc Intergenerics, near Windsor Ontario.  However, he is better known as a world authority on the genus Cypripedium.  He has written numerous articles for the AOS bulletin and the Orchid Digest Corp. and presented his fascinating talk all over the world, Vancouver, Japan, England, etc.  We know so little about our native slipper orchids and John has a wealth of knowledge to share.  Don’t miss this educational and entertaining talk.


March 2, 2003             Nuts ‘n Bolts” 

This program does not feature any famous name.  It does feature the most important, the knowledgeable.  This presentation will cover crucial cultural techniques, plant grooming and transportation to shows and even, up to date importation information.  We have called upon some of our own experienced growers to share their secrets and to answer questions.


Your program committee seeks to please the membership. If you have ideas for useful programs or perhaps know of subjects or speakers that we could all benefit from, don’t hesitate to tell Doug Kennedy (905 727-3319) or Marion Williams (416 489-1991) about it.


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Show Table 

Here are the winners from the monthly show table.  I would like to thank everyone who brought in plants.  We had more than 60 entries, and with the great display, multiple ribbons were awarded where it was worthy.


Class 1:  Cattleya Alliance

First:                Erika Lorincz               Soph. cernua var. mineira

Second             Chee Chong             Epi. laucheanum


Class 2:  Paphs and Phrags

First:                Jean Chang             Paph. (Via Quatal ‘Coraj Queen’ x Candy Apple ‘Ching Hua’)

Second:            Jean Chang             Phrag. Paul Eugene Conroy

Second:            Anita Kho                 Paph. Spring Tree ‘Carimo’ AM/AOS

Second:            Chee Chong             Paph. venustum var. album

Third:              Joe O’Regan                      Paph. Ansum

Third:              Terry Kowalczuk            Phrag. schlimii

Third:              Jean Chang             Phrag. besseae

Third:              Jean Chang             Paph. primulinum


Class 3:  Vanda Alliance

First:                Yvan Richard                        Phal. Yung Ho

First:                Jeff Snape               Ryhnchostylis gigantea

Second:            Stanley Luk                  Angraecum sesquipedale

Second:            Yvan Richard                        Phal. Talin Spot  ‘Sun Moon’

Third:              Yvan Richard                        Phal. Pink Twilight


Class 4:  Oncidium, Brassia & Odontoglossum Alliance

First:                Jeff Snape               Onc. ishmii

Second:            Joe O’Regan                      Odont. bictonense

Third:              Anita Kho                 Odtna. Yellow Parade ‘Alpine’


Class 6:  Dendrobium

First:                Jeff Snape               Den. spectabile

Second:            Stanley Luk                  Dendrobium bellatulum

Second:            Sigrid Taylor              Den.((Swallow x Yuki daruma ‘King’)x Utopia Messenger)

Third:              Roger Sheng              Den. Hagasaki


Class 7:  All Others, Miscellaneous Genera

First;                Roger Sheng              Angulocaste Santa Barbara

Second:            Jeff Snape               Lycaste Shoalhaven (‘Snow White’ x ‘Icicles’)

Second:            Erika Lorincz               Mormodes sinuata

Third:              Jill Snape               Coelogyne speciosa


Plant of the Month

This month our plant of the month was once again won by our amazing grower, Erika Lorincz for her plant of Sophronitis cernua var. mineira.  This plant was originally obtained in the mid 80’s, so she has been growing it for quite some time.  As the plant grew over the years, the mount which was outgrown was merely expanded with more pieces of cork and tied together  It spends the summer outside in a lath house, and winters somewhat warmer in a south facing bay window.  The plant enjoys cool nights, as Erika closes the curtains to enclose the bay window and separate it from the heat in the rest of the house.  Erika waters the plant once a week, using rain water and a weak fertilizer.  The plant has grown so much, that this once a week is enough as the root mass itself is able to hold a fair amount of water.  The plant grows very quickly into a specimen plant, at least for Erika, and easily puts out multiple leads.  This variety should not be confused with the regular cernua, which Erika claims definitely grows much slower, even for her.  The slower growing variety is not all bad though, as it tends to produce more flowers per growth. 


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Notes from the Library: A reminder to all members about the extensive resources available at the library in the Civic Garden Centre. The library is located on the lower level of the Centre just past the Gift Shop. By showing your current S.O.O.S. membership card, you may borrow books. The books will be due back on the next meeting day (instead of the usual three-week loan period). The helpful staff at the library will direct you to the orchid related books and magazines. These books and magazines have been purchased by the Southern Ontario Orchid Society and housed in the library at the Garden Centre to make them easily accessible to all of us. Future “Notes” will highlight some of the material in the collection, both old and new. 

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Coming Events



1, Toronto Centre, Judging , 1 pm Civic Garden Centre.2,SOOS meeting 12:30 pm , Civic Garden Centre

22,23, Greater Lansing Orchid Society show, Lansing.


1, Toronto Centre, Judging , 1 pm Civic Garden Centre.2,SOOS meeting 12:30 pm , Civic Garden Centre

8-9, London Orchid Society Show.

12-16, Canada Blooms.19-23, AOS Members, Hilo OS. Hawaii22-23, Orchidexpo Montreal

28, Genesee Region Show, Rochester, NY

29, RBG Orchid Society Show, Burlington


4-6, Toronto MAOC, COC, SOOS Show, Toronto, ON


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Annino & Giuseppina Baldassini

Kuan Kuai Chi

Sandy Gillians

William E. Hewitt

Stanley Luk

Cindie McGloine

William & Janice Rogers

Winnie Ross

John Sievenpiper


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AOS Judging Results

Toronto Centre, January 4

Chondroryncha chestertonii 'Cloud's Lemon Fritz' CHM/AOS 82 points, Claudio Rossi, Toronto.

Dendrochilum luzonense 'Trembling Tails' CHM/AOS 82 points, Terry and Doug Kennedy, Vandorf.

Toronto Centre, The Toronto Judging Centre monthly judgings are open to all orchid growers. You need not be a member of AOS or SOOS. You can bring your plants to the Civic Garden Centre before one o'clock on the designated Saturday of each month. Plants are judged for AOS awards in accordance with the Handbook on Judging and Exhibition. If your plant is awarded there is a US $35 charge for AOS members, US $55 for non AOS members. Non payment forfeits the right to future judging.The Centre welcomes interested persons to come and observe the judging. There are opportunities to assist in plant research and administrative chores, such as registering plants, sorting and filing slides. Sitting in on the judgings is a great way to learn more about your favourite plants. There is no obligation to join.

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Inge's January 2003 programme notes. Dr Don Garling of Michigan, USA gave us a very interesting talk on "Pest and Disease Control with Home Remedies and Magic Potions". I could not write fast enough to get everything down, but I hope these notes refresh your memory on a few important points.

Orchid diseases can have physiological, nutritional, cultural, viral, bacterial/fungal or parasitic pest infestations as their cause.

An example of a physiological cause could be a genetic defect that prevents a plant from blooming. An example of a nutritionally caused problem could be the same lack of flowering caused by a fertilizer that is not right for the medium the plant is grown in. For instance a high nitrogen fertilizer is fine for a bark based medium, because decaying bark uses a lot of nitrogen, but the same high nitrogen fertilizer used on a plant in an inert medium such as expanded clay pellets may result in a lot of green growth but no flowers.

Correct culture is of paramount importance, because with incorrect culture the plant is stressed and will fall prey to pests, diseases or mimic physiological defects or show nutritional deficiencies. Don recommends the fertilizer put together by John Beerbaum for the Michigan State University. It comes in two formulations, one for deionized water and one for the well water in use at MSU. He has had fantastic results with it and has seen equally impressive growth spurts in other peoples' greenhouses as a result of switching to this formulation. ( Previous speakers Dick wells and Lynn O’Shaunessy confirmed this opinion )( I cannot say that I have noticed any difference between it and the Plant Product fertilizers I have been using Ed. )

For a plant to become diseased you must have a susceptible host plant, have a pest or pathogen present and stress the plant in some way.

Stress can be defined as any condition that predisposes a plant to disease. Such conditions could be keeping that plant colder than optimal, warmer than optimal, too bright, too dark, too wet(causes roots to die), watering with poor quality water or injuring the plant. Also remember that what is optimal for one plant is deadly for another. Grow what fits the conditions you can provide.

To deal with disease: The best strategy is prevention! Quarantine newly acquired plants for 3 to 4 weeks to prevent spread of anything they may harbor. Try to pick out healthy plants! And only buy plants that grow well under YOUR growing conditions (easier said than done!!). For instance if your growing conditions provide wet winters then don't get Chinese paphs. or brachypetalum paphs. because they will rot on you in the winter.

Have a plant police who inspect all plants given for auctions, raffles, plants contributed to an exhibit in our annual show or a SOOS display in another show and sales plants. If a problem is spotted the owner should be tactfully asked to remove the plant.

Study the correct culture of your plants. For instance cattleyas need good drainage and drying between watering to not rot, while masdevallias never want to dry out. Knowledge is power! Purchase the newest AOS Handbook on Orchid Pests and Diseases. The recommendations change as the available treatments change. There is a good book on Orchid Viruses and one on Natural Insect Control available that are essential reading. Try the AOS mail order bookshop, as their selection is extensive.

Never dunk two or more plants into the same container of water . It is a great way to spread diseases from one plant to all the plants that are dunked into the water the diseased plant had been immersed in.

To treat a disease, you have to know your orchid. What cultural conditions it needs, what it is susceptible to and how the disease shows up in the particular orchid. The same cause shows different symptoms in different genera.

For example, Cattleyas are susceptible to viruses and you must find out what the symptoms are. They are also susceptible to boisduval scale. Phalaenopsis on the other hand are susceptible to virus, to mealybugs, especially nasty are root mealybugs, as well as brown scale, botrytis of the flowers in cool weather and false spider mite in dry environments.

Always be on the look-out for signs of disease so that you can catch it early. If yellow spots appear on leaves check on the reverse and identify the causal agent. Know the life cycle of pests and diseases so that you can look at the right time and place for the particular agent of disease. For instance, scales have a crawler stage and an adult stage where the latter protects the eggs under its body shell. Now (January) is the time to look for boisduval scale, because the crawlers are hatching fast and furious and must be controlled quickly to save cattleyas and other genera such as cymbidiums.

You have to know how a pest or disease agent is transmitted so that you can take precautions. You must also know how to control the disease agent. For instance, control aphids because they not only damage soft plant parts, but transmit viruses between plants.


There is no cure for it, therefore burn infected plants. However, there are virus look-alikes and you must make sure you do have a virus by having it tested. Virus look-alikes can be genetic abnormalities, some fungal and bacterial infections, mesophyll collapse(may be caused by cold water shock- to prevent it use a faucet attachment that contains a thermometer, as is used in bathroom shower heads and get continuous adjustment to a pre-set temperature), botrytis petal blight, sepal wilt (caused by such things as alcohol in the air), sunburn, tip burn (can be caused by over-fertilization or fungus infection) and insect damage such as false spider mite damage.

Virus Detection: Can use indicator plants, but it is not easy to do it correctly ( the juice of the tested plant must be rubbed onto the leaf of the indicator plant with Carborundum powder using just the right pressure so that the epidermis is ruptured but not so hard that the mesophyll collapses and the injury can't be told apart from the collapse caused by the reaction of the indicator plant to virus infection. Also the indicator plants are not always easy to get or grow.)

A better method is any one of several biochemical assays done by various labs. The most frequent test is the ELISA test (Enzyme Linked ImmunoabSorbent Assay?). Don also mentioned a SIN(?) and an ENTA(?) test.

The best method is examining a sample of the plant in question with an electron microscope. Bean mosaic virus for example is easy to see with this microscope. You may make a deal with a lab or a university to get it done, because you have to be trained to use such a microscope.

Many plants are symptom free but carry a virus anyway. It has been estimated that 30% of any collection is virused! It used to be said that paphiopedilums do not get viruses, but a recent test of a paph collection came up with a 4% infection rate. Plants long in cultivation and used for the cut flower trade are most likely to be infected. For instance Paph. King Arthur from the tested collection was infected.

Virus Transmission: Manual transmission by the use of unsterilized tools, pots, table tops, benches, hands, reused water for watering several plants, is the most frequent cause.

Insect transmission as mentioned before for aphids, is also frequent.

Propagules are also found on seeds harvested by green pod culture, in divisions of virused plants and in mericlones obtained from virused plants.The latter source is responsible for the huge increase of virused plants in collections, since mericlones were first produced in an attempt to rid a plant of a virus. It does not work for most genera. If carefully done it sometimes works for cymbidiums.

Virus Control: Purchase only plants from vendors that guarantee their plants to be virus free. Check periodically, since the status of these guarantees can change.

Test all suspect plants. Suspect plants that show symptoms, large showy plants,( because they get into contact with more plants and can become infected more frequently), older hybrids and older mericlones.

Prevent transmission by sanitation, insect control and by avoiding overcrowding.

Bacterial and Fungal Rots

There are more than a hundred species of bacteria and fungi that are a problem with orchids. Most bacterial rots are wet and mushy such as crown rot in phalaenopsis, but the dry rusty leaf rot of paphiopedilums is also bacterial. Most fungal infections are dry, not mushy such as the shot hole fungus found on some soft leaved orchids. Remedies, see later.

Scale Insects

Mealy bugs are scale insects that have mobile adults. The root mealy bugs are very hard to control without systemic insecticides. Cinnamite works better than most chemicals, probably because the alcohol it contains gets through their waxy covering.

Brown scale has mobile crawlers or immature stages. The crawler stage is the only stage that can be attacked with the methods available to the ordinary householder. It has to be sprayed once a week, repeat to a total of at least three times. You can use the light oils (not dormant oils!), neem oil with dishwash detergent -more on this later) or cinnamite (Home preparation, later).


Nymphs and adults cause damage. See streaks or a picotee on pink or lavender flowers. (An ignorant vendor liked the picotee and sold such infested plants for a higher price at a show until alerted by someone that the picotee was not genetic!!)

Thrips are attracted to blue. To know if you have them get blue sticky strips or paint some blue cards with tanglefoot and hang amongst suspect plants. Little black specks on the card after a day or so indicates the presence of this pest.


Are very tiny and most species cannot be seen with the unaided eye. The two-spotted mite can be seen and it also leaves webs that are easily spotted.

They cause silvering of leaves by sucking out the cell content from the skin of the plant.

Cinnamite works well with this pest.

Spay 3 times two days apart, since this pest has a fast life cycle. Switch amongst 2 or 3 chemicals for further treatments to prevent the development of resistance.

Slugs and Snails

Signs of their presence are holes in plant parts, flowers especially, thin glistening slime trails and pieces missing of the plant.

Copper wire wound around areas to stop them at, work soso. 10 centimeter high copper sheets get expensive when used as barriers. Metaldehyde sprays work well, but are quite toxic to other animals and children.

The best is Iron phosphate for snails and slugs from Safers. Non-toxic to other animals and plants and very effective.


Know the water you use on your orchids, since it has a large impact on your culture.

If it has a high pH the chemicals of your fertilizer will precipitate out resulting in deficiencies whose symptoms might be mistaken for virus.

Also if your water contains a lot of carbonate , copper fungicides do not work because the copper combines with the carbonate and precipitates out.

If you use rain water or Reverse Osmosis (R-O) water, you should use continuous low rate fertilisation otherwise the pure water will leach all the nutrients out of your pots and the plants starve.

Physical Treatments

Removal of pest or diseased portion works well in many instances. Aphids can be sprayed off with a strong spray of water.

To prevent fungus spores from settling on your plants, increase air movement. Don't water when it is cold and wet , because fungi and molds sporulate at that time. Water early in the day and provide lots of fans so that surfaces dry off quickly.

Smothering agents work well, but must be used with caution because they can kill plant parts if sun shines on the treated part too soon. To prevent this phototoxicity of parafinic oils such as "Ultrafine" use on overcast or rainy days only.

Pepper is an insectal antifeedant.

Neem oil contains an antifeedant and an agent that prevents metamorphosis and on top of that it smothers the insects. ( More later )

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Home remedy for mites and scale insects:

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of light oil such as canola oil or light mineral oil

1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol

1 teaspoon Ivory soap (from Health Food store, because the newest version in the grocery stores contains all sorts of other stuff)

in one quart of water.

Spray every day for two weeks for mites

and every day for 3 weeks for scale insects

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Chemical Treatment Evaluation

We have to determine how effective it is in controlling the pest or disease and weigh that against the toxicity. There is also the problem of its legal use . The only legal use is that stated on the container.

Enstar (very effective agaist the insect order that contains aphids, scale insects, mealy bugs and white flies) may be used one time according to the container, but one person on the internet recommends using it once a week!!

Also orchids are not often mentioned on containers, because until recently they were not commercially important enough. However, whenever pot plants, house plants, ornamentals are mentioned, we can legally consider the use on orchids to be legal too, because orchids belong into all of those categories. But be sure to try the chemical on a few plants you can afford to lose first, before spraying the whole collection.

Also remember not to overtreat. The chemical is a poison and the higher the rate used, the higher level the organism that gets killed or harmed by it.

Some chemicals mimic the action of a hormone (eg., Enstar) and in hormones dose is crucial. So use at exactly the rate recommended and don't use old outdated chemicals. Do dispose of them safely, they could do enormous harm, because hormones work at minute concentrations. Find out where the local hazardous waste pick-up site is and take all discarded pesticides there.

Always LABEL the containers that you store your chemicals in. It is amazing how quickly we can forget the content of a container that we were sure would forever remain in our memory. NEVER store pesticides in cold drink bottles. It could cause the death of a child.

Evaluation of Home Remedies:

Snail and Slug Control:

Beer is not useful, since they crawl out again by morning!

Potato-cut and place cut side down on top of bark. Pick off catch in morning and drop into alcohol or saturated salt solution.

Yoghourt- put on platter and fish out catch in morning.

Salt - forget it, it harms plants.

Copper wire- won't crawl over it most of the time, but when mating the slime gets thicker and they ignore the wire.

(10 centimeter wide thin copper strips were not mentioned by Don.)

Diatomaceous earth- gets watered away with every watering.

Flash light and chop sticks- hunt at night and pick up with chop sticks and drop into alcohol. Reduces number only.

(Metaldehyde works but is dangerous, Safers Iron phosphate is the best bet)


They spread aphids and scale insects around, since they farm them for the fluids they "milk" out of them. Spread boric acid powder ( Borax ) for control. They will ingest it when they clean themselves and dehydrate to death.

Remedies to fight both Insects and Diseases

70 to 90% isopropyl alcohol- spray every 3 days for two weeks or dab onto pest with cotton wool swab.

If you must use something new, try it on a few plants of every genus first and only use it on the rest of the genus if the test plants survive.

3 to 5% hydrogen peroxide is a great fungicide and bactericide. Buy only small quantities at a time, because once the bottle is opened it very quickly denatures into plain water!

Cinnamon and cloves are great bactericides and fungicides. You can apply the powders directly to the affected area or make a poultice with flour or with Elmer's glue and apply or you can make an extract using two tablespoons of cinnamon in a pint of isopropyl alcohol, let it sit two days in a fairly warm spot, then decant off the liquid and spray with it on a dull day. This liquid works well for mites and mealybugs as well.

Fill a bucket with good sphagnum moss, and then fill it with warm water. Let it sit for a few days and then use the decanted water as a fungicide and bactericide. This recipe came to Don from Dick Wells and Dick uses a cup of the decanted water per repotted plant to water it in and reduce infections through the wounds made by the repotting.

Disinfectants ( Not for Plants )

Bleach - a 24 hour soak of utensils in a 10% solution, rinsed two times with plain water before use works well.

Saturated solution of Trisodium Phosphate - use 1 to 4 tablespoons per US gallon. Spray monthly to keep down spores, but don't use with a metal greenhouse, because the solution corrodes it.

Heat inactivation - heat utensil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour, or hold into flame of a propane torch until red-hot. But buy one of the short squat cylinders, because the tall cylinders are too tippy and you could burn yourself, your clothing or the house!

Use disposable razor blades for cutting.

To sterilize scissors hold each side of each blade into the flame for 3 to 5 seconds. Use the thicker bladed scissors to make them last longer. Don himself has 25 pairs of scissors that he uses one after the other and then sterilizes when he has some time.

Work on sheets of old newspaper and throw each sheet out after being used to work on one plant.

Use rubber gloves which can then be washed with physidex(?) which is a fungicide, bactericide and viricide after handling each plant.


Many botanicals are just as toxic as man-made chemicals and must be used with extreme care.

Pyrethrum is safe for mammals but is very toxic to frogs and fish. So don't kill your resident frogs and toads or the goldfish you are overwintering in the plant room.

Rotenone and nicotine are toxic for us to.

Neem oil - not all formulations are equally effective. Safer's Bio-Neem seems to contain only the azadirachtin component of the oil and Don has not found it to work. He suggests we get it from sources that have the thick, brown oil and use it at the rate of 1 to 3 tablespoons per American gallon of warm water. Use the higher rate for thick leaved plants. As mentioned earlier it contains an anti-feeding and an anti-molting agent. Use one tsp. alcohol and one tsp. liquid detergent as an emulsifying agent with it.

Synthetic Pesticides

Cygon -2E will be withdrawn shortly because it is too dangerous. It also caused genetic defects. It was the best killer for mealybugs, because you really need a systemic to eradicate them.

There is a new systemic available in the USA which can be used if you are desperate! It has the trade name Marathon, but costs US$ 300 for quite a small amount It is used as a drench at the rate of 1 to 3 tablespoons per gallon.

You should note that the front panel of a pesticide container contains the cautions for its use.

If it says "Caution" it means it is slightly toxic to anyone.

If it says "Warning" it means it is moderately toxic and may be restricted to licenced operators for its


If it says "Danger/Poison" it is very toxic and the user must follow all precautions and may only be used by certified operators.

The back panel gives detailed use information, such as the plants it may be used on, the dose for various species and storage information such how to store it and for how long and how to dispose of container and/or unused outdated portions.

Comparing a contact insecticide to a systemic one: the contact one is easier on new growth of the plants, but the systemic will get the hidden pests too and usually stay active longer.

Comparing a wettable powder and an emulsifiable liquid: the wettable powder is safer to use, but less convenient because they may clog up sprayers. The emulsifiable liquids contain a solvent which makes them easier to take up- by both plants and operator!

You should have separate sprayers for horticultural oils, home remedies and synthetic pesticides because remnants left from one spray can interact with the next type.. For instance, alcohol can increase toxicity of pesticides and so can horticultural oil.

Biological Controls

These in general are not an eradication but a control of numbers. Predatory mites are the exception in that if they are introduced in sufficient numbers and while the temperature is sufficiently high, they will eradicate their prey mite.

These controls work best in enclosed spaces and the control and pest have to be matched.

Note that the brown ladybug bites and therefore is not a good predator for your living room plants!

Wayne Eyles again gave us a few cultural tips to help members have beautiful plants for the show. I also spoke with him afterward and got a few more hints: Use warm water to water your plants. They will take the water up more quickly and will not get a shock. Some phalaenopsis will even get collapsed spots on their leaves if they are watered with water that is too cold.

If a plant has had too dry an environment give it a boost and rewet the medium throughly at the same time by soaking the pot for two hours in a solution of water and weak fertilizer.

To increase local humidity around an orchid in a dry house, set it on a pebble tray filled almost to the top of the pebbles with water, so that your plants sit over water but not in it.

Water spots are very hard to get off once they have dried, but are very easy to wick up while they are still wet. If you have neglected that part of your plants' appearance, rub spots gently with slightly acidulated water or water with a bit of milk in it. Rinse after with clear water and wick dry. Do this well before the show, before flowers are in the way! Inge Poot

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Question Box

Question: I bought a phalaenopsis orchid a week ago. When I purchased it, the lady told me I don't need to fertilize it when it is flowering, however, my friend told me I need to fertilize it every 2nd week while it is flowering. Would you please tell me when should I fertilize the orchid?

Answer: It would be better if you did feed your plant on a regular basis at 1/4 the strength given on the fertilizer directions.

Question: Can I use ice cubes on orchids to cool them enough to set flowers?

Answer: Don’t try it on warm growers such as phalaenopsis, because you might kill them, but it can and has been done with cymbidiums. Put a few ice cubes on the medium every evening for one month in the fall. It is not necessary to do it, if you can drop the night temperature 20 Fahrenheit degrees (about 10 Celsius degrees) below the day temperature.

Question: Does smoking with orchids harm the orchids?

Answer: Not nearly as much as it harms the smoker and anyone near him or her! The orchids don’t mind the smoke, but the smoker might get some tobacco mosaic virus(TMV) on his hands while smoking and if he then touches an orchid -fairly hard - it could cause an infection, in isolated cases. Viruses are very host specific and the normal TMV does not infect orchids, just tobacco. But viruses mutate a lot and fairly rapidly. So chances are not all that small that one of the viruses transferred to the orchid has mutated so that it can infect the orchid. Each tiny bit of infected tobacco contains unbelievably many virus particles so even a small rate of mutation translates into a very small chance of infection.

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SOOS Show Committee

The next Committee Meeting is scheduled for February 4, 7 pm, at the home of Inger Brania

Our annual show will be April 4-6 this year instead of the regular February date. This is because SOOS will be hosting the Canadian Orchid Congress and the Mid America Orchid Congress. To accommodate holding the show and the congress meetings and lectures in one place, we have reserved the Inn on the Park at Leslie Street and Eglinton Avenue East. The show and sales area will be in the Centennial Ball Room. We are expecting participants from the USA and Canada as well as Ecuador and possibly Taiwan.

It is time to talk to show committee members about where you might volunteer come April. Volunteer sheets will be out at the February meeting. Volunteering will give you free show admission and a great time with your orchid friends.Here are their names and functions:

Peter Poot; Chair person and registration of delegates, exhibitors and vendors,

Yvonne Sheppard; delegate registration;

Jay Norris, Robin McLaughllin, and Max Wilson; congress program book, and registrants goody bags,

Judy Floyd; publicity,

Joe O’Regan; treasurer

Diane Ryley; show design and setup,

Claudio Rossi and Margaret Baird; plant registration,

Mario Ferrusi; chairman of judges;

David Bryan; clerks;

Terry Kennedy; trophies and ribbons;

Wayne Eyles; SOOS exhibit,

Bob Floyd; SOOS sales table

Anne Antanaitis; fragrance exhibit,

Inger Brania; security and entry desk;

Hesse Pommells; SOOS and AOS membership and coat and plant check,

Doug Kennedy; hotel meal arrangements and speakers programs,

Michael Jabir; hospitality room;

Wayne Hingston; agriculture and customs clearance,

Individual plants can be placed in the SOOS exhibit. To enter your own exhibit or to attend the congress lectures you need to register for the congress. Registration and Display Space application forms are available from Peter Poot, phone 905-640-5643 or at the meeting. Or you can download the forms at www.soos.ca .


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Upcoming Features!

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Civic Garden Centre
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Road, Weston, Ontario,
M9R 1T2

Mid America and
Canadian Orchid

April 4-6
Inn on the Park


Question Box Remember, this is your newsletter. If you have a burning orchidaceous question, need, or opinion, send it in to Box 241, Goodwood, ON, L0C 1A0, or fax it to 905-640-0696, or e.mail it to or phone 905-640-5643. We will print it if it is suitable and if there is space.


Adspace in this newsletter is available at $15 per business card size insertion or $100 per full page insertion. All material must be submitted camera ready

Editor:   Peter Poot

Production:  Walter Norman


With social information call Wayne Eyles at 905- 629-1799 or e-mail at

[email protected]


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2003 Southern Ontario Orchid Society

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page last updated:  10/23/2007
2007 Southern Ontario Orchid Society
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