Newsletter Distribution - 712 Members
December 1999


DECEMBER 7, 1999 – 6:00 PM - CASA DEL PRADO - ROOM 101

By Ben Machado, 1st VP

Hallelujah! The Holiday Season is almost upon us and to kick off the season your Orchid Society is planning another grand celebration. For this meeting it’s nothing but fun. If there’s a business meeting at all, it will be very brief, then we get into a pot luck of hors d’oeuvres and desserts. This will be followed by entertainment, a plant exchange, then a plant drawing that assures every dues-paying member leaves with a collectible size plant!

For this year’s entertainment we continue with our international flavor by having the Samahan’s Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center. This is a troupe of traditional Philippine dancers and musicians who have put on performances throughout Southern California over the last 25 years. Led by Dr. Lolita Carter, professor emeritus of Grossmont College, over 25 performers in full period costume will provide us a show full of beauty and authentic dances from the various provinces of the Philippines. Not only are the dances a genuine representation of traditional period, every detail is also included in the colorful costume arrangements. We are very fortunate indeed to have these young people perform for our party. Make sure to bring your camera to help record what is sure to be a memorable event.

For those who wish to participate there will also be an orchid plant exchange. This is how it works; bring an orchid plant with your name on the plant. As each plant is selected the name of the person on the plant selected will have the choice of the next plant to be drawn. Needless to say, the better looking your plant, the better the chance of having an early draw. The choice is yours regarding the quality of the plant you bring.

Upon entry, every dues paying member will receive a ticket stub for the plant drawing to be held at the end of the party. It’s pretty simple, all you have to do is wait for your ticket to be called, then pick up the plant of your choice off the table. Really, a gift without any obligation!

Dave Reid of Dave Reid’s Orchids will provide a selection of his award-winning Cattleyas. Of course, this is just an example of the quality of plants he has in stock. He’s located just a short drive past Escondido. At first opportunity you need to see for yourself what else he has available. Crest Orchids will provide Vandas, Ascocentrums and Dendrobiums. Their on hand inventory far exceeds whatever they provided for the party, you need to see for yourself the full range of their selection. Bud Close of Close Orchids insists he’s going out of business but there still remains a plentiful inventory. He’s providing Cattleyas, hybrids and miscellaneous species. Granite Hills Orchids has lots of species plants to offer for our party. Talking about species, if you want to give yourself a treat, go see for yourself what else Tom Biggart has to offer. A selection Zygopetalums and Encyclias from the Jack Donia estate will be provided.

Ok, that does it. We start at 6 PM and continue until everyone leaves happy and full of Holiday spirit. Happy Holidays!

Dear Orchid Friends:

Orchids In December by Clarence S. Lindsten, 1973

As months go by and time moves on,

December comes at last.

The year is coming to its end;

Eleven months have passed.

The time is here for Yultide cheer,

Bright lights and children’s toys

For Christmas time is now at hand..,

With all its glow and joys.


May your holidays be filled with fun, happiness, and lots of good times. We have so much to be grateful for. This season is always a good one to remember to stop to count our blessings and the things for which we are grateful. I want to thank all of the advertisers, members, volunteers who made this newsletter possible. Issue #12! Gee it’s been a team adventure which I think you have all enjoyed. Thank you for all the good participation.

Have the safest, happiest of holidays as we enter into the new millennium!



Interested in contributing articles to our newsletter?. Please contact Rebecca Lawrence for details. 760-943-8860 email . Articles submitted may be edited for clarity, accuracy and length prior to publication.

Meet A Member

Alma Marosz

Who would have thought…a half-century-long passion for orchids started with a home-built windowbox! When Alma and Henry Marosz married after WWII, their first home was a small apartment in Los Angeles. One day, Henry brought home two Cattleya plants from a local florist shop. Being a "frustrated farmer", with no room for a garden, he built a special window box for the plants high up on the apartment wall. The only access was by climbing up, taking the window off completely, watering, then setting it back in place! Little could he and Alma have foreseen where this windowbox would lead them!

Soon after Alma and Henry moved their family to Del Cerro in 1958, Henry built a lean-to and filled it with large, showy Cattleyas. They began to attend SDCOS meetings to learn more about how to care for their growing collection. With their original lean-to packed to the rafters, and their two children now active teenagers, the solution was clear—time to move! Even before their own larger home was finished, they had completed a 9x20 ft GH (First things first!) Inevitably, all that benchspace disappeared so soon that they doubled it to 18x20ft... 2 or 3 years later, they doubled it again, cultivating 1800 plants!

While Henry was the main grower, Alma enjoyed working with him and finding uses for the Cattleya blooms. At one of the annual SDCOS shows (then held in Balboa Park) she was fascinated watching Mrs. Crothers make corsages. One thing led to another, and before long, Alma was a regular at the corsage booth, creating her own lovely corsages and artistic flower arrangements.

When Henry passed away in 1992, the collection suddenly seemed overwhelming. Their friend, Bob Swanson helped care for the collection. After about 4- 5 months, she decided to carry on the collection herself. She culled out triplicates and added miniature Cattleyas and Dendrobiums. Phalaenopsis are her favorite; nothing, she says, is more elegant than a white Phalaenopsis! She raises 500-600 plants for her own pleasure, and to enjoy the memories of many decades she shared growing with Henry.

Alma says the best way to learn about growing orchids is to talk to someone, ask questions, or to watch a demonstration, When asked what was the best advice she has heard in all her years with the SDCOS, she replied, "Remember that even experts lose plants periodically. We ALL do. Try to learn from it. Don’t be hard on yourself. And most of all… DON’T GIVE UP!"



Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park, Room 101

If you can come at 5:30 pm to help set up, please do. Dinner line opens at 6 pm sharp. This is what you can look forward to…


Everyone bring a favorite finger food snack that can be shared with 6-8 others. We all get to sample a bit of this and that, and ask each other for recipes for those delicious specialties! Members with last names beginning with A through M bring appetizers and members whose names beginning with N through Z bring desserts. All beverages will be supplied by the Society. If you want to bring your own china, crystal, and candelabra, to really celebrate in style, be our guest!

This is a ‘snack and play event’, not a sit-down dinner. If you are starving, you might want to have a sandwich before you leave home. Let’s make sure everyone has a chance to go through the line once before people go back for seconds. Someone has to be at the back of the line, and they deserve a good selection of treats, too, even though they arrived at 6:03. So please, wait until everyone has had a chance to eat before going back for more. After the evening is over there are always some goodies left. If you want to stay and help clean up, you are welcome to take some home with you. But please don’t take plates of food out the door until the event is over.


The gift plant swap is a pleasant way to enjoy the festivities. Bring an ORCHID PLANT with your name attached and clearly showing. You can put a ribbon on it, and put it in a nice pot if you want to, but make sure the plant can be easily seen. No pots, stakes, books, just orchids. Here is how the plant swap works. One person is selected (by the President) to start the ball rolling, and they go up and choose the orchid gift they like best. The person whose name is on the plant they chose is called up, and they pick a plant. The name of the person whose plant they selected is called to choose a plant, and so on, and so on. The nicest presents are always picked first! Bring in a nice plant, and you will get an early choice from the gifts remaining If you don’t go home with something nice from this event, it’s your own fault! Your present has to be nice enough that someone will want to pick it. And when they do, it’s your turn to select a plant!


All Society members will be given a ticket when you walk in the door. Hang on to that ticket and keep it handy. All during the evening every ticket number will be called and you can go to the tables of healthy plants provided by local growers, and choose one. This will go on until every member in attendance has a new, free plant to take home. There are usually many kinds of orchids offered here. The Society pays from $8 to $10 (wholesale prices) for every plant given away, so each plant is worth around $20 when you get it home. In this drawing, luck counts only a little. The earlier your ticket is called, the sooner you get to select a plant, but all the plants are great, so it doesn’t hurt if your number is called later in the evening.


We will be entertained by the Philippine dance troupe, Samahan.

So, come celebrate another year with good food, good fellowship, entertainment, and, of course, ORCHIDS. See you there!

New SDCOS HomePage Address

Now it’s easy for members and visitors to San Diego to locate our web page:

Dates to Remember: December

December 4, 9:00 am
SDCOS Species Group Meeting
First Saturday each month
Different locations
Paul or Ann Tuskes (619) 274-5829

December 7, 6:00 pm
Christmas Party
SDCOS General Meeting
First Tuesday each month, Balboa Park
Fred Weber (619) 982-9128

December 10, 7:30 pm
Palomar Orchid Society Meeting
Second Friday each month
Vista Community Center
Greg Luetticke (760) 724-4711

December 14, 7:00 pm
SDCOS Board Meeting
Second Tuesday each month
Balboa Park
Siv Garrod (619) 483-8787

December 15
Cymbidium Society Meeting
Third Wednesday each month
Carlsbad Womens’ Club
Larry Phillips (619) 746-5518

December 21, 7:00 pm
SDCOS Show Committee Meeting
Third Tuesday each month
Balboa Park
Bud Close (619) 444-8839
Cindy Hill (858) 481-5782

and Now...




in 1999

Please consider these fine businesses whenever you are shopping for orchids, supplies, and services.

Their support helps make this fine newsletter possible!

Andy’s Orchids

Bird Rock Tropicals

Cal Pacific Orchids

Chula Orchids

Continental Agency Brokers

Crest Orchids

Dave Reid’s Orchids

Del Mar Orchid Ranch

Granite Hills Orchids

Leucadia Orchids

Martin Nursery Labels

Oceanside Orchids

O.F.E. International

Orchid Connection

Santa Barbara Orchid Estate

Sunset Valley Orchids

Sunswept Orchids

Thomas Industrial Water

TKO Exotics

Walter Andersen Nursery

The Annual Report

by Clarence S. Lindsten, 1973

Dear Fellow Orchidists:

I respectfully submit to you,

My New Year’s Eve Report.

And though a great deal happened,

I will try and keep it short.

I had a very happy time,

When all is said and done,

So I’ll describe my happiness,

And why this year was fun.

Happiness was coming home

From a very trying day,

And going to the greenhouse,

Where exotic blooms held sway.

Happiness was fellowship

We orchidists enjoyed,

As we discussed our orchid plants,

And the culture we employed.

Happiness was to see the change

In our Society;

The way it finally came of age,

With total harmony.

Happiness was to see the way

The members all pitched in

And even do distasteful jobs,

With a big, good-natured grin.

Happiness was to cater to

My orchids’ every need;

To thrill each time I came across

A tiny, brand new lead.

And though I note with much regret,

That this year’s at its end,

I’m looking toward the happiness

That the coming year will send. ~~~~~

Dear fellow members,

We would like you all to help make our big Orchid Odyssey show next March a big success by helping with the selling of pre-show tickets. We will be mailing you a pack of 6 tickets (worth $30 at the door) to sell for $20.00. When you sell 5 tickets at $4.00 each, the 6th ticket is yours to keep, free! Admission at the door will be $5.00, so your friends and neighbors can save $1 each by buying a ticket in advance. If you do not want to participate by selling pre-show tickets, please contact us at 698-2595 and we won’t send them out to you.


Dave and Barbie

November / December

Orchid Checklist

Cattleya: Growers of just about every level of expertise will have begun to notice autumn conditions by now. Days are becoming shorter, hence cooler; the sunlight has less intensity as a result of the sun’s lowering angle, nights are longer and generally cooler. Plants are responding by slowing and ripening their growth in preparation for winter.

The first cultural change noticed should be a reduced frequency of watering, as the plants dry out more slowly. This is a function of both the reduced day length and lower temperatures, as well as the plants’ slowing growth rate. Reduced water needs signal a reduced need for fertilization. Note that the key word is reduced, not eliminated. Feed less frequently and at lower dosage, but feed. Growths, made during summer’s heat, and relatively soft and green, will be ripening — hardening — in preparation for a brief period of rest (in many cases).

Many of these ripening growths will have a sheath, presaging the coming winter or spring flowering season. In some cases, these sheaths will have been evident since as early as July. (Early sheath development does not mean early flowering on plants with winter-spring seasons.) You may notice that some of these sheaths are showing signs of yellowing. This is not abnormal. Autumn’s more pronounced temperature fluctuation can lead to water condensation inside the sheath, hastening the normal process of senescence, so yellowing sheaths can be left on the plant only so long before they must be carefully removed to preserve the bud primordia within. Water condensation left unchecked can rot the bud primordia. The sheaths can be safely removed by slitting open and peeling down toward the pseudobulb.

Cool-Growing Orchids: One can almost hear a sigh of relief from all of the cool-growers, from masdevallias to odontoglossums. As day temperatures decline, one can see a noticable improvement in these plants. Shorter days and lower light levels do not seem to bother them. Repot before winter arrives.

Cymbidium: Finally we begin in earnest the main cymbidium season. Cymbidium ensifolium can give some early and fragrant hybrids, but it is now that the bulk of the crop will be flowering. The season lasts for about seven months, adding color to any collection.

Miniature varieties will peak for the next three to four months. There are three important things to do: stake inflorescences ramrod straight for best presentation, watch for slugs and snails (especially just after a rain), and fertilize with a mild balanced formula regularly.

Oncidium crispum Complex: This is the season for plants in Oncidium section crispum from Brazil to shine. Extremely vigorous hybrids come in wide varieties of markings dominated with chestnut and brown and butter yellow. Give plants high light to produce strong upright inflorescences. The pseudobulbs should be plump, so do not let the plants dry out while they are in bloom. Later, plants will enter a dormant period.

Paphiopedilum: The flowering season for the "toads" or "bulldog" paphs is just getting underway. These cannot be grown everywhere, but where cooler summer nights allow their growth, there is no longer-lasting or more exotic display than these. Paphiopedilums are, in general, not heavy feeders, and it is especially important with this type to reduce nitrogen levels now for best flowering and spike length. Be watchful for water accumulating in the growth around the sheath, or for the late-season warm spell, either of which can lead to the sheath’s rotting. As the spikes emerge, do not change the orientation of the plant toward the light, as this can lead to a crooked or twisted spike.

While paphiopedilums rarely like to dry out entirely, water needs are significantly reduced beginning now. Overwatering at this time of year can quickly lead to root rot or erwinia problems. Now is the time to practice good sanitary practices in your greenhouse or growing areas, as pest and disease problems have a way of multiplying rapidly in the darker and more crowded conditions that generally mark the winter growing area. With paphiopedilums, especially, "cleanliness is next to godliness" and if the growing area is littered with old foliage, weeds and dying flowers, keeping the plants alive and flowering will be next to impossible.

Phalaenopsis: Shortening days and cooler nights are the signals for inflorescence initiation in phalaenopsis. In more northern climates, or on the west coast, growers have already begun to see the early inflorescences that may be ready for Christmas. In the eastern areas, nights in the greenhouse will now be in the low to mid 60s, depending on the thermostat setting, so the first of our phalaenopsis will not begin to bloom until Valentine’s Day at the earliest.

A reduction in nitrogen levels will go a long way to giving the best possible spiking, as will a boost in potassium and phosphorus. In other words, a "bloom booster"-type fertilizer is definitely indicated in the next few months. Disease and pest problems are best dealt with now, especially as mealybugs hide in the bracts and flower buds. Once they have established themselves, they are difficult to eradicate, and flower damage or crippling results. Potential disease problems can be dealt with by the application of a copper-based compound to control/alleviate rot problems before they start. There is nothing more frustrating than to have shepherded your plants through a growing season, only to have them decline before your eyes.

Vandaceous Genera: Whereas the general decline in temperatures is beneficial to cool-growing orchids, it is not for vandaceous plants. The only cold-hardy member is Neofinetia falcata. Orient your plants in such a way as to take advantage of as much light as possible. This can be a problem in northern latitudes. Reduce watering and feeding schedules.

Prepared by Ned Nash and James Rose.

Copyright © 1999 American Orchid Society.

SDCOS Board of Directors Meeting

November 9, 1999

Present: Fred Weber, Edith Galvan, Ann Tuskes, Cindy Hill, Alma Marosz, Duncan Werth, Gary Pierwola and Siv Garrod.

Meeting called to order at 7:00 P.M.


1.Last meeting’s minutes were read and approved.

2.Treasurer - Edith Galvan - the report for September was read, approved and filed for audit.

3.Show Co-Chairman - Cindy Hill- Everything is on schedule. Our treasurer asked for help collecting and counting money from ticket sales, conservation booth and corsage sales during the show. Fred Weber volunteered to help.


1.The board will resume the discussion of the AOS Trustee meeting in January.


1.Web Master - Duncan Werth - Found a site for the society web page. The total cost is $400.00/year. Ann Tuskes made the motion to approve and Gary Pierwola seconded. No one opposed.

The meeting was adjourned 7:25 P.M.

Submitted by Siv Garrod


HELP HOTLINE: The SDCOS offers a service to members who seek cultural information about their orchids. Here are some friendly hobbyists who have a great deal of experience and knowledge about certain types of orchids, and who have kindly volunteered to answer your questions. There are no commercial growers on this list.

Cattleyas, Oncidium/Odontoglossum, and Vandaceous, Greenhouse grown, West SD county Forrest Robinson - (619) 270-6105

Encyclias, Epidendrum - Tom Osborn - (760) 787-0282

Paphiopedilums - Bob Hodges - (619)461-4915, Ann Tuskes - (619) 274-5829

Phalaenopsis, Cattleyas and Dendrobiums Alma Marosz - (619) 583-0334

Pleurothallids - Don van Kekerix - (619) 224-4938

Cymbidium, Zygopetalum - Ken Miller (619) 453-4705

Northeast County, all types - Dave Reid (619) 728-7996

San Diego West County all types - Jean Beck (619) 435-8211

San Diego Central, Outdoor, all types Fred Tomaschke 276-3225 / Jim Wright 276-5295

San Diego East County, all types James Masst - (619) 443-2800 / Bud Close - (619) 444-8839

Species, all types, Indoor and Outdoor Ann & Paul Tuskes - (619) 274-5829

South County all types - Genie Hammond (619) 426-6831 / Ed Marty - (619) 470-7175

You may also call any of the SDCOS Board Members for information; if they don't have the answer, they will direct you to someone who knows.


If you have monthly meetings or announcements related to orchids make sure the information gets to me by the SECOND TUESDAY of each month for publishing in the next newsletter.

Rebecca Lawrence, Editor

San Diego County Orchid Society
~~ Established in 1947 ~~

To promote interest in orchids and their cultivation, to educate by exchanging information and experiences related to successful orchid culture, and to support the conservation of orchids in the wild.

President: Fred Weber 619-982-9128
First Vice President: Ben Machado 619-660-9870
Second Vice President: Gary Pierwola 619-426-9108
Secretary Siv Garrod: 619-483-8787
Treasurer: Edith Galvan 619-441-7503
1997 to 2000 Ann Tuskes 619-274-5829
1998 to 2001 Cindy Hill 619-481-5782
1999 to 2002 Duncan Werth 619-222-2072
Director at Large: (Past President) Bud Close 619-444-8839
Parliamentarian: Alma Marosz 619-583-0334
Refreshments: Joan Close, Alma Marosz, Peggy Swanson, Pat Tolen
Librarian: Ron Velarde 619-562-7246
Historian: Ben Hardy 619-448-0659
Plant Opportunity Table: Jim Reid 619-223-3961
William Roley, Rudy Pfeiffer
Hospitality: Esther Sivila, Naty Ritua
Floral Association Representative: Lynn Beyerle 619-454-4953
Botanical Fnd. and Mini-Show Representative: Bob Hodges 619-461-4915
Conservation Committee: Peter Tobias 760-753-3173
Membership Committee and Name Badges: Vivian Follmer 619-538-6187
Newsletter Editor: Rebecca Lawrence 760-943-8860
Newsletter Distribution: Genie Hammond 619-426-6831
Newsletter Advertising: Cindy Hill 619-481-5782
Webmaster: Duncan Werth 619-222-2072

These are many of the hard-working volunteers that keep our Society running. There are many others with no titles that help these folks make it happen. You are invited to help. Ask any of these people how.

Monthly meetings are held the First Tuesday of each month at Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
You do not need to be a member to attend these meetings. Admission is free. Anyone is welcome!

Novice Class: 6:30 p.m. Room 104
General Meeting: 7:30 p.m. Room 101

You are invited to share your interest in growing orchids through: monthly meetings with slide shows, guest speakers and refreshments, our Newsletter, mini-shows, Annual Spring Show, a Christmas party, plant raffles, and camaraderie with other hobbyists as well as commercial growers, just by becoming a Society member.

To join our Society, fill out this form, mail it with your check (payable to SDCOS), and come to the next meeting. Single $10.00 / Dual $12.50. Membership runs from July 1 to June 30
(1/2 price after January 1).

Street Address ________________________________________
City, State________________________________________________
Phone/Fax ____________________________________________________ E-mail_________________________________

Mail to: Vivian Follmer, 13127 Roundup, San Diego, CA 92129. Phone: 619-538-6187, E-mail:

Correspondence to the Society goes to: SDCOS, P.O. Box 161020, San Diego, CA 92176


Photography ©Greg Allikas