February 14th Meeting will be at the Farmington Senior Center

Join us for a hands on workshop: Tissue Culture and Un-flasking

A flask can take many forms, the basic requirement is a sealed container that can be filled with media and sanitized, where the orchid explants can be cultured. Flask in hand, Paph. Magic Paradise ‘Merlot’ x Paph. victoria-regina

Meeting Date: Wednesday, February 14th at the Farmington Senior Center;  Doorsopen at 6:30pm for socializing and the meeting starts at 7pm.

The Farmington Senior Center 321 New Britain Ave, Unionville, CT 06085

Presentation: Orchid Tissue Culture Basics and Unflasking Workshop

Our upcoming meeting in February will feature a hands on un-flasking workshop. We are putting together a short presentation on orchid tissue culture, after which where we will de-flask and pot up Paphiopedilum seedlings for everyone to take home. After talking with Dave Sorokowskyover at Paph Paradise, I decided on a nice hybrid sequential blooming Paph, amazingly enough he is claiming it can be bloomed in as little as 18 months out of flask! For those of you interesting in looking up the lineage, the cross is Paph. Magic Paradise ‘Merlot’ x Paph. victoria-regina. The fee to participate in the workshop is $10 per person. This will include: 1 seedling, potting mix, and container for transitioning the plant out of tissue culture.

Ever wonder how new orchid crosses are produced commercially? The process is a bit more complicated than popping a few seeds into a pot and watching them develop into a seedling. Early orchid growers sowed the dust like seeds of orchids onto moss trays in the greenhouse, success was very low and few plants were produced with this method. After a selected was bloomed successfully and found to be worth keeping the only way to propagate the plant was the slow process of division from growing leads. Early orchids were expensive and of limited availability to the general public unless in the form of jungle collected plants. With the advent of tissue culture the germination rate increased, making it feasible for production of seedling crops. At the same time a choice selection of a plant could be clonally propagated from meristematic tissue and multiplied exponentially faster in vitro than through division.  While you can order blooming sized seed grown or meristem culture plants, many growers also offer the option of purchasing flasks of young plants. Successfully transitioning plants out of the flask takes a bit of care to ensure that the tender orchids are properly acclimated to the new growing environment. The workshop part of the talk should demystify the process a bit for the hobbyist, with a controlled environment grow chamber of light rack this could be your next orchid adventure.

The pod parents Paph. Magic Paradise ‘Merlot’ AM/AOS x Paph. victoria-regina are both very attractive plants and should produce some nice offspring, seedlings all bring something unique to the table, maybe even an award winning cross in the batch!

Keep in mind February weather can be inclement, if the weather looks bad we will send out a memo to let people know if the meeting is still on. With any luck the weather will stay as mild as it’s right now!

Don’t forget to bring along your blooming plants for this month’s show table. It’s always exciting to see what’s coming into bloom, looking forward to an awesome show table! See you there!

Please print and fill out the ID card for the show table below.

January Meeting will be at the Cheshire Senior Center

Join us for a Talk on Orchid Viruses with Christian Lesage

ORSV Color Break Lc. Sierra Skies ‘Leone’ x C. Portia ’Mrs. Carl Holmes’

Meeting Date: Wednesday, January 10th at the Cheshire Senior Center.  Doors open at 6:30pm for socializing and the meeting starts at 7pm.

The Cheshire Senior Center is located at 240 Maple Ave, Cheshire, CT 06410

Presentation: Let’s Talk About Orchid Viruses: Prevention and Detection, a Collector’s Approach to Virus Management

Our upcoming January meeting will be held at the Cheshire Senior Center on January 10th and will feature a talk that I am putting together on Orchid Viruses. This is a topic I wish I had known about when I first started working with orchids. It only came onto my radar once there were severe symptoms of plant decline manifesting throughout the collection I was working with, truly a situation that would strike fear in the heart of any orchid professional. When we think of disease causing organisms in plants and animals we often overlook the commonalities between the maladies we experience and those that affect plants. While we can’t necessarily come down with a fungal case of botrytis or a viral case of CymMV there are similarities in howdiseases are spread in plants and as in animals. It’s important to be aware of common orchid pathogens so that disease prevention in your plants becomes as second nature as washing your hands before eating.

There are over 30 virus that have been found to affect orchids, with the two most common viruses found in orchid collections being Cymbidium Mosaic Virus CymMV and Odontoglossum Ringspot Virus ORS. Both viruses have a high level of persistence outside of living host tissue and are usually spread mechanically between plants while we are working with them or on contaminated surfaces, tools, debris, or potting materials. The talk will focus on identifying the signs and symptoms with an emphasis on how to take preventative measures to keep your collection clean. If you have ever had chlorotic or necrotic leaf streaking, flower color break, blossom necrotic streak, sudden plant decline, or just a plant that seems to underperform you may have been dealing with an orchid virus. I will go over the testing protocol in place for confirming a viral infection as well as best practices for handling plants to prevent the spread of a virus in your collection. Rather than being intimidated by an unseen threat to your plants you should feel empowered to make the right choices for keeping your plants healthy.

Keep in mind January weather can be inclement, if the weather looks bad we will send out a memo to let people know if the meeting is still on. With any luck the weather will stay as mild as it’s right now!

Don’t forget to bring along your blooming plants for this month’s show table. It’s always exciting to see what’s coming into bloom, looking forward to an awesome show table! See you there!

Please print and fill out the ID card for the show table here

COS Annual Holiday Party will be in Farmington

Our annual Holiday Party is coming up this month on Wed. December 13th 6:30pm at the Farmington Senior Center. If you haven’t signed up already or reached out to Mary please take a moment to look at the Holiday Flyer that went out. Once again, the club will be buying in entrees from a local restaurant and we ask that everyone bring either a side, salad, or desert. There will be a small fee of $15 per person to cover the cost of the food, and we ask that you please RSVP if you will be attending so we order enough food for everyone. Last year a very merry time was had by all so we hope to see you there!

The December meeting is also the time for annual elections. We will be voting on the following proposed officer slate; President: Christian Lesage & Mary Rampone, Vice President: Jason Chang, Treasurer: Suzanne Spinelli, Recording Secretary: Valerie DApice & Carla Koch, and Directors at Large: Rebecca Schwartz, Mike Wicki, and Karen Kuziel. There are also a number of appointed positions we would like to see filled if anyone is interested, most importantly we are still looking for someone to work with Suzy to learn the ropes as an Editor for the newsletter. If anyone is interested in designing and setting up our newsletter we are looking for someone creative and motivated to take the newsletter and run with it.

November 8th Meeting will be at the Farmington Senior Center

Join us for our annual Re-potting Clinic

Meeting Date: Wednesday, November 8th at the Farmington Senior Center

Doors open at 6:30pm for socializing and the meeting starts at 7pm.

The Farmington Senior Center: 321 New Britain Ave, Unionville, CT 06085

Featured Event: Orchid Re-potting Clinic

The November ‘Re-potting Clinic’ is coming up early this month, we apologize for any confusion that that last minute meeting change caused last month, it was caused by circumstances out of our control. As a result, we are meeting in Farmington in both November and December!

If you are uncertain or intimidated about repotting your plants or just want to join in the fun this month’s meeting should be a popular event. We have a large amount of potting media that we mixed up for this event, with different formulations to suit a wide variety of plants. Media mixes, pots, and supplies will be available for sale to members at a reasonable price. Feel free to bring your own media and supplies, our orchid experts will be on hand to coach you in how to repot or divide your plant. If you would like someone to re-pot your plant for you we can also do that for a small fee of $5 per plant. This is a hands-on event so be prepared to dig in and get dirty! We will have extra pruners and repotting tools, but strongly encourage you to bring your own if you have them so we have enough to go around.

On the agenda this month is a vote for a proposed increase in membership dues. As we approach the new year this is a reminder that it’s time to renew your membership. This year we are proposing a dues increase to be voted on by the membership attendant at the upcoming November meeting. The annual membership dues were set back in the early 2000’s and as we all know the price of just about everything has gone up over the past 20 years. We are proposing an increase from $20 to $30 for the individual membership, $25 to $35 for the family membership, $200 to $300 for the lifetime individual, and $250 to $350 for the lifetime family. The increase in membership dues will allow us to continue booking amazing speakers for the upcoming year without breaking the budget. If you have anything to say on the matter please come out and vote at the November meeting.

Don’t forget to bring along your blooming plants for this month’s show table. It’s always exciting to see what’s coming into bloom, looking forward to an awesome show table! See you there!

Please print and fill out the ID card for the show table below