All posts by Robyn Chosy

AOS News – May 2017

ORCHIDS Vol 86 No. 6 April

Top Dressing Your Orchids pg 264

AOS 2017-05 Top Dressing
Cypress mulch used as top dressing will provide a little bit of acidity to counter the effects of high alkalinity water as well as allow you to top-dress coarse potting mixes with timed-release fertilizer without having it wash through the pot.

RETAIN MOISTURE by placing a layer of sphagnum moss at the top of your pot. Newly emerging roots will jump for joy! Environment humidity will also increase.
PREVENT WASHOUT of your fine bark, soil-less or terrestrial mixes by adding a top dressing.
BUFFERS ROOT ZONE pH. Alkaline water? Consider adding acid-generating top dressings to keep your potting mix in the slightly acidic range which is optimal for nutrient availability.
ADD TIMED-RELEASE FERTILIZERS so that nutrients release and wash over your roots every time your water.
Ca & Mg SUPPLEMENTS such as: granular dolomitic lime, crushed oyster shell and steamed bone and fish meal provide essential nutrients. Be aware that they do increase root zone pH.
ORGANIC additives such as Alfalfa Meal increase the organic matter in your potting medium and stimulate microbial life around your orchid roots. It also contains trace minerals and trianconatol, a natural fatty acid growth stimulant. Fish meal is a slow release fertilizer. Kelp is rich in trace minerals, plant growth regulators, vitamins, hormones, amino acids, enzymes and chelated nutrients. (i.e. Purely Organic fertilizer contains alfalfa meal and kelp)


For new members, the American Orchid Society’s ORCHIDS magazine is a monthly must! When you subscribe to a digital or mailed copy, you are invited to view live streaming webinars. You can also view the archives. Visit http://www.aos.org/orchids/webinars.aspx

AOS Webinar 2017-05

AOS WEBINAR – Orchid Aquarium / Terrarium Culture
Thursday May 11, 2017 @5:30 PM – 6:30 PM PST
Members Only – Webinar Details PageRegistration Page

Join Daniel Geiger, Ph.D. Curator of Malacology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, California as he presents a fascinating talk on raising orchids in confined spaces, terrariums and aquariums.

– Krystal Goulart (VP & AOS Rep)

AOS News – April 2017

AOS SPRING MEMBERS MEETING: May 17 – 21, 2017

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens in Homestead, Florida in conjunction with the Redland International Orchid Festival

AOS 2017-04 members meetingHotel rooms are going fast! The current hotel block is almost sold out. Make your reservations soon to take advantage of the special event pricing. https://aosmembersmeeting.com/hotel-registration/

With your full registration, you can look forward to:

– Fabulous preview event. Enjoy unprecedented vendor access and pre-sales at the Redland International Orchid Festival and a catered dinner on site.

– “Orchids through the Artists’ Eyes.” This one-of-a-kind, beautifully curated collection of orchid art will impress and delight. Do not miss it.

– Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Considered one of the best gardens in the world, it has been the home of the AOS since 2012.

– The AOS Library Collection. One of the premier orchid libraries anywhere.

Do you want to know what is happening in the AOS? Please join us at the Town Hall meeting on Saturday, May 20, at 10:00 AM during “Fairchild Day.” National award winners will be recognized, judging elevations will be announced


AOS WEBINAR #1Virus Testing and Identification
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 @5:30 PM – 6:30 PM PST
Members Only – Webinar Details PageRegistration Page

Join Janet Lamborn of Agdia as she discusses the various types of viruses that can affect your orchids and how to test for them.

AOS WEBINAR #2Greenhouse Chat with Ron McHatton
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @5:30 PM – 6:30 PM PST
Members & Non-Members Invited
Webinar Details PageRegistration Page

Please join Ron McHatton, American Orchid Society Director of Education, for a Q&A session orchid culture. Please submit your questions by Sunday, April 16th to stillisch@cox.net

– Krystal Goulart (VP & AOS Rep)

AOS News – March 2017

ORCHIDS Vol. 86 No. 2 – February Issue

The February issue of Orchids magazine is so stellar that I am highlighting a couple of major articles. Don’t loose this issue under coffee table stacks. If you don’t have it, order it!

Extreme Bulbophylums pg 92
A list of Thomas Mirenda’s top 10 vying for the most bizarre, unearthly and beautiful but putrid smelling. Photos from the Smithsonian’s 40+ year collection with cultural info will WOW you!

AOS 2017-03 bulbophylum
Photo: B.purpureorachis ‘Haley Suzanne’ is an unearthly African beauty.

Choosing Fertilizer Based on Water Quality pg 108
Wild orchids obtain their moisture through rainfall, dew and mist. This pure water collects dissolved minerals as it percolates down tree organic matter, through soil and rock strata and via waterways. Most orchids enjoy slightly acidic conditions. Too acidic renders most nutrients highly soluble which can lead to nutrient/fertilizer toxicity. Too alkaline can render nutrients insoluble. Balance is the key. Really digest these 9 pages of words of wisdom by legendary Roy Tokunaga to understand how to maintain your root zone pH. Happy roots makes happy plants.

AOS 2017-03 fertilizer
Photo: Saturation Test for Root Zone pH byRoy Tokunaga

Native Orchids of California pg 118
You now have 40 more reasons to adventure and hunt with abandon in our beautiful state. California boasts 35 species and 5 subspecies throughout all counties but Solano. Use this article as a guide and get hunting after this stormy season ends!

AOS 2017-03 native orchids
Serious Eye Candy: C.montanum

Cattleya Constance Wigan pg 126

A fascinating history on why Cattleya Ophir was preferred over Cattleya Constance Wigan as an important early parent of yellow cattleya hybrids. C. Constance Wigan offers quite the breeding mystery.

AOS 2017-03 cattleya
Photo: C. ophir

–  Krystal Goulart (VP & AOS Rep)

AOS News – January 2017

January – A Month to Look Forward to

It is pretty unbelievable to see our January speaker, Fred Clarke, in the December issue of Orchids magazine. Open to page 888 to see Fred receiving the AOSExcellence in Hybridizing Award for his work in the Catasetum Alliance. Then turn to page 920 to see a full page photo of Fredclarkeara Desert Tenor ‘Sunset Valley Orchids’, FCC/AOS, with more to follow in subsequent pages. Impressive and what a way to start off a great New Year for us!

Personal New Year’s resolutions may be hard to manage, but finding a “perfect flower” to add to your collection might be the easiest way to start that journey. Look to the genus Clowesia for that (“perfect” as having bisexual parts) and be impressed by its multi-week flower longevity and 12-30+ flower per infloresence count. Compact, pendulous and some having fragrance, you can easily find space and a reason to collect these fascinating gems.

Read about Clowesia and its Hybrids in the December issue on page 920. This genus only has 7 species and few intrageneric hybrids, but it has been used with great success in breeding with the Catasetum and Mormodia genera to impart and enhance many desirable features.


AOS WEBINAR #1Greenhouse Chat with Ron McHatton
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @5:30 PM – 6:30 PM PST
Members & Non-Members Invited – Webinar Details PageRegistration Page

Please join Ron McHatton, American Orchid Society Director of Education, for a Q&A session on how to grow and care for your orchids. If you have a question, please submit your questions by Sunday, January 8th to stillisch@cox.net


AOS WEBINAR #2Novelty Cattleyas with Fred Clarke
Tuesday, January 25, 2017 @5:30 PM – 6:30 PM PST
Members Only – Webinar Details PageRegistration Page

A look at a classic Paphiopedilum hybrid and its breeding influence. Join Dave Sorokowsky, owner of Paph Paradise, as he discusses the interesting history and hybridizing of this delightful Paph. So many of the Paph hybrids have Maudiae in their background; learn how it has influenced hybridizing over the years.


Cattleya intermedia (aquinii) ‘SVO Star Burst’ AM/AOS; Photographer:Arthur Pinkers

–  Krystal Goulart (VP & AOS Rep)