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NEXT MEETING: Conserving Orchids in the Wild & Growing them at Home - Nov. 9th, 6p.m. Zoom

Photo credit: Peter Tobias.

Eriopsis scwptrum Photo credit: Peter Tobias

Monday, November 9, 6PM - Zoom meeting! Note: The Zoom link to attend the meeting is contained in email sent to the membership, check your inboxes. The meeting will be recorded and the recording will be uploaded to the San Diego Horticultural Society's YouTube channel the week following the live presentation for those who missed it or wish to see it again.

Conserving Orchids in their Native Habitats and Growing them at Home Presented by Peter Tobias and Debby Halliday, Orchid Conservation Alliance.

Orchids are the focus of the November meeting of the San Diego Horticultural Society, and we will explore orchid conservation as well as growing orchids at home.

Scuticaria steelii in the wild.

San Diego resident Peter Tobias is President and co-founder of the Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA) which mobilizes the orchid growing community to preserve wild orchid habitats. Many orchids, as with other flora and fauna, are in danger of extinction due to human created impacts on their environment. These impacts are due to collection, logging, agriculture, and many other forms of habitat destruction. The Orchid Conservation Alliance raises funds to purchase and protect orchid-rich habitat, and the OCA currently supports reserves in Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia. During his talk, Peter will share images from orchids in the wild and describe the goals and methods of the conservation group.

Following Peter’s presentation, Debby Halliday, President of the San Diego County Orchid Society, will provide a quick lesson on how to become a better orchid grower. The key is understanding how these unique plants grow in nature, and Debby will use this knowledge as a guide to help you grow them successfully. Orchids are sturdy plants and San Diego is a great place to grow them, and Debby will provide tips that can allow orchids to thrive.

Peter Tobias started growing orchids on a Chicago windowsill in the mid - 1970’s with a white phalaenopsis. His interest grew when a friend helped him to import some plants from India and Brazil so that he got a sense of the variety of orchids out there; an ornithocephalus or a dendrochilum is a lot different from a phalaenopsis. Ever since then, Peter has enjoyed collecting and trying to grow odd species. Orchid growing became a lot easier when he moved to Southern California in 1980 and joined the San Diego County Orchid Society; the majority of his collection is now grown outdoors.

Debby Halliday has grown orchids off and on since 1970, and now has a collection of over 700 orchids which she grows in a greenhouse and attached shade house in Rancho Santa Fe. In addition to leading the San Diego County Orchid Society, Debby currently runs the group’s monthly online meetings and, in normal years, organizes and speaks at the Orchid Society’s shows, which take place each spring in Mission Valley.


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