In an attempt to offer our members more activities besides our regular meetings, GLOS has sessions on alternating months with special topics.


    Members brought orchids for this session. Lynn led the group in setting up a small display on a table in Pete's living room. Dot brought a document she put together as a guide for preparing plants for display.

    Result: Jim put together a display at out Feb. show with orchids from the Study Group members. His display won a blue ribbon!


     During Formation Of The Spikes:

    • Once the spike starts to form, place plant so that the spike will grow toward the light, then don’t change its orientation.
    • Be sure the plant is pest-free.
    • Try not to change the growing conditions: humidity, light, temperature, etc., as any changes in these can cause buds to blast.
    • As the spike grows or flowers form, stake them for presentation. There are various opinions and techniques on this issue.
    • Sometimes the plants themselves need staking, especially Cattleya and Dendrobium.

    Immediate Preparation:

    • Remove dead plant material: dried up sheaths, yellow or brown leaves, anything that will distract from the flowers. Use a different sterile tool for each plant if you need to cut into living tissue.
    • Double check the plant for bugs or disease.
    • Clean the leaves: Some people use a soft cloth and water or soapy water. Others use lemon juice or milk on a cotton ball.
    • Clean the pot.
    • Double check the way the plant is staked. Remove any dead or dying flowers. Adjust foliage, if necessary.
    • Place the plant name and parents (if you know them) on a piece of paper, along with your name, and tape it to the bottom  of the pot. Then remove the plant tag and store it in a safe place.
    • Water your plant(s) thoroughly.
    • Make a list of the plants you are submitting, with your name on it, and submit it along with the plants to the Exhibit Committee or the person who is collecting plants for the show. It is helpful for registration purposes to make notes on this list regarding flower color, especially for Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilums, and Cattleya families because color is a factor in determining the entry class for these orchids.


    From the Study Group – by Lynn O’Shaughnessy
    Four people attended the study group meeting at my house on April 2 – Georgian Franczyk, Jim Heilig, Dot Barnett and Marilyn Lee.  Everyone got to see my greenhouse and plants before we went inside for a PowerPoint program on growing specimen plants.  Attendees were treated to snacks after which we went back to the greenhouse to look at specimen plants.  Each attendee was offered a plant of Restrepia trichoglossa to try along with the following information on care.
    This was the very first pleurothallid species I purchased and grew way back in May of 1995.  I used to grow it right in with my mixed collection in my Four Seasons sun room.  I had my plants sitting on egg crate over trays that held water.  Whenever the hot tub was open, it was a little more humid than at other times.  Humidity was not always that high.  I grew it under the leaves of my other orchids in a shadier portion of the room.  Then when I built my basement growing area, I moved it down there where it grew a little better because of the higher humidity in the basement room.  I had a Hermidifier running most of the day downstairs.  The plant was continuously in bloom throughout the winter and off and on throughout the summer.  Below is a photo of this plant 1 year after I got it.

     Photo Courtesy of Lynn O'Shaughnessy

    In nature, Restrepia trichoglossa is found at altitudes from 1,000 feet to 10,000 feet from Mexico to Peru.  It is quite adaptable to both warm and cool temperatures.  It has been my experience that it is also quite adaptable to lower humidity, but may have wrinkled leaves if the humidity is consistently too low.  I also find that it does better if grown in moss and the moss is allowed to dry out somewhat between waterings, but not allowed to stay constantly dry.  I grow them now in moss in net pots that are then set in plastic pots to allow for a little additional air at the roots.  If your area is a little dryer, you might want to just pot them in moss in a plastic pot.


    Dot purchased 24 Phrags and sold them to attendees at wholesale prices. The Challenge will be to see whose plant(s) bloom first. Lynn has a head start, as one of her choices was in sheath!

    We discussed various potting media and growing methods.

    Photos Courtesy of Lynn O'Shaughnessy

    Twelve people attended the Study Group meeting at Mike Underwood’s home on Sunday, August 6. Mike had a picnic table set up outside with samples of his cattleyas to check out. Mike admits that he does not like to re-pot, so he used to pot his cattleyas in clay pots with straight perlite. He had a plant with a broken pot with a section removed to show us how well the roots liked this mixture. Several years ago, he was introduced to recycled tire chunks and shreds. He has used this medium in clay pots with equal success. He takes advantage of the natural fertilizers he has on his farm and uses turkey in the summer and goat in the winter. Oddly enough, Mike said it did not smell up the greenhouse.
    After we talked about the plants, Mike showed us his greenhouse. He had just replaced the roof of the greenhouse with new panels. The other panels disintegrated after only a few years - literally. After the greenhouse tour, Mike invited us to take a cattleya division potted in tire chunks to try for ourselves. The divisions were in 6” pots with several new growths already coming! Let’s see how many we can bloom for the GLOS display.
    Most everyone stayed afterwards and got to visit with the animals including several new babies.
    Session 5: ANGRAECOIDS
    Those of us who attended the Angraecoid session at the home of Jim Heilig were treated to a slide presentation of images and growing conditions for many members of the Angraicoid family. Jim borrowed the slides from the Orchid Digest, scanned them and then showed them from his computer onto his TV set. Many of the images had a thimble in it for scale, and most of us were surprised at how many members of this group are very small.

    Jim and his partner also treated us to some homemade pumpkin pie and cake served with real whipped cream, as well as other snacks.

    Jim then showed us his basement growing area. He has the works: an HID light moving on a track, as well as stands with fluorescent lights, and humidifiers. It is amazing how many plants he can fit into a relatively small area.

    Finally, Jim had some seedlings of Angraeceum didieri that we could buy at his cost.
    Photos by Dot
    Session 5: GREENHOUSE TOUR
    Ten members of the Study Group journeyed down to visit Taylor Orchids and Summerfield Orchids on December 2. In addition to being treated to some beautiful blooms, group members got to hear growing tips and secrets from Ron Ciesinski and Donna Harig.

    Photos courtesy of Lynn Oshaughnessy
    Six of us met at Bill Cadman's on June 3rd. We discussed how we will be summering our orchids outside.

    Then we went to Fenner Nature Center where the GLOS Conservation Committee had planted native Cypripediums, some of which had recently been rescued from a road development project in the Upper Peninsula.

    Photos by Dot

    There were 6 members that met at the home of Pete Ostlund on August 5th. The discussion offered these ideas:

    1. determine when to bring plants in before the nights get too cold (usually around labor day for plants that are sensitive to cold nights, but many orchids can continue to be left outside with a bit of protection on the colder nights such as catts, phrags, and dendrobiums), Mike suggested that people usually don’t take advantage of the spring and fall as much as they could for growing outside. 
    2. certain plants require cool or cold nights in order to bloom, keep these out longer, some dendrobiums and most cymbidiums fit into this category
    3. insect control - look at collection carefully to determine if scale, ants, aphids, etc. Pete usually tried treat twice for insects prior to bringing plants in, using a systemic insecticide.
    4. weed control – get rid of the weeds that may have decided to grow with your orchids
    5. thin the herd - decide which orchid aren’t going to be part of your collection because they don’t grow well, are infected, or just don’t fit into your collection any more, or if you want to make room for fall and winter time additions
    6. divide and conquer - divide plants that have gotten too big
    7. bring the non-diseased plants to GLOS for the raffle table.

    Prepare grow areas:
    8. replace lights (recycle fluorescent lights)
    9. humidity and heat control, fans
    10. Decide what goes where/when certain plants require reducing day light to initiate flowering, or temp constantly cool to initiate flowering (such as phal, keep temp around 72). 
    11. Evaluate the micro-climates of your grow areas, moving a plant slightly may be all that is needed to get it to grow better and/or flower.


    There were 13 new members, 4 study group members, plus Bill and Marilyn Porter attending.

    Dot put on her teacher’s hat, and with the help of Doris Asher, Bill Cadman and Pete Ostlund, guided the attendees through a potting session along with general questions about caring for orchids. Dot prepared a handout which outlined what would be covered in the session, which can also be used as a general guide for repotting orchids.

    The Porters furnished cookies and punch, as well as the potting mix and pots for all the participants.


    Safety and Sanitary:
    1. area: layered newspapers
    2. hygene: gloves, razor blades or other sterilized cutting tools
    3. pots: clear vs opaque, clay vs. plastic, fancy vs plain
    4. chemicals: alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, fungicide, cinnamon

    Potting Mixes:
    1. standard bark mix
    2. sphagnum
    3. coconut chips, fiber, coir
    4. hydroton /prime-agra/leca
    5. diatomite/dyna-roc6. lava rock
    7. amendments: perlite (sponge rock), peat, charcoal
    8. other

    Re-potting procedure:
    1. removing plant from pot: wet vs dry, rootbound/roots outside of pot
    2. condition of roots and watering
    3. removing old media/dead roots
    4. finding right size pot
    5. re-potting techniques
    6. staking

    1. appropriate mounts & media
    2. attaching plant to mount: fishing wire; nylon thread

    Session 9: TOLUMNIAS

    18 GLOS members met at Rob Halgren’s Little Frog Farm on Sunday, April 6th. We had ample time to wander about in his greenhouse to admire the many orchids in bloom.

    Rob talked about growing Tolumnias, showing us several plants that had multiple spikes, some branching, and all with many bright cheery flowers. He noted the quantity of flowers per size of plant. Rob gave us some growing tips, also: in nature, these grow high up in the canopy, receiving ample sunlight. They are intermediate-to-warm growers whose roots need to dry out between waterings. Rob recommended growing them in clay pots with very loose and fast draining media such as charcoal, or mounting them on a stick.
    Photos by Dot
    Session 10: Dendrobiums at Green Acres Orchids
    There were almost two dozen GLOS members and guests that attended Cindy Flisnik’s talk on Dendrobiums, Sunday, June 8th.

    Cindy discussed several types of Dendrobiums, their growing characteristics and culture. She showed several examples of each type, and many of the attendees took advantage of the 50% offering and chose plants to try their hands at growing them.

    For many of us, the trip home was more than memorable, for shortly after the guests departed, terrible thunder storms with very high winds that knocked down trees and power lines made the journey home a dangerous one. Some arrived home to find them without power. However, our newly acquired plants and knowledge made the trip well worthwhile.


    There were about a dozen members that toured the Summering conditions at the homes of Bill Cadman, Pete Ostlund, and Dot Potter Barnett on June 13th. In addition to seeing how these members solved their summering orchids outdoors problems, tours of their gardens made us all realize that orchids are plant lovers of all kinds. A little pizza picnic ended the tour.


    Dot demonstrated while other Board Members added comments and suggestions. Thanks to Bill Porter for offering his facility and potting materials.


    Thanks again to Bill Porter for offering his facility and potting materials.

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