The Cape Orchid Society Archive 


Growing hints


JUNE   2001

NEXT MEETING : Please take note of the date and time!
SATURDAY 23 JUNE 2001 starting at 15h00 at Athenaeum, Newlands.


1) ORCHIDS FOR EVERYONE Compiled by Ann Duckworth
This is a new programme form the South African Orchid Council listing. It deals with a range of species and hybrids suitable for, as the title suggests, everyone. Ann has taken care to describe natural habitats and cultural advice as well as allowing the audience to enjoy the visual pleasure of orchids in bloom. Many of the slides are donations from Carmen Coll who is a very accomplished orchid photographer so I’m sure we are in for a treat.

The prizes from our Autumn Show will be awarded so please try to be there if you were a winner.

Don’t forget the plant raffle and plant sales at each meeting.

Happy birthday to everyone celebrating their special day this month. Delna Osborne (12), Joan Hart (19) and Bess Gouws (21).
A warm welcome to new Members Mr. & Mrs. Burstein from Newlands who have relocated from Natal.
Congratulations to Sarel and Madeleine Spies on the birth of their first child Luka who was born on 4 May.
Lastly, we all look forward to seeing Brenda Vurgarellis strong and back to normal soon.

The plants that were brought elicited quite extensive discussion and interaction that was beneficial to everyone. We heard a range of suggestions to combat mealie bug, scale, and fungal infections which seems to be a common plague. Members issued a warning on the use of Oleum, which appears to not be good for orchid plants and if used, may result in deformed flowers. A dusting of cinnamon as a fungicide is effective, particularly on Paphiopedilums. Remember that most insecticides and fungicides require a wetting agent (surfactant) for effective management (you may want to try some grated sunlight soap). Phalaenopsis may be susceptible to Aphidcide. Superthrive and Vitamin B1 is useful to promote root production and a sprinkling of lime on Paphiopedilum concolor every 6 months helps to encourage water absorption.
Thank you to Lambit Kaudla, Tricia Owen, David Ronaasen and Manfred Waltner who donated plants for the raffle.


Congratulations to all the prize and ribbon winners. It was a wonderful Show with some new faces and helping hands that were VERY welcome. Thank you to everyone who played their part up front, on the sidelines and in the back room! Forgive me for singling out just one person, but there is a special word of thanks to Virginia Schmidt who stepped in and organised the corsage table for us.


Best on Show, Best Cattleya & Most Spectacular on Show
Cattleya Portia 'Cannizaro'
Owner: Johan Bruwer

Reserve Champion & Best Paphiopedilum
Paphiopedilum Mystic Jewel
Owner: Stellenkloof Orchids

Best Cymbidium
Cymbidium Red Pepper 'Spice'
Owner: Vincent McKinnon

Best Dendrobium
Dendrobium-phalaenopsis Pompadour
Owner: Jacques Jefthas

Best Odontoglossum
Vuylstekeara Happy Refrain 'Sheila'
Owner: Sheila Smith

Best Vandaceous
Ascocenda John de Biase
Owner: Volkmar Schmidt

Best Miscellaneous Hybrid
Zygopetalum Zephyr 'Volkmar's Choice'
Owner: Volkmar Schmidt

Best Exotic Species
Catasetum schmidtianum
Owner: Volkmar Schmidt

Best African Species
Aerangis somalensis
Owner: Jacques Jefthas

Best South African Species
Polystachya tesselata
Owner: Ann Gray

Wilferd Duckitt will be giving us a talk on his work with Polystachyas after the usual open day at
Duckitt Nurseries in July. Please try to be there to enjoy the sales morning and the talk thereafter.

Date : 7 July 2001

Time: Sales 9am till 12 noon followed by the talk at 1pm.

Bring along a packed lunch to enjoy after the open day ( the ladies who usually sell refreshments may not be able to be there that day so please don’t rely on their goodies).

These two events i.e. the KwaZulu-Natal Cultural Seminar on Saturday 28 July 2001 and the Natal Orchid Society’s seminar planned for the following week (4 August 2001) promise to be well worth attending. For details contact Hendrelien Peters 031 764 1902 or Ingrid Dix-Peek 031 5647960.

We would like some feedback on the Newsletter that is now being sent by e-mail to many of you. We will be sending it by snail mail as well for a month or two just to be sure everyone is happy.
If you are not receiving it in a suitable format or are not happy, please contact me at If we don’t hear from you we will assume all is well. Please keep us up to date with changes to your address or if you have a newly acquired one.

These South African epiphytic orchids are listed in "Rare and Threatened Plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions" by Rob Scott-Shaw

Ansellia africana - rare; low abundance
Bolusiella maudiae – very rare; narrow range; low abundance
Polystachya zuluensis – very rare; narrow range; low abundance
Diaphananthe millarii – very rare; disjunct distribution; low abundance

(Thanks to Umhlatuzana Orchid Species Society)

Don’t over-water as plants take longer to dry out during the cooler and shorter days. Be careful of water collecting on Cattleya sheaths that could cause the developing buds to rot.
Insert stakes for Cymbidiums that are coming into spike, but try to tie and stake in the warmest part of the day to prevent snapping cold, rigid spikes.
Don’t change the plant’s orientation to light once the spikes have emerged, as the different orientation causes crooked and twisted spikes.
Re-orientate the new growths on Cattleyas to take full advantage of available light.
Vandas, Ascocendas and Oncidiums need to be given as much light as possible, lift them above your other plants if necessary.
Nobile type Dendrobiums should be kept dry for the next few months.

Looking for books? Try
Information on Phragmipediums? Try
A resource for cultural information? Try
Update on neem oil? Try
More about the Cape Orchid Society? Try

This is your last chance to list yourself in the 2001 Yearbook to sell orchids as a non-commercial grower. If you regularly have plants to sell (not just the odd division or two) but are not registered as a commercial grower, you may advertise in the listing to be included in the Yearbook. This will cost you R100. Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested.

PLANT TABLE – There was no plant table in May because of our "problem plant " programme.


SATURDAY 23 JUNE 2001 starting at 15h00 at Athenaeum, Newlands.
Please take note of the date and time!


P O Box 3347, Cape Town, 8000

President: Peter Vurgarellis, Tel 671-8166

Vice-President: still vacant

Secretary: Sylvia Byren, Tel 794-6439

Treasurer: Jacques Jefthas, Tel 511-4508

Librarian: Bill Phillips

Newsletter: Wendy Gersie, Tel 712-8721


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