June Speaker: Dan Newman – “Restrepias – The Easy Pleurothallids”
Dan Newman started growing orchids in 1982. His first successful subject was a Dendrobium hybrid bought as a tiny seedling at a lei stand in the Honolulu Airport. When that plant finally grew up and bloomed a few years later, he was hooked!
By 1996 he had 350 orchids in a one-bedroom apartment. That year he moved his plants into a rented commercial greenhouse in San Francisco. He took over the large species collection of his friend and orchid mentor, Walter Teague, and his hobby evolved into his nursery, Hanging Gardens. Dan started growing orchids full-time in 2000, and moved to a larger greenhouse in Pacifica a few years later. Most of his plants are cool to intermediate growers (really warm growers are challenging in Pacifica, but it’s hard to resist trying a few).
Species orchids make up his core collection and most of his sale stock. He also grows a variety of “companion plants”, which share the natural habitats of orchids. Dan joined the San Francisco Orchid Society in 1987 and served as its president in 1996/97. In recent years, he has spoken on a variety of topics to orchid societies in California and elsewhere.