The San Francisco Orchid Society meets on the first Tuesday of every month.

Located at San Francisco County Fair Building (Hall of Flowers), adjacent to the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum (at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way, San Francisco).

Plants submitted for American Orchid Society Judging must be entered between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m.

Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.

Guest Speaker: Mary Gerritsen

Topic: Growing Orchids Outdoors in the San Francisco Bay Area

It is often said that we are blessed to live in the Bay Area. Our mild weather conditions throughout the year make it possible to grow an amazing variety of cool to intermediate temperature loving orchids. However, for successful outdoor growing it is essential to understand certain key elements. Join us for Mary’s informative talk that will cover what you need to know about growing orchids outside, including microclimates, selecting or creating suitable growing area, cultural tips, how to cope with heat and cold, and a survey of popular orchids that are grown outside year round in different parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Mary fell in love with orchids during her post-doctoral days in the late 70’s in San Diego, and has grown them off and on ever since. She worked in the biotechnology industry for many years, developing drugs for autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Now semi-retired, she works as an independent biotechnology consultant, and in her spare time, travels as much as she can to see orchids in habitat. In the past twelve years she has gone on orchid trips/treks to various parts of the US and Canada, as well as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Borneo, Western Australia, Thailand, Sulawesi, New Guinea, South Africa, Madagascar and southern and western China. She has also traveled to Germany, Crete, Rhodes, Mallorca, Sicily and Cyprus to photograph the terrestrial orchids. 

Mary enjoys writing about orchids, and is an author/co-author (with friend and well-known photographer Ron Parsons) of four orchid books (Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World, A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species, A Bay Area Guide to Orchids and their Culture and the newly published American Orchid Society Guide to Orchids and their Culture). She has also written articles for orchid magazines including Orchids, Orchid Digest and The Orchid Review. She has a collection of mostly miniature, cool growing species. Orchid Review.

Mary is a past-president of the San Francisco Orchid Society and Peninsula Orchid Society and currently serves on the board of directors of The Orchid Digest and The Orchid Conservation Alliance. 

Opportunity Table: Will be provided this month by Debra Atwood of Napa Valley Orchids.

Skills Session at 7:00 pm: Golden Gate Orchid’s award winning Tom Perlite will demonstrate how to repot Cattleyas, Phalaenopsis, and Odonts.

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