Events - Calendar of Events
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Orchids in August

General Growing Tips. August is the hottest month so be prepared to work diligently to ensure sufficient air circulation. Spray water on the floor, benches and outer surface of clay pots one or more times every day during the hottest times. Continue watering and using a dilute fertilizer. The warm temperatures also cause fungal and bacterial problems as well as an increase in insect populations. Observe your plants carefully and spray for both insects and disease when first noticed. It may be necessary to move unsheltered plants into an area protected from torrential rains.

Cattleyas. The extreme heat seems to discourage active growth and flowering, but many plants are either developing buds for their autumn flowering or are ripening growths that will power the winter and spring blooming season. The bifoliates and nodosa hybrids seem best able to bloom during the summer temperature extremes. The high temperatures and humidity typical of our summer coupled with tropical storm weather create the potential for black rot. Consider allowing plants to dry harder between waterings. Tie up new growths carefully to promote upright development of the pseudobulbs.

Cymbidiums. Use high potassium fertilizer in late August. The potassium level should be at 250 to 300 ppm potassium (K) and zero to very low N. Do this only two times at a two week interval. Wait a month then resume your normal fertilizer schedule.

Dendrobiums. The nobile-type dendrobiums are popular though some growers find them difficult to flower. In order to promote the gradual shift from active growth to the flowering cycle, start withholding nitrogen now. Some growers report using a bloom booster this time of year on winter dormant plants helps prepare them for their dormancy.



Phalaenopsis. Current high temperatures are particularly stressful for phalaenopsis. Excess heat and humidity promote bacterial Pseudomonas infections on the fleshy leaves. Keep light levels subdued, promote sufficient air circulation and do not splash water from one plant onto another. Keep using a dilute (1/4 to 1/8 tsp/gal) fertilizer with every watering to develop the strongest roots and largest leaves prior to the winter flowering season.

Vandas. Summer growing conditions are ideal for Aerides, Ascocentrum, Rhynchostylis and Vanda hybrids. Feed aggressively and provide high humidity. Try placing a rubber-topped plastic flower tube containing stale beer on a rigid, emerging new root (in the evening and remove in the morning so it doesn't burn). Rather quickly, the root will consume the beer and utilize its carbohydrate content, producing some remarkable growth responses.

More Monthly Advice

Dr. Martin Motes Notes:
Progress of the Season. June has been much cooler and exceptionally dry this year. The late advent of the rainy season has allowed our orchids to get off to an excellent start free from disease pressure. The drier air has also produced much wider swings in day to night temperatures which have stimulated exceptional rooting... read more
Orchids in August. July and August are the two most similar months in South Florida. Most of the advice on watering, disease and pest control in last month's calendar still apply but subtle changes are taking place. Although it may not seem so, as temperatures climb into the low nineties most afternoons, summer is in retreat: each day a little shorter, each night a little longer. With shorter days the importance of watering as early... read entire article

Culture Article by Sue Bottom:
The Mystery of Sphagnum Moss Orchid growers have a love hate relationship with sphagnum moss. Those that hate it say it caused their plants to rot, and those that love it have probably learned how to properly water plants growing in it. They’ve learned that you don’t water because it’s Saturday morning, your normal watering day. You water plants growing in sphagnum when the moss approaches dryness... read more


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SAOS News

Monthly SAOS Meeting          
We normally meet on the first Tuesday of each month at Watson Realty, located at 3505 US 1 South in St. Augustine. The meeting begins with a plant sale at 7 pm followed by a presentation by an orchid expert at 7:15. The meeting closes with a plant raffle and auction where members can expand their collections. It's fun and informative for beginner and experienced growers. Here's a membership form if you want to join. Visitors and guests are always welcome!
Video of Orchid Society Meeting Here's a video of one of our meetings!

August 4 Monthly Meeting - The Basics of Orchid Growing, 7 to 9 pm
Michael Polen of Art Stone Orchids in St. Pete will be outlining his hands on approach to orchid growing at the August 4 meeting. Michael is a very down to earth speaker who will talk about how to grow the healthiest and happiest orchids. There won’t be any pretty pictures or a power point presentation, but there will be plenty of great tips on how to get the most from your orchid addiction.

Mike and his wife Paula became interested in orchids through their mothers who both grew them. In the early 1980s on a fishing trip to the Florida Keys, they shopped for orchids on the way home for their mothers. It wasn’t too long before they were buying orchids for themselves. They put orchids around their fountains to enhance the fountain sales and the orchids were so popular customers were stopping for orchids and the orchid business was born.
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Beginners - SAOS Keiki Club
Beginners - SAOS Keiki Club

Keiki Club for Orchid Beginners
The Keiki Club is for our beginner orchid growers. We meet monthly from January through October, usually on a Sunday afternoon. Our Keiki Club Get Togethers begin with a short presentation on a timely orchid culture topic and then it’s a free for all when we can discuss any and all thoughts or questions you have about growing orchids. Visitors and guests are always welcome!
Video of Keiki Club Meeting Here's a video of one of our get togethers!

August 16 Keiki Club - Staking Your Orchids, 1 - 3 pm
It's good to spend some quality time with your orchids, particularly if you take the time to stake the flower spikes for their best presentation. Staking techniques for summer blooming orchids like cattleyas, dendrobiums and oncidiums will be discussed, along with some other tricks. We won't be repotting at the Youngs, bring any plants that need repotting to the Ace repotting clinic.
Where:   Kathy and Mark Young's Home (Air Conditioned Meeting Location)
160 West Genung Street, St. Augustine 32086


Orchid Repotting and Plant Clinic at Ace Hardware

September 5 Plant Clinic at Ace Hardware, 9 am to 1 pm
The first Saturday of the month from February through November, Master Gardeners and St. Augustine Orchid Society members will be available to talk with you, answer questions and help you repot orchids. We will be at the Ace Hardware at 3050 US 1 South in St. Augustine from 9 am until 1 pm.
Video of Ace Repotting Clinic Here's a video of a repotting clinic!


SAOS Happenings

St. Augustine Orchid Society Happenings
Gail Marshall puts together the SAOS Happenings each month so you can easily find all the orchid events around town.


Orchid Culture
Orchid Culture
Culture General Orchid Culture
Orchid Growing Basics The Basics
Repotting Orchids Repotting Orchids
Orchid Culture by Genus Orchid Culture by Genus
Water Quality and Fertilizer Water Quality and Fertilizer

Monthly Orchid Checklists and Newsletters
Monthly Orchid Growing Advice
Growing Orchids in St. Augustine Month by Month Growing Orchids in St. Augustine Month by Month
Courtney Hackney's Tips Courtney Hackney's Tips
Martin Motes Notes Martin Motes Notes
Sue Bottom Articles Sue Bottom Articles

Orchid Pests and Diseases
Orchid Pests and Diseases
Orchid Pests Orchid Pests
Orchid Diseases Orchid Diseases
Other Types of Damage Other Types of Damage
Viruses Orchid Viruses
Orchid Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers
Cultural Tips for New Growers
Tips for New Growers
Seasonal Tips Seasonal Tips
Your First Orchid Your First Orchid
AOS Beginner's Newsletters AOS Beginner's Newsletters
Home and Backyard Orchid Growing Home and Backyard Orchid Growing
My Favorite Orchid My Favorite Orchid

Orchid Photographs

Orchid Photographs
Terry Bottom photographs all the orchids brought to the Show Table each month. There is an interactive form to identify your plant on the show table.
Show Table Photographs Show Table Orchid Photographs
Orchid Photographs Orchid Photos Categorized by Alliance
SAOS Event Photgraphs Photo Archive of all SAOS Events
Orchid Videos Orchid Videos


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Your information source for growing orchids in North Florida. The SAOS is a Section 501(c)(3) not for profit organization for the development, improvement, preservation, cultivation and hybridization of orchids. All donations are tax deductible.


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