Meeting Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 – 7:00 PM

Speaker: Mark Reinke

Topic: Decoding Dendrobium:  The Suprising Orchids You Thought You Knew!

Why would anyone familiar with orchids be surprised by the genus Dendrobium?  Perhaps because the Dendrobium plants most commonly seen for sale are not necessarily what does well under cultivation in our temperate latitudes, but what is easy and inexpensive to mass produce in outdoor orchid ranges at low elevation in Thailand and Indonesia.  Yet, these showy plants that often prove difficult to rebloom in our collections represent only a tiny sampling of this widespread and diverse genus that comes from many different climate types, and from sea level to more than ten thousand feet above.

Mark’s program offers a comprehensive introduction to the genus, clarifying some of the native climates and cultural needs of the sections you may already have basic familiarity with, and introducing you to some that are only now becoming more available commercially.  Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised by how many of these new introductions would do well alongside your Phalaenopsis or Cattleya orchids, offering long lasting, colorful blooms without the need for high heat, high light, or annual starving or chilling.

Mark Reinke, and his partner Gary Collier, left Atlanta city life behind more than a decade ago and now own and operate a small commercial orchid nursery in a remote part of the extreme western tip of South Carolina called Marble Branch Farms, where they are propagating their own new and unusual hybrids in the Cattleya alliance and other genera as well.  Mark began growing orchids at the age of 12 when his family lived in the St. Petersburg, FL area.  He has been a life-long horticulturalist and orchid grower and is active in both the Atlanta Orchid Society and the Western North Carolina Orchid Society.   He has served in many capacities for the Atlanta society over the years including being president twice, and continues to write plant descriptions and cultural information for their newsletter.  Mark will have plants for sale at the meeting, including some of the more recently available Dendrobium species and hybrids Mark will be talking about in his program. 

Venice Community Center.

Meeting starts 7:00 – Doors open at 6:30pm

Meeting Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – 7:00 PM

Speaker: Roy Krueger

Topic: Grower, Know Yourself

Roy moved down here about fourteen years ago, bought a house, and inherited three orchids from the previous owner. He soon discovered that orchids multiply faster than rabbits and he now has over 500, with his favorites being Cattleyas and unusual Dendrobiums. Roy grows his orchids in a pool cage, on trees, under arbors, on wind chime holder racks and along his fence out of the reach of squirrels.

He’s neither a born orchidist nor a commercial grower, just an extremely talented hobbyist and his experience and knowledge are displayed at the many classes he teaches at various societies. He served five years as the President of the Manatee Orchid Society and four years in various positions with the Sarasota Orchid Society, writing a monthly article called “Orchids We Should Grow”.

Roy has spoken at many clubs and societies over the years on many orchid topics and is well known for his how-to classes and hands-on approach. Bring your questions and be prepared to learn and have a great time at the May meeting.

Meeting starts 7:00 – Doors open at 6:30.

Plant sales provided by Orchid Envy.

Venice Community Center.

Meeting Wednesday, April 5, 2017 – 7:00 PM


Speaker: Rafael Romero

Topic: Brassavola Hybrids

Rafael Romero, Plantio La Orquidea, was born in Caracas, Venezuela and graduated as a biologist from the Universidad Simon Bolivar. He began working with orchids in 1986 with his father in law, Henrique Graf, owner of Plantio La Orquidea, the largest orchid nursery in Venezuela. Together with his wife Tina, Rafael started the laboratory at Plantio La Orquidea in 1986 where they produce the species and hybrids for which they are known. They moved to Sarasota in 2003 and started their nursery where they established a good sample of the species and hybrids produced in Venezuela as well as adding interesting species and hybrids from around the world.Rafael will be sharing his knowledge and experiences as well as answering questions and will have a great selection of his orchids available for sale. Plantio La Orquidea is one of our fine local growers and is located at 3480 Tallevast Road in Sarasota.

Meeting starts 7:00 – Doors open at 6:30.

Venice Community Center.