Orchid Sale

Don’t miss the 2016 Orchid Sale!

April 30, 2016

Sale from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Just in time for Mother’s Day! Join us at The Outdoor Campus , 4500 S. Oxbow Ave. in Sioux Falls (the room where we hold Monthly Meetings). We will have many blooming orchids from around the world on display and for sale.


Just in time for Mother’s Day! Join us at The Outdoor Campus , 4500 S. Oxbow Ave. in Sioux Falls (the room where we hold Monthly Meetings). We will have many blooming orchids from around the world on display and for sale.

Pick your orchids, pay and be on your way! No waiting, no bidding, just plenty of beautiful, quality blooming orchids not otherwise available in our area. They make a beautiful and unique Mother’s Day gift, lovely home decorations, and a fun and rewarding hobby. Purchase 4 or more and receive a 10% discount!

Orchid club members will also be on hand to answer questions and help you make selections. We will have potting supplies available for sale and free culture sheets to help you care for your new orchids.


We prefer cash or personal check, however for your convenience we will be able to accept debit and credit cards!

Please check out and like our Facebook page Sioux Falls Orchid Club.

Orchid Names

At October’s Sioux Falls Orchid Club meeting, we talked about orchid tags and how to read the names to get more information about your orchid.  All those strange names can be confusing and sometimes the abbreviations make it difficult to even figure out what family your orchid belongs to.  We looked at a few tags from the Fall Auction to see examples of species, named hybrids and hybrid crosses that have yet to be registered.  We also browsed a few websites that you can use to find out more about orchids.

Two  very helpful articles are Orchid Tag–Don’t Lose that Name! and RVO’s Orchid Genus Listing.   RiverValley Orchid Works is a great source of information for all things orchid–browse their articles and forums for helpful hints and gorgeous photos.

Two other good resources are the RHS International Orchid Register and the Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia.

Member Photos & A Special Event–Judy

Today’s member photo post actually is more of a “Member Feature” in anticipation of a special event for our next orchid club meeting.  At the last meeting, member Judy graciously  invited the Sioux Falls Orchid Club to hold our March 17, 2012 meeting at her house in Sioux Falls.  Judy is a dedicated orchid enthusiast and grows her collection in an orchidarium, so this should be a very interesting meeting.

Judy's orchidarium with many happy blooming orchids!

  Judy was born and raised in Kansas.  She has retired from her career as a school teacher and is working on her next career as a novelist.  She and husband Dick moved to Sioux Falls a few years ago to be closer to family.  At orchid club meetings, Judy is always ready with a twinkling-eyed smile and her trusty orchid reference book to add a fine point to our discussions.

Judy’s interest in orchids began with a table full of blooming phalaenopsis in a big box store nearly 15 years ago.  About 12 years ago, she picked up a paphiopedilum at an orchid show in Kansas and it has bloomed faithfully every summer since.  A few years ago, she acquired her orchidarium along with some more orchids from another local orchid hobbyist.   She now has around 25 orchids.  One question I neglected to ask Judy was which orchid was her favorite.  If I had to venture a guess I would go with one of the two she talks about most at meetings:  her “fu manchu” lady slipper that she acquired at last year’s  Greater Omaha Orchid Show & Sale , or her laeliocattleya–an orchid that not only has large beautiful blooms, but that I suspect she likes also for the lyrical quality of the name (you’ll never hear her call them “Lc.” in meetings!)

It is certainly lovely in name and in presence!

In addition to learning about growing orchids in an orchidarium, we will get hands on experience helping Judy divide & repot one of her dendrobiums.  Additionally, Wes volunteered to bring his light meter to the meeting so that we can take readings of the various light sources and get a better understanding of our orchids’ light needs.  Members, check your emails for time and directions.  If you missed that information, please email the club.  Hope to see you there!

Inside Judy's orchidarium.

Member Photos–Karlas’ Blc. Color Magic

Inspired by Wes’ submission of his Paphiopedilum, Karla decided to share with us her Blc. Color Magic ‘Mendenhall’ AM/AOS.  She grows this big “floofy” Cattleya in the west-facing bay window in her dining room.

Karla tells us:

The blooms on this orchid are so perfect and pretty, they almost don’t look real.

The sun peeked through the clouds last evening, so I set the orchid outside in my annual bed to get a few pictures in the good light.


Karla's Cattleya

Beautiful presentation
Karla’s master gardener’s touch and her artist’s eye come together nicely in that last photo, don’t they?  I really want to know if that beautiful Cattleya is fragrant, but I bet it was hard to tell next to that well-grown scented geranium!  Thank you for sharing, Karla!

Member Photos–Wes’ Paphiopedilum

Nothing is more satisfying to an orchid lover than when one of our orchids blooms, except maybe when it blooms extra!

Orchid club member Wes shares the story of his very first paphiopedilum.  Take a look at this gorgeous white lady slipper–that is one healthy orchid!


This is the first lady slipper orchid that I every purchased. I have had it for about three years now and it has bloomed about five times. This time I was surprised to find it was trying to produce two blossoms. The first picture shows the second blossom lagging behind the first blossom.


The second picture shows the first one opening with the second progressing, but still behind.

 In the third picture we see second blossom opening about two weeks after the first blossom had opened.


Who wouldn’t be thrilled with such beautiful blooms?  But Wes has even more rewards awaiting him:

And finally in the fourth picture we see the ‘out of focus’ double blossoms to the left of the picture, but on the opposite side of the plant we have beginnings of a new blossom. I think after these blooms are complete I will try to divide my first lady slipper.

Way to grow, Wes!  Congratulations on such a happy, healthy orchid.  Thank you for sharing these photos!  When you can’t find room in the windowsill for all those divisions, think of me. 😉

Homemade Bug Killer


Have you ever tried to repot a new orchid and discovered a virtual insectary in the old pot?  Orchids attract all sort of bugs.  Little root destroying snails seem to be the most common pot hitchhikers.  We talk often in Orchid Club about battling scale and mealybugs–when you can see them on the leaves, the media in the pot is also probably full of them. 

Personally, I tend to be a bit squeamish and prefer a take-no-prisoners approach to bugs.  But when you are growing orchids in your home, it’s not always a good idea to haul out the heavy chemicals.  When I decided to move some of my orchids outside for the summer, I knew I had to be prepared for the bug battle.   I was especially worried about earwigs like the creepy little guy at the top–our town is infested with them.  While it is a myth that they burrow into your ears, two things are certain about earwigs:  They love dark damp places like the spaces in orchid bark and when they get hungry, no flower is spared.  Last year they ate every blossom from my clematis and begonias, and mowed torenia and even marigolds clean off at the ground.   I knew I would need something that I could use often to keep the earwigs out of my pots. I wanted something cheap and non-toxic but effective.

Dish soap is an old timey insecticide that is especially useful for controlling spider mites.  We often talk about using rubbing alcohol for killing and cleaning off scale and mealies.  And orchidists frequently recommend rubbing regular ground cinnamon onto fresh cuts on orchids because it speeds drying and acts as an antifungal.  This recipe combines the best of all three ingredients into an effective all-purpose pest killer.  I mostly use it in a spray bottle, but it is cheap enough to pour through the pot or dunk.  It gets bonus points for smelling great.   Cinnamon extract is a liquid and can be found in the grocery store baking aisle next to the spices and vanilla.

10 drops dishsoap

1/2 tsp. cinnamon extract

2 TBS. rubbing alcohol

2 cups tepid water

If you want more safe ideas for products to use on your orchids, check out First Rays Home Remedies.

Fall Sale Sneak Preview–Why you should come

Orchid enthusiasts usually start simply–they go shopping at the discount store or grocery store and get enchanted by a huge rack of blooming Phalaenopsis.  Because of the stress of life in a store environment and the potting media wholesalers use that makes orchids easy to ship and display but difficult keep alive in the home, the first few orchids a person takes home might be inadvertently killed before they get the watering just right or learn about repotting.  Once the beautiful blooms have faded but our new grower has some success in keeping the plant alive and growing, the spell is cast and the search for more orchids begins.

At least that’s how it started for me and many orchid growers I know.   At first I bought whatever I could find at the home improvement stores. These were quite often suffering root rot before I even took them home due to being stuffed in soggy sphagnum moss in tight undrained pots and watered haphazardly by store employees who didn’t know any better.  Luckily, I didn’t keep track of how many I killed at first. I began to wonder if other kinds of orchids might be happier in my house.  Then I saw dendrobiums advertised in the grocery store circular!  By this time I realized it was a good idea to repot orchids right away and luckily I did–unpotting that first Dendrobium was like going on an archaeology expedition.  It had never had old media removed but was simply “potted up” with new media thrown around the side,  so I got to dig through 4 layers of different kinds of root-killing soggy mess.

Our local greenhouses had about the same selection of Phalaenopsis, but I kept looking.  I’ll never forget spying “something different” in the orchid section at the garden center–I really wanted to take it home.  It looked healthy enough but it was out of bloom, had no identification label and a $70 price tag.  I had no idea what kind of orchid it was or what kind of care it needed, so I reluctantly walked away.  (It’s still there, almost 18 months later.  The price has come down some, but even after all the orchids I’ve seen and all the reading I’ve done I still can’t guess even what genera it is.)

I tried purchasing orchids online.  Sometimes this worked ok, but many times the orchids were tiny and fragile–just barely out of the propagation flask and years away from blooming size.  Others arrived with health issues that were impossible to detect when shopping because the seller didn’t show photos of the actual plant they sent me.  At best, the good plants I got online were old enough for their first blooming. 

But I kept trying to find a reliable way to get healthy orchids that would reward my attention with growth and blooms.  And then I discovered the Sioux Falls Orchid Club Show & Sale. . .


Orchids of all kinds were huge, healthy and loaded with blooms.   Different types of orchids than I had seen available anywhere in our area.  Orchids so healthy they were growing right out of their pots with 6 to 10 blooming spikes–the size I had jealously watched sell online for well over $100.    The selection was truly amazing.  The club members were so friendly and helpful–they patiently answered my questions and helped me select. . .well . . .too many new orchids to discuss in polite company. 😉  Since then, I have walked out of each Sioux Falls Orchid Club sale with a box full of gorgeous beauties.

After my long saga of trying to find healthy, mature reasonably priced orchids I couldn’t believe my luck right here in Sioux Falls! 

SPOILER ALERT:  Some of the orchids at our shows are grown right here in South Dakota.  Others are hand selected for us by club members who count among their friends some of the world’s finest orchid growers from Hawaii and Florida.  If you think I am exaggerating about the quality of orchids we will have available, here is just a small sample of some selected during a recent buying trip for this fall’s sale:

Fall Sale preview
Fall Sale Preview
Click here to learn how to collect orchids the fun, easy, smart way without all the drama.  See you there!

The Brisbane Ranges

   Orchids are the largest flowering plant family in the world with nearly 30,000 identified species occurring nearly everywhere in the world and countless hybrids. Most of the orchids grown in our homes are hybrids of species from tropical regions in South and Central America and Asia, where they grow on trees and rocks. In more temperate regions, like ours, most orchid species are terrestrial–growing in the ground. At orchid club meetings, we have often discussed the lady slippers that grow in nearby Minnesota and which types might be cultivated as outdoor garden plants in our area.

   Most of us are aware that Australia has a wealth of wildlife and is home to many unique and bizarre species of animals and plants. But did you know that orchids are also very prolific in Australia?

In Australia there are between 1,200 and 1,400 orchid species with 80 per cent of these not found anywhere else in the world.A number of these also have some extremely specialised adaptations not seen elsewhere in the orchid family. For example two species of native orchids spend their entire life-cycle underground,and many ground orchids from southern Australia have become so specialised that they deceive and lure the males of a single species of insect to their flowers to ensure pollination

Koala at Boar Gully  About an hour’s drive west of Melbourne, Australia in the state of Victoria is a natural wonderland filled with unique geology and a great variety of wildlife, known as the Brisbane Ranges National Park. In addition to scenic hiking, rock climbing and a large koala population, the Brisbane Ranges is particularly noted for its wildflowers, featuring almost 700 plant species. Over 100 different orchids have been recorded in the park.

Set in a low range of mountains dissected by rocky gullies, the unusual geology of Brisbane Ranges National Park has preserved plants that have long since vanished from the region, together with a correspondingly diverse bird population as well as Koalas, Wallabies and Kangaroos.

   Cathy Powers is fortunate to live in the Brisbane Ranges, just outside the national park. Cathy was born in South Dakota and moved to Australia in 1976. She developed an interest in terrestrial orchids about 10 years ago and began photographing them in earnest in 2003. She has traveled far and wide to capture the beauty of native orchid species and the amazing results can be seen on her website Banjorah.com.

   Cathy is an experienced speaker and a dedicated conservationist. She writes, “I am a member of the Australasian Native Orchid Society (both Victoria and Geelong). I am also a member of the Friends of the Brisbane Ranges and a committee member of the Brisbane Ranges Wildflower Show (held again in October 2011). I am President of the Australian Plants Society Victoria and the treasurer of our local district group (APS Melton & Bacchus Marsh).   I conduct PowerPoint presentations to various community groups on subjects such as the Brisbane Ranges, Fungi, Terrestrial Orchids, Plants & Pollinators, Digital Photography and various themes within these areas. My topic for your meeting is ‘Biodiversity & the Brisbane Ranges’.

   It will be such a treat to have Cathy as a guest speaker at this Saturday’s Orchid Club meeting. Don’t miss the chance to hear more about this fascinating region and its amazing orchids.  For more meeting details, click here.



Friends of Brisbane Ranges
Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research

June 18 Meeting

We have a special guest coming to our June 18 Sioux Falls Orchid Club Meeting! Cathy Powers, a South Dakota native who lives in Australia will be giving a Power Point presentation showing terrestrial orchids and other wildlife from the Australian national park near her home titled “Biodiversity & the Brisbane Ranges” Click Here for More Info.
It should be a great treat. You can see more of Cathy’s wonderful photographs at her website banjorah.com

I am working on another post, so check back here for more information on the Brisbane Ranges. It’s a beautiful and fascinating place.