The honour to host the 15th SAOC National Orchid Conference and Show has been awarded to the Rustenburg Orchid Society.
This prestigious national event is hosted by one of the societies affiliated to the South African Orchid Council (SAOC) once every three years. Historically, the show has been hosted by the larger societies in the main centres e.g. Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria and this show would be one of the first to be hosted by a smaller society in one of the smaller centres.
In previous years, these shows have attracted approximately 120 delegates and their spouses who attend the conference. Several overseas delegates will attend the conference and show. Most of these delegates will make use of accommodation (hotels or guesthouses) in the area. Delegates have the opportunity to attend lectures presented by both local and overseas speakers in order to acquaint themselves with the latest developments in the orchid world.
In addition to the delegates attending the conference, we expect roughly 5 000 visitors to the
orchid show itself. This will include many of the people from the local community but will also include visitors from across the country. The visitors will attend the show to view the variety of beautiful plants on exhibit. In addition, they will be able to acquire some of the newest and best orchid species and hybrids available from the numerous local and overseas vendors.
Exhibits of varying sizes will be built by the 22 orchid societies from across the country. All the vendors will also put up displays showcasing their best plants. Other exhibits will include exhibits by the local floral art club.
We are planning to involve all the schools in the greater Rustenburg area to participate in an art competition. Schools will be requested to have one of the art projects for the year in the form of a drawing or painting with an orchid related theme. The teachers will then select the best projects from each class to be exhibited at the show. There will be cash prizes (for the pupil and the school) awarded to the best in each of the respective categories. This will be our way of giving back to the Rustenburg community.
Top Billing was given the huge privilege of having an orchid named after the show. Stumped at which one to choose they put it the vote to their audience on social media and this is the orchid that won over 70% of the votes...
Michael Tibbs is a renowned orchid expert and will give us some handy tips on how to take care of our orchids.
Orchid care tips:
Be sure to purchase your orchids from a reputable dealer, by far the best is an orchid nursery or garden centre as these places have staff on hand to offer good care advice.
However these days supermarkets do stock orchids but be sure to select your orchids with at least 50% of the flowers open. More often than not plants and flowers are placed near the fresh produce and open fridges.
Remember many orchids are from the warm tropics. If you purchase the orchids from supermarkets with just a single flower open most of the buds will probably turn brown or never open. Orchids from nurseries have been kept in their optimum conditions.
Orchids are now bred for household conditions and appreciate being moved from place to place as little as possible.
Situate the orchid in a bright place in the home but out of direct sunlight and secondly ensure the orchid is not in a cool draught. Cool or cold draughts can cause the buds to turn yellow and fall. However air movement is always good for all plants.
Orchids are best placed in a container or jardinière. Place the orchid on some pebbles and secure the pot from moving around with a few pebbles and cover the top of the pot with shells as I have done here, alternatively you can use bark chips, pebbles or green moss. This will in fact create a simple micro climate for the orchid.
Mist the leave of the orchid daily with just enough water to form droplets and not wet the plant thoroughly, thus creating the humidity the plant requires.
Remove the plant from the container and water it once a week in the summer with a tea cup of water. If the plant is moist leave it for a few more days until the bark or moss compost is almost dry. Obviously the bigger the orchid, like a Cymbidium or a large Cattleya will require more water.
Please remember to feed your indoor plants and it honestly does make the flowers last longer.
Make sure your orchid never sits in water they will rot and ultimately die. Sadly more people kill their orchids by overwatering them than any other way.
As soon as the flowers start to wilt cut the stem off right down at the base unlike all the notes tell you and enjoy the cut stem in a vase. This will stop the plant from becoming totally depleted of any nourishment. Continue feeding the plants and they really will respond by coming back into flower.