Dan Newman started growing orchids in 1982. His first successful subject was a Dendrobium hybrid bought as a tiny seedling at a lei stand in the Honolulu Airport. When that plant finally grew up and bloomed a few years later, he was hooked! By 1996 he had 350 orchids in a one-bedroom apartment. That year, he moved his plants into a rented commercial greenhouse in San Francisco. He took over the large species collection of his friend and orchid mentor, Walter Teague, and his hobby evolved into his nursery, Hanging Gardens. Dan started growing orchids full-time in 2000, and moved to a larger greenhouse in Pacifica a few years later. Most of his plants are cool to intermediate growers (really warm growers are challenging in Pacifica, but it’s hard to resist trying a few). Species orchids make up his core collection and most of his sale stock. He also grows a variety of “companion plants”, which share the natural habitats of orchids.

Dan joined the San Francisco Orchid Society in 1987 and served as its president in 1996/97. In recent years, he has spoken on a variety of topics to orchid societies in California and elsewhere. At our upcoming meeting, he will be discussing Dendrobiums.

Dendrobium is one of the largest and most complex orchid genera of Asia, Australia, and the Pacific, encompassing a great number of horticultural gems among its 1000-plus species. People often ask how to grow Dendrobiums. For such a diverse group of plants, occurring in habitats ranging from the monsoonal foothills of the high Himalayas to the perpetually cool alpine grasslands and steamy lowland swamps of equatorial New Guinea, from the tropical forests of remote Pacific islands to the temperate, seasonal regions of southern Australia, there is no simple answer. The talk will focus on several popular sections of the genus, starting in the Himalayas and Southeast Asia and working southward to New Guinea and the Pacific, with photos of representative species and discussion of their culture in the context of the habitats where they originate. The goal of the presentation is to share my interest in these fascinating orchids and provide useful information about their cultivation.

Plant table

The plant table (opportunity table) will be supplied by Dan Newman.

Natalie Bo and Kalan Toy donated $20 each to the August plant table.

Thank you Natalie and Kalan!