Orchid Lovers and Growers Invited to Learn about Pests

Bill Gunning will speak on orchid pests.


The Malibu Orchid Society, based in Pacific Palisades, will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20, in Hart Lounge in the Community Methodist Church, 801 Via De la Paz.

Speaker Bill Gunning, Ph.D., a master orchid grower, will address “Orchids’ Pests and How to Control Them.” It seems that humans are not the only species that have an affection for orchids. There are a host of insects, arachnids and gastropods that find them incredibly tasty.

In his talk, Gunning will discuss how to identify orchid pests and proven strategies for dealing with them. Participants will learn effective and safe methods for applying and handling various insecticides and how to avoid creating a population of “superbugs” (insecticide resistant insects) in your orchid growing area.

Gunning is a retired physicist who began growing orchids over 30 years ago as a diversion from his day job.  If you want to access Orchids 101, click here.  He explains that orchids are primitive plants and the second oldest class of flowering plants on earth. The exist on every continent except Antarctica.

Post retirement, his collection exploded to nearly 500 plants including a wide variety of orchid genera. Most of his orchids grow outdoors and are acclimated to the various micro-environments in his garden.

His plants have won notable awards from the American Orchid Society and at orchid shows.  He is currently a VP of the Conejo Orchid Society and serves as an orchid collection volunteer at The Huntington Botanical Gardens.

When asked “Why doesn’t my orchid bloom,” Gunning points out it might be ailing because of insects, disease or damaged roots. His talk will address one of the reasons a plant may not be “happy:” insects. Don’t miss this informative presentation on this facet of orchid culture.

Light refreshments will be served.

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