“Orchid Whisperer” Will Speak on February 21


Alfred Hockenmaier

The Malibu Orchid Society will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, at the Hart Lounge, in the Community Methodist Church, 801 Via de la Paz.

The featured speaker is Alfred Hockenmaier, who has been called the “Orchid Whisperer” because of his ability to grow just about any challenging orchid species.

“Orchid Growing Tips: An Interactive Conversation with a Master Grower,” will be the subject of Hockenmaier’s talk.

Hockenmaier has been growing orchids for more than 30 years. His lifetime passion for orchids was sparked when he began working at a rare and unusual plant nursery. One of the owners happened to be an orchid hybridizer.

The “Orchid Whisperer” eventually began growing just a few orchids, which led to his building his first greenhouse. Then, soon after, a second one followed.

His devotion and daily commitment to his orchids has been manifested by the magnificent array of award-winning orchids he has displayed at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show and more recently at the Huntington Orchid Show.

His plants often have garnered Best in the Show Trophies and countless First Award Ribbons.

Alfred Hockenmaier’s greenhouse, where he grows award-winning orchids.

The Malibu Orchid Society (MOS), a nonprofit, derives its name from where is was first founded. It moved to the Palisades in 1996, and until Covid met monthly. MOS continued to meet through Zoom and resumed in-person meetings in September at the Methodist Church.

Club president Birute Anne Vileisis, said, “We are still here to offer a welcoming group for those who already enjoy cultivating orchids and those who wish to expand their knowledge and learn more.”

The group meets the third Tuesday of every month (except August and December) and speakers provide illustrated talks on various orchid species as well as orchid habitats travelogues.

Vileisis said that at each meeting our members bring in their blooming orchids and members share growing tips.

“It’s a fun group that fosters community spirit,” she said. “As a special treat to our MOS Members, our plant table will be provided by Carmela Orchids of Hawaii with many plants in bud or in flower, so save your pennies for the opportunity table.”

Light refreshments will be served.

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