President's Letter

May 2022


I don't know about you, but I am confused with this seesaw weather pattern - it's summer! No, it's winter! No, it's somewhere in between- often on the same day! Traditionally, here in Western Pa., we are frost free by Mother's Day. But, before you drag your entire collection outside, check the long term forecast for your area. Unless you have a very manageable collection, it is a major undertaking to get everything settled outside for their summer break. The last thing you want to do is have to reverse the process. But once the weather has settled on something it likes, consider getting your plants outside to enjoy the balmy breezes, bright shade and high humidity that is summer in Pittsburgh. Look for a location protected from anything but early morning direct sun, at least for the first few weeks. Under an overhang or covered porch, or beneath a shade tree are some of the sweetest spots.

This is also the time to be keeping a close eye on catasetum, and starting to feed and water them when the roots are at least 4 - 5 inches long. Also a good time to observe your cattleya for new growth, and start a regular feed with a Mag-Cal supplement to keep up with their increased demand for more calcium to support that new growth. If you're considering doing any cattleya repotting, wait until the new growth is starting to show the beginning of new roots. This is the best time to disturb them - those new roots will make sure the transition is seamless.

Thanks to our Nominating Committee, ( Demetria Marsh, Norma Raiff and Jim Yamber ) we have a brand new slate of officers and a new board. Mike and I have been honored to have been co-presidents for the past two years, and now happily plan to surrender our positions at the end of June.

We are looking forward to meeting some of the most recent members of the OSWP on May 15, when Kathy Collins, Membership Chair, will host a New Member Reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, followed by a regular meeting, with a very special speaker, Dave Miller. Make plans to join us!

In other meeting news, we have been invited back to have OSWP meetings at the Phipps Garden Center on Shady Ave, This was our meeting and show venue for many years, so we are thrilled to be going back. Our June 12 meeting will be held there, and the new officers and board will be voted in. The speaker will be Edgar Stehli, of Windswept in Time Orchids, and his topic will be Bulbophyllums. If there is something, orchid-wise, you have been hankering for, contact him at, and he may be able to bring it to the meeting for you.

Enjoy the Spring weather, whatever it does, and continue to think orchids!

Mike Lysy and Sheila Nathanson

OSWP CoPresidents