HOS Member Jay Balchan to Speak at July 7 Meeting

At our July 7 meeting, Jay Balchan, current president of the American Orchid Society and longtime Houston Orchid Society member, will speak to us about how to make orchid crosses.

Jay Balchan bought his first orchid from Home Depot when he moved to Houston in 1992. He always had a green thumb, and when he saw the unusual plant, he just had to have it. As with many beginners, he watered it too much and within a month it was dead. But this setback just encouraged Jay to buy another orchid and to learn more about them. He bought books on orchids and even went to the magazine section of a bookstore to look for orchid magazines. Later, he learned that the American Orchid Society has a wonderful subscription magazine for members.

Jay had been growing orchids on his own for about a year when he visited Julia and Charles Wilson’s nursery in south Houston. Julia encouraged him to attend a Houston Orchid Society meeting, which he promptly did. Seeing Bob Swearingen’s massive specimen orchids on the show table at the HOS meetings got him hooked!

Since then, Jay built a greenhouse where he currently grows tens of thousands of orchids. He also built his own home lab to create orchid crosses. He has been actively involved with HOS for more than 25 years and has served as president twice.

The meeting begins at 7:30pm at First Christian Church, 1601 Sunset Boulevard, Houston, Texas.