The Central Ontario Orchid Society

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The Central Ontario Orchid Society is a non-profit group of orchid enthusiasts centered in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The Society has over 100 members, stretching from Stratford to Orangeville and from Arthur to Brantford. The club holds meetings ten months of the year in Kitchener, presents an annual show in Cambridge(Hespeler), publishes a monthly newsletter and organizes trips to a number of orchid events each year. Membership is available to individuals of any age or expertise who show a sincere interest in orchids.

Membership in COOS will give you the opportunity to socialize with other orchid enthusiasts while you learn more of the beauty, culture and history of orchids. There are special courses for beginners as well as other programs for the more experienced orchid grower. We invite you to attend our meeting as a guest and see for yourself the excitement that orchids generate and while there, inquire about membership.


At our meetings, we have a regular programme of guest speakers, slide shows, and demonstrations. There is also sales of orchids and orchid supplies, a raffle table, a show table of member's plants, and refreshments. The Society maintains a borrowing library of orchid related literature for use by the members. The meetings provide an opportunity to tap the wealth of experience represented by our more experienced members. Our club members are very friendly, and always open to questions regarding orchid culture. You may also pick up various orchid potting supplies, fertilizers, books and plants at very reasonable prices. We also have a few social events each year, including the annual potluck Christmas party.

How To Join

Dues are held to a minimum and normally cover the expenses associated with programs that are put on at each meeting. Membership fees cover the period from January through December. The fee is $20 for an individual or a family. A student membership is $5 per year.

To join the society or renew your membership please fill in the form - Membership Application/Renewal and either bring it to a meeting or mail it with your fee to the address supplied.

For more information, contact anyone listed on the COOS Executive below.


We have over 60 native orchid species, the lady slippers being the most showy. Please enjoy them where they are. Do not pick the flowers and, above all, do not try to transplant them. The native orchids are very sensitive to their habitat and depend on a variety of fungus for their growth. They do not survive transplanting for very long. Look, admire, but don't touch or trample.

Orchid Shows

Our society and other orchid societies in the area each put on an annual show at which we put together a display using member's blooming orchids. Here is the opportunity to participate in the major social events in the world of orchids, meeting other orchid enthusiasts, growers, vendors and judges. These orchid shows are ribbon judged to find the best flowers in the show in each class. They are also judged by judges of the American Orchid Society to find the best flowers in North America. You could enjoy the thrill of winning an award for your favorite orchid.

Our annual orchid show and sale is held the last weekend of September. This is a great chance to see hundreds of orchids in full bloom in the show area, pick up some new plants in the large sales area, see how orchids are used in artistic displays, buy a raffle ticket, attend some educational seminars on orchid culture, and learn more about the club.

Orchid Judging

Orchids presented in displays at an orchid show are usually both ribbon judged and AOS judged. Orchids are ribbon judged against other orchids in that show in classes defined by a judging class schedule. (Usually based on the The Mid-America Orchid Congress schedule.) Plants with outstanding flowers will be AOS judged against standards for that kind of flower and any previous awards.

There are times when one would like a flower judged outside of a show. You can take your plant to the Toronto Judging Centre. The Toronto Judging Centre monthly judgings are open to all orchid growers. You need not be a member of AOS or SOOS. You can bring your plants to the Civic Garden Centre before one o'clock on the designated Saturday of each month. Plants are judged for AOS awards in accordance with the Handbook on Judging and Exhibition. If your plant is awarded, there is a charge by the AOS (about $50.00 US). Non payment forfeits the right to future judging. The Centre welcomes interested persons to come and observe the judging. There are opportunities to assist in plant research and administrative chores.

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COOS Orchid Show

You have seen plenty of Phalaenopsis orchids for sale in the grocery stores but did you know that there are thousands of other kinds of orchids? They come in size from something a mosquito would love to the size of a small tree. At the orchid show you will see many of these beautiful orchids arranged in colorful displays. Come to the show. Bring a camera. Learn more about care of orchids. Perhaps buy one for yourself or a friend.

orchid display

The COOS Orchid Show and Sale

Saturday, Sept 29, 2018 from 11:00am to 5:00pm

Sunday, Sept 30, 2018 from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Cambridge Hespeler Arena,

640 Ellis Road, Cambridge, ON N3C 1A1

AOS Awards Received at the 2017 Show

To see some images from the 2017 show, please go to our Facebook site.

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Meeting Program for 2018

Meetings are held in the basement hall of St. Joseph's Church at the corner of Courtland and Madison in Kitchener on the fourth Monday (unless pre-empted, see the program dates below).

Meetings begin promptly at 7:00pm; arrive from 6:30pm for social time and sales. Parking is at the rear of the school; the entrances are off Madison or Cedar. Guests are welcome.

Meeting dates are listed below with the programme, usually a guest speaker or slide show.

January 22 AOS Webinar - Orchids of Mexico. Elections.
February 26 Gilberto Arrieche, renowned orchid judge on Mormodes: 182 years of Chaos
March 26 Video presentation on Orchid care and repotting workshop. Bring your plants in need of repotting.
April 23 Pitson Dantanarayana: Darwin’s Orchids - Then and Now.
May 28 Dan Doucette: Orchids, Other Plants and Animals from Recent Travels. Silent Auction.
June 18 Note: This is the 3rd Monday, not the 4th. Last meeting before summer break. Fred Clarke, orchid specialist and grower from California will speak on Aussie Native Dendrobiums and their Cultivation.
September 10 First meeting of the new season. Getting ready for our show.
Social with pot luck dessert and appetizers. Please bring a contribution to our table as well as your own plate and cutlery.
October 22 tbd.
November 26 Our Christmas party, games (bring small gift) and pot luck dinner. Bring plants for the silent auction.
December No meeting.

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The COOS Newsletter

Our newsletter comes out a week before each meeting to notify members of upcoming meetings, orchid shows and other club events. We also have articles on orchid culture, conservation, and other issues of interest to members.

The newsletter requires that you have the Adobe Reader installed. -> Top

The COOS Executive

President: Nancy Fieder, 519-658-5062,
Vice President: Kristen Reuel, 289-242-0326
Treasurer: Cathy Ralston, 519-763-4260,
Secretary: Mary Ann Lang, 519-749-1019,
Past President Dennis Lang, 519-749-1019,
COOS Display Coordinator: Ed Ratcliffe, 519-669-2542,
Contact Ed about having a COOS display at your show.
Show Chair: Nelson Zabel,
Contact the show chair about the COOS show in September
Editor: Cathy Ralston, 519-763-4260,
Emporium: Ed Ratcliffe, 519-669-2542,
Hospitality: Nancy Fieder, 519-658-5062,
Library: Chuck Lefaive, 519-208-4836,
Membership: open
Program: open
AOS/MAOC/COC Rep: Chuck Lefaive, 519-208-4836,
Webmaster: Jerry Bolce, 519-885-1888,

Please address Society mail to: COOS, 41 Woodside Rd., Guelph ON N1G 2H1

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Orchids form a very diverse family with a wide range of cultural requirements. Some orchids are grown very easily on a windowsill and some require great skill to match their needs. An orchid society is the place to meet other growers and get the advice to grow and bloom that special plant.

Here are a few Youtube videos to get you started.

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COOS is a member of

The Canadian Orchid Congress maintains lists

The Central Ontario Orchid Society Constitution and Bylaws approved January 2008.

Orchid Register Search

Find the parents of your hybrid or to see if your cross has been named by searching at the Royal Horticultural Society Orchid Register.

The Orchid Board

Visit The Orchid Board "The Source For All Your Orchid Needs" - forums, club listings, events calendar, articles, blogs, etc.

Orchid Pests

First Rays' Home treatments

St.Augustine OS Pests&disease

Orchid Culture Sheets

Culture notes from the Canadian Orchid Congress

Culture notes from the American Orchid Society

COOS History

The Central Ontario Orchid Society was founded on May 26, 1985 when nine orchid growers met at a home in Kitchener to organize a local orchid society. Of the nine, only one could claim to be an experienced orchid grower, yet all were anxious to learn all about orchids. A name for the society was chosen. An executive was elected. Plans were made to draw up a constitution, publish a newsletter and find a meeting site, all to be done by September. The first Society meeting took place at the Kitchener Public Library and was attended by 17 amateur orchid growers.

We first exhibited that year at the Niagara show and had our own first show on April 25, 26 1986 at the Stone Road Mall in Guelph. At the end of that first year our membership had reached 54. In the following year we became an AOS affiliated society and achieved a membership of 98.