Growing Outdoors

Temperature
The genera of orchid you will be able to grow outside depends upon the location you live, whether it is temperate, sub-tropical, tropical, etc.

If you are living in sub-tropical California, for example, most outdoor orchids should be able to endure temperature extremes of 30-90˚F / 0-32˚C, and at least some frost for modest durations, without suffering deterioration. If you are living in Tropical São Paulo, you don’t need to worry about anything, and if you are living in Seattle, buy a greenhouse.

Several types, particularly Cymbidiums, require cooling at night, the temperature difference between night and day is critical for blooming, and there are other genera which require more constant, cooler temperatures.

During summer, if it gets too hot for certain genera (masdevallias are stressed above 80F), misters can be used under the benches or wetting plants down can help to keep them cool.

Mild coastal areas, where minimums and maximums are less extreme, can grow most suggested varieties, while areas of more extreme heat and cold, 24-100˚F / -4.0-38˚C should select from the hardiest varieties. There are at least some varieties for even the most extreme locations, provided you can offer proper light and moisture. It is not recommended to grow most temperature tolerant varieties indoors; mainly because they thrive better outdoors; however, people living in climates that freeze are able to grow many of these types outdoors most of the year, bringing them indoors at the first frost and for the winter.

Light
Orchids grown outdoors all like bright filtered light. Avoid prolonged periods of direct light or deep shade. Good light is crucial for strong growth and flowering.

Water & Humidity
Watering, as with all orchids, is done as needed; water thoroughly so that the medium and roots are well soaked (be sure they drain well) and wait until they are almost dry before watering again. Watering once a week with occasional wetting down during warm times is sufficient. Mounted plants should be wet down daily on sunny summer days and weekly during the winter, or if they are out in the rain, they need none. In warm, dry areas, water more frequently; about as often as you water your lawn.

Fertilizer
Regular feeding promotes good growth. Use a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10, or one a little higher in Nitrogen, 10-5-5.

About

Welcome to Jardim Therapy my blog about orchids and Brazil. Here you will find a few useful references, and some tip & tricks, along with posting of my own personal experience. I absolutely love orchids, and I want to help everyone interested in learning about these unique plants.

As guests of Jardim Therapy you are welcome to browse the home page, post comments, and access the archives. You can also send me a message if you have any questions.

Enjoy!

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