Can orchids get too cold?
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Can orchids get too cold?
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:05 AM
butterfly_muse butterfly_muse is offline
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Can orchids get too cold? Female
Default Can orchids get too cold?

Good morning! In the DC Metro area many of us awoke this morning to several inches of snow that just won't stop coming...which is uncharacteristic of late March!

I checked my orchids this morning as I always do and I noticed their leaves were cold and that there's a slight draft near the window. Usually there is not an issue but as you can imagine it's quite cold outside today. This is my first experience having the orchids at home in this type of weather, so I wanted to know if I should move them further inside away from the window? I turned my heater up a few degrees (it was chilly in here anyway) and there's a vent above them so I'm hoping that helps.

Is there anything else I should do? Our household temp is like 68 but I've got no idea what it is over at the window. I am just afraid of them getting too cold.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:35 AM
Tim C. Tim C. is offline

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Can orchids get too cold? Male

I would definitely move them away from the window. A slight cool breeze or draft is ok, but with the weather you all are having, I wouldn't leave my plants near the window.

As far as "too cold," I've had orchids get stuck in a cold, drafty situation, and they would get cold damage like they would have if the whole house was cold. I'm sure you know about the minimum/maximum growing temps for different orchids, and you definitely don't want to go below that minimum number.

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:45 AM
jkrobins jkrobins is offline
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Default What's too cold?

I also live in MD (Eastern Shore). My orchids are nearly all in front of windows in a sun room or breakfast room. It was 30 degrees outside this AM when I got up and 68 in the sun room (probably cooler next to the windows.) The Cattleya leaves are cool feeling but the thinner leaved orchids feel the same as usual. I would worry more about the dry air from the heat vent. I have deflectors on my ceiling heat vents so they don't blow directly on the plants, even though i have a humidifier on my furnace.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:48 AM
butterfly_muse butterfly_muse is offline
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Can orchids get too cold? Female

It has warmed up significantly over there with the heat on. I don't keep the vent open hardly at all above them because I don't want the dry air to damage them, as you suggested. Also, the vent is probably three to four feet above where the orchids are currently sitting so with the air vent mostly closed not much reaches them. I did go stick my hand between the plant rack and the window, though, and it was warm again. =) I think they will be okay. I was just concerned first thing this morning. Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:54 AM
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tucker85 tucker85 is offline
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Phals and vandas don't like daytime temperatures below 55 degrees. Cattleyas and encyclias can handle temperatures into the low 40's. Cold drafts can be a problem for orchids in bud. It can lead to bud drop.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:58 AM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Depending on your orchid and their cold tolerance, and depending on how cold your growing area is, cold temperatures can not only cause damage to the plants, it can outright kill them.

I'd be cautious about the temperatures getting too low, especially for Phals. 68 F for a daytime temperature is rather cold for a Phal, it will not die because of this temperature though. It's the night time temperatures you really gotta watch out for. If the night time temperatures start dropping below 55 F - 60 F, it would be time to start heating your growing area.

I guarantee you that lowland to midland Philippines, Malaysia, or Indonesia does not get cold, even during monsoon season. Lowland to midland elevation Philippines, Malaysia, or Indonesia is where the majority of our Phals originated from.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 03-25-2013 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:33 PM
butterfly_muse butterfly_muse is offline
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Can orchids get too cold? Female

Our house is around 70-72 during the day, it's probably around 68 at night...isn't that about right for phals? I couldn't stand my house any lower than 68 or any higher than 72, so..Luckily my having cracked the vent open a little more seems to have done the trick of keeping the area immediately in front of the window much warmer. =) Thank you for all of the replies!
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:31 AM
NYCorchidman NYCorchidman is offline
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Can orchids get too cold?

First, yes, orchids can get too cold and die as someone mentioned.
I rarely buy orchids on a day when the temperature is in the 40s (actually not even in the 50s). I have bought tropical dendrobium hybrids a few times in the winter. well, the short travel home in such cool weather is sever enough to cause the plant to drop all the leaves within days after being brought in my house.

In your home, As long as plant leaves are not touching the cold glass and the draft is not too sever, orchids by the window are not affected by the snowy weather outside.

It does get cooler near the window but the heat indoor of course circulates the whole house.

One way to be sure is to place your hand near the window frams and make sure you don't feel any cold air coming in. If you just feel overall coolness in the air, that won't hurt your plants.
I'm not sure if my description is too general.
Having a thermometer is probably the best so you know for sure how cool it gets by your window.

By the way, I grow all my orchids including phal and tropical dendrobium by the window. There is no cold draft but it does feel much cooler by the window.
My thermometer reading does not drop below 65 at night even on a snowy night.

Last edited by NYCorchidman; 03-27-2013 at 01:35 AM..
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