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  #1  
Old 11-10-2018, 02:47 AM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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Temperatures are dropping Female
Default Temperatures are dropping

Tonight we have a forecasted low in the mid-30s (Fahrenheit) so I brought in all of my warm and intermediate growers for the night.

So far this year:

Phalaenopsis: all but one of my 30 some outdoor Phals have been taking nightime lows in the low 40s fine. One did develop a case of crown rot and is now residing inside full time. I'll probably start carting the rest in nightly now.

Miltonia Sunset: this seems to be my most cold sensitive. It started showing progressive leaf damage when lows started dipping below 50 so I've been bringing it inside over night for the past month. Unfortunately, the cats think it's delicious so I have to make sure it's barricaded.

Miltoniopsis: My 3 have been weathering low 40s with no ill effects, but I brought them in tonight.

Bulldog type Paphs: My 3 have been weathering low 40s with no ill effects, but I brought them in tonight.

Dendrobium phalaenopsis type: Mine has been weathering low 40s fine so far and looks to be starting to spike. I didn't want to tempt fate too much so it came in too.

Dendrobium little atro: I got this one in March it hasn't really taken off for me but looks healthy, it's been weathering low 40s fine, but I'm not sure on its lower limits so I brought it in.

Dendrobium roy tokunaga: I also got this one in March it hasn't really taken off for me but looks healthy, it's been weathering low 40s fine, but I'm not sure on its lower limits so I brought it in.

All of my temperature tolerant Lailea, Cattleya, Stanhopea, Renanthera, and Ansellia are staying outside.

Of my grocery store acquisitions my Dendrobium nobile types are staying outside as are my Oncidiums and other intergenerics, Zygopetalums, Zygonisia, Maxillariella tenuifolia, and Cymbidiums. Unless I see damage, these will stay outside unless frost is predicted. If frost is predicted, all but the Cymbidiums will come in (I do cover the Cymbidiums with a sheet).

All of my outside orchids have been acclimated to these low temperatures. I learned the hard way last winter that fresh winter purchases can't necessarily join their cohorts outside right away.

Is anyone else pushing temperature limits?

Last edited by aliceinwl; 11-10-2018 at 02:51 AM..
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2018, 08:54 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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I try to avoid letting phalaenopsis ever see below the mid-60's. In nature, most of the major, larger-flowering species are rarely, if ever exposed to less than the mid-70's.

I have never intentionally exposed any of my other orchids to temperatures below the low 50's.

While plants may very well be tolerant of lower temperatures, I can see no good reason to intentionally expose them to it.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2018, 03:54 PM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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For me indoor space is very limited outdoor isnít so if they can take the cold, I can have more plants, and I like grocery store Phals. I realize that some would be happier warmer, but most people Iíve run into buy supermarket orchids as longer lasting cut flowers to be discarded as soon as blooms fade. My plants may find the growing conditions challenging but Iíve had most over a year so I think theyíve lasted longer with me than most of their brethren have. Most have even re-bloomed spectacularly.

For my non-grocery store purchases I seek out temperature tolerant varieties, mostly from Santa Barbara Orchid Estate. They grow them in an unheated green house and theyíve taken lows into the upper 20s. A number of the hybrids I have purchased from grocery stores look to have tempature tolerant species in their background and talking to other locals, they said theyíve also had good results growing these outdoors.

My perception of orchids as very delicate kept me from getting any for a long time. I think a lot of the complex hybrids are much more hardy than people give them credit for. Maybe if people realize that they can move them to a sheltered spot outside (local conditions permitting) once the blooms fade, theyíd be less inclined to chuck them? Iím also curious if there are other temperature tolerant hidden gems out there I should be considering as additions to my menagerie :-)

Last edited by aliceinwl; 11-10-2018 at 04:01 PM..
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2018, 01:20 AM
TomThumb TomThumb is offline
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Hmmm...I have limited indoor space as well and I have cats but honestly would not leave my phals out in 40 degree weather. Upper 50s already seems pretty cold to me and the lowest i really go even with phals is lower to mid 60s. (i have two NOIDs that my neighbor gave me sitting in the foyer as quarantine so they're in about upper 50s to mid 60s temp while my indoor temp is about 65-75)

I have two mini indoor greenhouses that i keep my more delicate orchids in. Namely my seedlings and miniatures as well as an ICU shelf. The footprint of one greenhouse is 20"x28" and 60" tall. The temp is kept between 65-80 (depends on if the lights are on) and the humidity ranges from 60-80%. I also have a miniature clamp fan going on each shelf for air circulation set at the lowest setting so it's just circulating the air a bit. My lights are set on timers so that they get a lower light setting in the early morning and evening but a higher dosage of light in the middle of the day. This took some adjusting since some of the vanda seedlings went purple and two of my smaller phals had their oldest leaf turn red and drop. But with some adjustments all the orchids seem happy now with some just having a minor blush or edging of purple on the leaves.

My full-size mature phals are almost all hanging in windows. My cattleya and two dens are hanging in the south facing window that isn't blocked by a building. So as a result my plants are pretty well protected from my cats. They will knock over and destroy non-hanging non-orchid plants but they seem to recognize how much time i spend with the orchids so they don't even bother the two non hanging phals on the windowsill.

EDIT: and while i don't think orchids are super delicate given the correct culture, they are still delicate. I started out with vanda seedlings and i worked really hard to keep them alive. They are all thriving now (pushing out really thick new roots and expanding leaf wise) and i've stopped worrying over them every day but it took months of observation and adjustments to make sure they would survive.

I also have an ICU tray for a reason. Some plants are shipped badly or just don't handle the stress of shipping well. Phals which are pretty hardy are also susceptible to mistreatment. Two of mine reddened and dropped their oldest leaf due to too much light. One of them is a seedling so now it only has two leaves. The other is fine but i could see the roots turning pink as well and figured that the stress of too much light was killing it. So due to my experiences i really don't think orchids should be exposed to the extreme ranges of their tolerance if it can be helped. Most aren't so delicate that they will die if we miss a watering or etc but theyr'e still pretty finicky.

Last edited by TomThumb; 11-11-2018 at 01:37 AM..
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2018, 11:24 PM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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I love vandas, but I donít see the varieties that appeal most to me working in either my indoor or outdoor growing areas :-(

Iím fortunate in that where I live even winter lows rarely drop below the upper 30s so Iíve been able to grow pretty much anything Iíve tried that can tolerate low 40s outside. My collection is small enough that when temps are forecast below that, the more sensitive plants can spend the night in the garage.

My favorite Phals, mottled leaf Paphs, and any other Phals that started showing cold damage last winter are permanent house plants, but the natural light, air circulation, and higher humidity really seem to benefit the plants that can tolerate the temperature outside.
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