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  #1  
Old 08-01-2020, 12:57 AM
farley101 farley101 is offline
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Default Oncidiums outdoors

Wondering how folks are growing their oncidiums outside. I have brought all of mine indoors because I believe they are getting way too much light in my growing setup as is. Purple leaves and just not looking "right".

I'm thinking I should set up some kind of shady area if I'm going to entertain the idea of keeping these outside. I only have a few plants so it may just be easier to keep them inside with the phals.

We all grow in very distinct climates so I know I can't copy anyone else exactly. Mostly trying to get a general idea of what has worked so I can see what I can "steal" for my own!
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:15 AM
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Most Oncidiums aren't high light plants. They are fine in bright shade, or dappled mostly shade. The intergeneric hybrids are definitely not high light plants.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:45 AM
farley101 farley101 is offline
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I thought my conditions were direct sun early in the AM and then transitioned to bright shade shortly after. It seems I am wrong, I get full sun where all the plants are from about 7:30-1. Obviously this is great for the catts, vandas, and catasetums!

I try to use the AC sparingly (it generally doesn't get all that hot here) so having the plants indoors by the south window with some artificial light is probably equivalent to bright shade.

If adding a few panels of shade cloth to my outdoor setup to make a small area for the less light loving plants to hang out, I'd be happy to do so. Heck, depending on how they do in the new winter setup I'm going to try, they may never see natural light again!
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:54 AM
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How hot does it get there outside? Intergenerics with a lot of Odontoglossum in their pedigree won't tolerate too much heat.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:34 AM
farley101 farley101 is offline
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I'm guessing that is a part of my issues. We can hit triple digits, it's rare but it happens. We had mid 90's in late June into July, but it was ridiculously humid as well.

I had the NWS pages for my town and Miami open to compare temp, dew point, and humidity and it was close enough to be even!

I've got a Sharry Baby, Sweet Baby, tarantula, and a couple other generic ones. They are all fairly small for now, but it would be great to give them some elbow room outside when they grow up a little more!
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:17 AM
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Buy them a patio umbrella. Quick, cheap fix.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farley101 View Post
I'm guessing that is a part of my issues. We can hit triple digits, it's rare but it happens. We had mid 90's in late June into July, but it was ridiculously humid as well.

I had the NWS pages for my town and Miami open to compare temp, dew point, and humidity and it was close enough to be even!

I've got a Sharry Baby, Sweet Baby, tarantula, and a couple other generic ones. They are all fairly small for now, but it would be great to give them some elbow room outside when they grow up a little more!
Orchidroots.com is a great website. You can look up any registered hybrid there and it will tell you the plant's parents and grandparents. But even better is that at the bottom of the page, it tells you the makeup of the plant by species by percent. I have some Oncidium types that I keep inside during the summer, and Aliceara Patricia McCully is one of them. Here is the Orchid Roots page for that plant: Aliceara Patricia McCully

If you look at the bottom, you will see that it is 39.2% Odontoglossum alexandrae. It's 5.8% Odontoglossum nobile. It also has some odontoglossum harryanum and some Cochlioda noezlianum. It is primarily made up of cool growing Odontoglossums (now considered Oncidiums). These plants come mostly from Colombia and Venezuela, and it is hot and tropical at those countries... at sea level. But these plants don't live at sea level. They live way up in the Andes mountains in high elevation cloud forests where they enjoy day temperatures in the 70s and night temperatures in the 50s all year. A plant that is made of mostly cool growing species simply will not tolerate heat, and must be kept inside during the summer if there is to be hope of any chance of it living.

Another popular Oncidium intergeneric is Beallara (Aliceara) Marfitch 'Howard's Dream'. The Orchid Roots page shows that it contains 26.79% Odontoglossum alexandrae, which of course is a cool grower, but it also contains 25% Miltonia spectabilis and and 25% Brassia verrucosa. Those are both warm growing species. It contains trace amounts of other species, some of them cool growing, but the point is that it is made up of mostly warm growing species. I keep this one outside during the summer, and it loves it. It gets bigger and tougher and more robust.

The point is that with Oncidiums, you have to know what you're dealing with to decide whether a plant can handle the heat. It's hard to tell with NoIDs, but sometimes you can tell by looking if they have a lot of Odontoglossum in them. But pay attention to the makeup of your plants as best you can, and use that information to determine how much heat they can handle.
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