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  #1  
Old 01-17-2019, 04:54 PM
Jakob Jakob is offline
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Default Growing Neofinetia in garden, in Europe

Hi,
so i got an idea

since my elementary school years i had been under impression that USA, Europe and Japan had basically the same climate and are approximately equally north. When i started growing orchids i figured out that's not true, Europe is way more north than either of the two (Tokyo being equally north as Athens, and New York being equal to Madrid...). This is quite beneficial if you like cold growers, as they do quite nicely here, but for experiments like growing orchids outside i imagine is not very helpful.

But, as climate does work in mysteriuos ways, that Europe, while not as warm as Japan and USA, is not significantly colder (yay gulf stream).
So i got a (maybe) stupid idea to try and grow some of the subtropical epiphytes in continental Ljubljana.

Why I think it might work - Ljubljana lies near the edge of subtropics in Europe and there is some effect of the mediterranean climate in winter, so days, when it doesn't go above 0°C are rare, and even if it stays under , it usually a degree or so under, nothing radical . We get one (1) coldsnap per year (with temps down to -10) if we were good boys and girls so we can go skiing, but in the valleys it usually not that bad. Especially in Ljubljana it's always a bit warmer.
There's also some garden plants from mediterranian and subtropical, like figs, Canna, some palms, and kiwi etc. manage to get by.
With a picture of what I will be dealing with, lets get to the questions.

I read somewhere that Neofinetias range from 32-36 degrees latitude. Is that true? Could anybody point me in a direction of a distribution map? Does it grow in mountains and how high up?
If there's someone from Japan here, that lives where Neofinetia grows, could you describe the winters you have?
Thank you very much but there's not a lot of literature in English (or I don't find it) about that stuff, and unfortunately I do not speak Japanese.

I think it would be awsome to have to have orchids growing in a natural way in the garden.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2019, 07:14 PM
plantzzzzz plantzzzzz is offline
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Ljubljana is probably a bit too cold in the winter for Neofinetia to thrive outdoors, you could give it a try though. It seems you get frost 90 days a year, on average, which is far too often.

Fukuoka is an example of a city around which Neofinetia is found, if you want to look up the climate.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2019, 02:09 AM
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Hakumin Hakumin is offline
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Neos generally don't grow naturally much north/east of Tokyo, with the majority of the population growing south/west of Kyoto. Up in the Tokyo area, the mountains are too cold in the winter for Neos, so they'd be encountered more near sea level, though still exceedingly rare even there.

South/west of Kyoto, neos can be encountered up to a certain level in the mountains, as long as the temperatures don't drop too much in the winter.

The minimum temperatures in most of these environments is typically not below -5C. Minimum humidity in the winter for those areas is approximately 50%, with the average winter humidity at about 60%.

If your area has temperatures and humidity levels that are no lower than that, you might be OK growing neos outdoors.

There are a few considerations to keep in mind:
  • If your humidity levels in the winter drop too much, for too long, the plants will dehydrate too much and may be damaged.

  • Watering must be severely reduced in the winter, however, otherwise the roots will rot. Some outdoor growers in Japan only water 2-3 times during the entire winter, and only light sprinkling when they do. (This is less of an issue if growing bare root, and the plants can be watered a bit more freely, but humidity will need to be higher than if growing in moss)

  • Neos must gradually acclimatize for the winter. You can't simply take a plant that was growing indoors in the winter, and just stick it outside. They must be kept outdoors throughout autumn and the leaves must gradually dehydrate and become thinner before they can comfortably withstand temperatures below 5C. Once it has acclimatized for the winter and the leaves have dehydrated sufficiently, they should generally be able to withstand occasional short drops in temperature down to -5C, with average temperatures staying above freezing. Long durations of temperatures below freezing will damage the plant.

  • Not all Neo varieties have the same hardiness. Many varieties have plants from the Amami Islands in their parentage. Amami varieties often cannot withstand temperatures below 5C, even with winter acclimatization. Even non-amami varieties can vary in their hardiness as well.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2019, 06:39 AM
Jakob Jakob is offline
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Hmmm, if they are found in the mountains south/west of Kyoto that could work. I googled some towns in those mountains and they have quite similar climate. (more specifically in Nara and Hiroshima prefectures).

Average temperature in Ljubljana in January is 0.3 , and that's the coldest it gets (Slovenia is also warming fast, 12 years ago we were taught in school the average in temp in January is -1.1 ...)

Humidity is very high here in the winter - Ljubljana sits at the edge of a big fen-bog complex to the south and a flood plain with wet meadows and forests to the north.

Yes, it makes sense, that I should not put a plant suddenly outside . I am planning to do it next winter, or the winter after - I would like to first get to know the plant.

Is there any way to check the provenance of the plants? Named varieties (the fuukiran?) probably have it, right?

Thank you very much!
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakob View Post

Is there any way to check the provenance of the plants? Named varieties (the fuukiran?) probably have it, right?
Many of the named varieties do have record of origin or parentage, some varieties are so old that the records have been lost.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2019, 06:24 PM
Jakob Jakob is offline
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Hwell, i was doing some research... regarding climate, the region where Neos grow are classified as Cfa, whereas where I live it is classified as Cfb, but very close to Cfa.
The hardeiness zones however, the are of Japan is 8 to 10 and i am in 7b... I am not sure how the zones are calculated though.

The concern i have is that there is not enough of a wet-dry periode, the witer is quite dry and at least a part of percipitation is snow, but late autumn is very wet...
I figured it would be a good idea to try first with Dendrobium moniliforme, which grow substantially more north.

I found myself flora of chna and japan in search for description of habitats or some localities (no such thing found, however, i got some more candidates....

Coelogyne corymbosa, nitida
Pleione praecox, scopullorum, albiflora,humilis, forresti, yunnanensis, bulbocodioides,
Den moniliforme, flexicaule, hancockii, chryseum,
Neofinetia falcata,
Cymbidium goeringii
Sarcanthus scolopendrifolius
Gastrochilus matsuran
Sarcochilus japonicus
Sedirea japonica
Taeniophyllum aphyllum
Bulbophyllum drymoglossum, inconspicuum, japonicum,

All these are either from chinese montains (esp. Pleiones, the red one above 4000m), from at least 2000 m up - so should be used to freezing, and there is some seasonality there. Others are from Honshu. In the book I have, the description for most of the japanese ones is Kantoo and westwards. If their distribution reaches the lower mountains/hills, it might be possible.

the first ones I will be overwintering outside are the Den. moniliforme and some of the Pleiones. Pleione hybrids are winter-hardy here for a fact (even the crosses from the not-very-high-mountain-ones).
Cybindium goeringii is native to Hokkaido and should therefore be full.winter hardy here. If I can get it, I will try that one also.

I also think people in Paduan valley in Italy and alongside northern adriatic should be able to grow most of these outside year-round without much adjustments, perhaps with some protection from rain in the winter. Another suitable area would be area around the black sea. Maybe mediterraniean mountains (the rain regime is exactly wrong though...), Basque, north Spain, West France, southern most England and Ireland... If someone has spare time, orchids and lives there, i cannot guarantee it would work though... It would be awesome if it would work, wouldn't it? Epiphytic orchids in Europe...Since the Geography robbed Europe of them, it doesn't mean they can't grow here.
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