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Dusty Ol' Man 10-30-2020 12:23 PM


Originally Posted by davidg (Post 914810)
Yes, this is the most northern Mediterranean climate in the world - zone 10a, roughly. I am within a few hundred yards of the ocean, and Nice is sheltered from the north by nearby very tall mountains. It's a little enclave of relative warmth in Europe. So winter lows are mostly about 10 centigrade, but we can get nights that are colder. Summer highs are about 28, but it can get to 32 (sorry, I think in Centigrade). My sheltered garden is always a few degrees above the official winter lows, and most winters are frost-free, but it can briefly touch minus 1 in the open. Summers are dry, and most rain is in fall and spring. Very different from Florida! I am not sure if any orchids can survive long-term, but I have had a Zygopetalum outside for 3 years, and it bloomed twice, and the Cattleya bowringiana overwintered this last winter with no problems. The Platycerium bifurcatum is growing well, and I have a P. grande that also overwintered OK, and they are more cold-sensitive. I think keeping things dry in the cold is important.
As for water, I was planning to use our local water, which is ozone treated, but slightly alkaline. I reckoned rain outdoors would flush excess salts, but what about using de-ionized water that you can buy for irons? Have you ever used that? I am going to use a product called Orchi-Fit as fertilizer. Buy Orchds online now - Roellke Orchideen. I used this grower for some of my plants.

I guess I am a bit callous - it is going to be 'survival of the fittest', which is why I have a longish list of plants.
So I think I will take your advice and go with the cork mounting, and get pieces that will wrap a bit around branches, so I can leave them in place in time. With that I can bring them into some shelter if there is a very cold winter night, at least for the first year. The bark on the Oleander is non-flaking, with a slight roughness, so it sounds like it should work. If I can get them growing well this summer then we will see what happens when winter comes! I am a pretty good grower generally, so I hope I (or rather the orchids!) can rise to the challenge.

---------- Post added at 12:34 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:29 AM ----------

Not sure about this root size thing - I saw it on the site I gave the link to. It's probably not a big thing.

I won't offer any orchid growing advice here, as those who have responded have more knowledge than I. I will offer this bit of warning: Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants there are. Make sure anytime you handle them to wash your hands well.

Roberta 10-30-2020 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by davidg (Post 928576)
Thanks guys - one small step. . . And thanks for the advice on the L. superbiens, Roberta, that's encouraging. I am going to thin out the crown of that tree in early fall, to let more light through.

Take a look at the Index of Plants on my website, showing which orchids I grow outside... my climate is, I think, rather similar to yours, except that you get more rain. I found that RO water improved my success rate for some sensitive plants (like Pleurothallids) but there are many types (especially the larger plants) that do fine with city water. The pure water is the "next level"... but with rain, the need is even less. (Where I live, rain mostly comes out of a hose...)

Tango 10-31-2020 11:19 AM

Hi David,
It will probably work well with the Laelia anceps and the Den nobile, but even if you are in Nice or Monaco I think it'll bee too cold for the other plants in winter. I live in Malaga and I would not leave my Cattleyas outside from November to February. We get easily down to 10C during the night.

Roberta 10-31-2020 11:57 AM

My winter nighttime temperatures are often down to 5 deg C, and sometimes lower than that. However, winter days are warmer - 15-18 deg C is typical. And when it is cold, it is dry. (When there are clouds, minimum temperatures are a few degrees higher) The important factors are - first that plants are acclimated (they experience the cooling days and nights naturally) and dry when it is very cold.

Tango 10-31-2020 12:08 PM

Winter in the Mediterranean is normally quite wet, especially in the coast

Roberta 10-31-2020 12:12 PM

I do provide overhead protection (clear polycarbonate) over the Cattleya species so they stay drier. But yes, cold rain may make outdoor growing more of a challenge.

Tango 10-31-2020 12:15 PM

Well Roberta, I must say my neighbor has a Phalaenopsis outside all year round... I'm astonished that it survives year after year!
I don't have much experience so I would not risk...
David it's amazing that you have all that in the garden!

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