Anyone (successfully) growing orchids in the Florida Keys?
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:28 PM
JanS JanS is offline

Join Date: Sep 2010
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Anyone (successfully) growing orchids in the Florida Keys?
Default Anyone (successfully) growing orchids in the Florida Keys?

I know a good number of regular contributors to this forum are from Florida...but the mainland. My wife and I are very seriously considering buying a second home in the Florida Keys (Big Pine Key area), so I am wondering: could I transfer and maintain my sizable orchid collection there? I know the temperatures will be fine but is the air too salty? I have two options: 1) keep them in the walk-in modular greenhouse where they are now here in California which I would also transfer, and have somebody come and regularly water them when we are not there; 2) place them all outside and hope the rains are regular enough and pests are not a concern.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:05 PM
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tucker85 tucker85 is offline
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Location: Plantation, Florida
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I know several people in the keys who have fairly large collections. I only had a few orchids during the 15 years that I lived there. If you're living right on the water, it's always possible that it would affect some specific orchids. But there are always some orchids that we can't grow in our environment. One thing to keep in mind is that almost all the fresh water for the entire Florida Keys comes down from Homestead through one pipeline. For that reason fresh water is pretty expensive. If your collection is very large, the cost of water could be an issue. On the other hand, Here in South Florida, the weather is absolutely perfect for some orchids. Especially cattleyas, vandas, dendrobiums and encyclias. So I would say, go for it.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:41 PM
JanS JanS is offline

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Anyone (successfully) growing orchids in the Florida Keys?

Thanks Tucker! Very useful info straight from one who actually LIVED there! (Which island?) As far as the water, that's good to know. We will likely install a large rainwater cistern like the off-grid houses have on Cook Island just off Big Pine, so I'll be able to use that. I was primarily concerned about the salt in the air...
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california, florida, keys, regular, transfer, orchids, successfully, growing

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