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  #1  
Old 02-03-2023, 01:19 PM
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Hello from 19 below in Minnesota! Female
Default Hello from 19 below in Minnesota!

I had a heck of a time logging in, but seem to have made it through! Long time Basset Hound mom..newer to orchids.Moved here three years ago to be closer to family, and find the winters...ummm...LONG.

I have 3 phals that I got at a big box store on a whim. I was thinking more of a cut flower scenario, but they have survived for 8 years, and continue to bloom, so I am thinking maybe orchids are the cure for MN winters.

We have 9 fairly large south facing windows...and a lot of gray sky. Thinking of easier phals and oncidiums. The room temps vary from cold night temps of down to 60 along the windows up to mid 70's for warm sunny days. We have shades to pull down to block some sun. Looking for information and ideas...Thanks
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Old 02-03-2023, 01:40 PM
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Welcome! Hybrid phals with mostly cool-growing species (large round flowers, “classic” phals) in their background would be my pick. Hot growing species (smaller star shaped flowers) and their hybrids usually want warmer temperatures than your home offers. If you know the registered name of a phal you can look up the genetic makeup on the Orchid Roots website. If it’s a no-name plant from a big box store or non-specialty retailer, the flower shape can give you clues about its suitability to your space.

That said, even the cool growing phals generally prefer temperatures over 65F, but it seems like you’re having success so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Adding a seedling heat mat during the coldest part of the year would give you more wiggle room for very little energy expenditure.
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Old 02-03-2023, 01:49 PM
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Welcome! Brrr....
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2023, 02:59 PM
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Well, we are up to minus 4 today, so getting warmer! At least I don't have to walk the orchids!.

It is staying 67 degrees near the Phals. It only gets colder at night when we turn the heat down. That room is more variable because of all the glass.

The Phals. I have were no name plants. I got them on a whim when I found them marked 2.50 each and all looked healthy and were in full bloom. They do have big rounded petals.
I bought a bunch and drove around town delivering random acts of orchids. I didn't expect them to live. They seem to give a lot of bloom for fairly little care. So now I need more....
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Old 02-03-2023, 03:17 PM
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Cooler than the Phals would prefer, but they're acclimated so they clearly can tolerate the lower temperatures. I'd say that the "price to performance" ratio is very good. You definitely need more! (But this is a den of enablers....)
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Old 02-03-2023, 03:59 PM
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I'm "new" to indoor orchids, but not to hardy ones. Old gardner here, known to push the limits. I know plants will tolerate a lot more than they "prefer".
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Old 02-03-2023, 11:39 PM
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Welcome! Many intergeneric Oncidium hybrids like those temperatures.
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Old 02-04-2023, 09:00 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Welcome to the OB! I'm in Michigan, not nearly as far north as you, but it's been very cold here, too, for the past week or so.

Cute Basset in your avatar! I have Bassets in my family (my sister has two).

I also grow in a southern-facing window, though mine doesn't sound nearly as large as yours. A few years ago, I did add supplemental lighting, at the suggestion of members here, and it's made a big difference in my reblooming rates. If yours are blooming well, you probably don't need it.

At this point, I'm growing only Phals, and only the winter-blooming types (with the rounded flowers). I tried the summer-blooming ones (with the star-shaped flowers), but my home did not have the temps and humidity those prefer. (See the post by Dimples above.)

My temps range from no lower than 70 on cold nights to maybe 75 on a warm day. It's a small house, so we are able to keep the temps indoors pretty consistent all year round. My humidity at this moment is 16%. In the summertime, it will be up around 50%. Mine are all potted in Orchiata bark, which is fast-draining and airy, so I water frequently!

If your Phals are healthy and reblooming, it does indeed sound like they have adapted to your cooler temps. You'll learn through trial and error what other types of orchids may do well for you. Just do your research on the conditions required for the ones you may be considering.
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Old 02-04-2023, 09:52 AM
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Bassets are best! We lived near Lansing until three years ago, and the Phals were in an east window with large trees outside. I am not sure where we have them is best, but we do have some shades in that room. I was also thinking of trying some Oncidium or Tolumnia to mix things up. Trying to learn while the weather is cold!
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Old 02-04-2023, 03:17 PM
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Tolumnias are not easy in the low humidity of most homes. They are small to tiny and dry out rapidly. They need high air flow so they often don't do well in terrariums.
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