Orchids forum→Transitioning to summering outdoors

Views: 230, Replies: 6 » Jump to the end
Name: Empress of India
Hatfield MA (Zone 5b)
Image
EmpressOfIndia
May 22, 2020 2:36 PM CST
I have a few phals and two oncidiums in 5B. They are doing fine.We are at the point of near-equilibrium, leaving the heat off at night, screens in the windows, etc -- so inside is close to equalling outside.

I have a grove of oaks and maples and birches where most of my houseplants spend the summer. They all come in happy in the fall--pothos, snakeplants, ficus, draecana. I have a good amount of ability to manipulate from dappled sunlight or east or west or full shade. It's a good sized grove.I can manipulate rainfall as well, depending on what tree a plant is under - whether it is dense coverage or not.

So this summer I would like to let the orchids live out there and I am wondering about tips. I have some hanging baskets I could fill with moss or bark, I have tree crevices that could accommodate them, or just the plain old pots they live in - variously terra cotta orchid pots (with the holes in the sides) and plastic orchid buckets within terracotta pots.

So: dappled to bright sunlight; ability to manipulate moisture.

How do you approach moving your orchids outside?

For a time. I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Barry
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Plumerias Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
Image
Ursula
May 22, 2020 3:48 PM CST

Moderator

I just got done moving all my plants outside for the Summer!
I would move the Oncidiums into dappled morning sun and protect them from noon time/full sun.
Phals are a different story, I would hang them into a somewhat shady spot, under a tree perhaps. I would make sure they are tilted, so water/rain doesn't collect in the crown of the plant and cause rot. In my hands Phals never do as well as my other Orchids outside, but I move them out anyway for ease of Summer culture.
Hopefully you don't have Squirrels..... Smiling
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
May 22, 2020 4:17 PM CST
Ursula said it all and I can't add anything more.
I too, would not be anxious about putting Phalaenopsis outside for the summer.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
May 22, 2020 5:56 PM CST
Phals are my only full time house plant, as I can manipulate both heat and humidity best indoors. They live in front of a south facing window that has a sheer curtain, and I haven't had any pest problems. The rest of my orchids are either in a greenhouse, or scattered around under some cover outdoors year round. "The strong will survive"...if not thrive.
Name: Empress of India
Hatfield MA (Zone 5b)
Image
EmpressOfIndia
Jun 20, 2020 1:46 PM CST
Good news...I put them all out a few weeks ago and they're not dead!

Phals tucked in the shady bits, oncidiums in a bit more bright morning light. Only one phal seems unhappy and I think it's the lack of rain. If we don't get a downpour in the next week, I'll apply my own downpour, but I'm hoping they will join the rest of the houseplants in 'set it and forget it' mode for the summer.

Optimistic about the October temp changes triggering flowers when I bring them in....I bring most houseplants in around Labor Day but we usually don't use heat until October, so the transition has some decent equilibrium.

Thanks all of you intrepid Orchid growers! I would have been too chicken to put them out before...
For a time. I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Barry
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Jun 20, 2020 2:12 PM CST
Initially, keep up your watering schedule. Do not rely on Mother Nature. They will adjust better that way.
The way you take advantage of Mother Nature is like this Empress, say you water everybody today and the next watering day would be Wednesday. However Mother Nature gives your plants 1 1/2" overnight Monday, so your next watering day becomes Saturday. You keep to the schedule of watering every five days. Mother Nature can help you a little here and there but don't make your orchids wait for her!!!
The reason you don't do that is because say your plants get 1/8" from a shower. That is not proper watering! They need more then that. You don't want to make them wait extra days without water and the the water that comes is too little. That is bad for the plants.

I have a plastic rain gauge from Home Depot outside. Not under any vegetation. This accurate reading will let you know exactly how much water fell. Unless it is 3/4" at least, it doesn't really count!
Why? Less then that does not penetrate the media!!
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Empress of India
Hatfield MA (Zone 5b)
Image
EmpressOfIndia
Jul 21, 2020 4:23 PM CST
Hey, this came across my updated threads so here, a few months on having them out in a woodland setting in 5b: one of the oncidiums is spiking and the phals are at the very least throwing off roots and new leaves left and right. There are some growths that I think might be keikis or spikes, but I'm just leaving them alone now.

We have had some nights in the sixties. Quite a few. And days closing in on 100. Some drenching rain, some relentless heat.

I am very confident in saying they are all happy to bits. I've got the phals in hanging metal baskets in clay pots-the kind with slats in the side.

In the fall, when night temps fall into the sixties, as long as we're not closing the house windows at night, they are staying out there.....

So we'll see!

I've got amaryllis in there that seem very happy as well.

Not sure I'm doing exactly what any of them need but I'm doing nothing and it doesn't seem to be hurting them which is not what I can say for the peach tree.


For a time. I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Barry

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Orchids forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Baja_Costero and is called "Heart of darkness"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.