Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Orchids and succulents?

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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Sep 29, 2017 9:43 AM CST
I saw some pictures of potted orchids and succulents together, have you ever done that?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Sep 29, 2017 9:51 AM CST
They were probably in their own pots in a larger, decorative pot. I grow both orchids and succulents/cactus. I can't think of any that would be happy together.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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purpleinopp
Sep 30, 2017 6:04 AM CST
Jungle epiphytes could be likely candidates if you wanted to try, being from the same conditions. Various Rhipsalis, Schlumbergera, Selenicereus, etc...
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Sep 30, 2017 6:05 AM (+)]
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Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 4, 2017 6:04 PM CST
I agree with Daisy. Probably separate pots in a single container. It sounds like a lot of work. I'm finally figuring out how to keep them all happy by themselves, I don't need a bigger challenge ;)

I have to make the most of my summers before I bring the plants back in for a tortuous NY winter indoors and my orchids would never tolerate the full sun my succulents love and I don't think my succulents would like the high humidity the orchids love.
Tiffany makes a good point- there are succulents that also grow in rain forests, but Ive never seen a christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) or rhipsalis potted in bark and they will both flourish in full sun that would burn the orchids.



Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 4, 2017 6:25 PM CST

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I never had any luck with christmas cactus in full sun, those plants get fried to a crisp with that kind of exposure. As for humidity, we average about 80%, nightly to 90%, lots of fog. No problem whatsoever for the succulents I grow. There has to be some overlap between orchids and succulents (especially indoors) but I would guess it's the epiphytic lifestyle, rather than sun or humidity preference per se, that would indicate compatibility among succulents. That said, a surprising number of succulents can grow hydroponically, in a clay pebble type medium.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 4, 2017 6:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Oct 4, 2017 7:01 PM CST
I grow a lot of Cacti and Succulents and Orchids and I grow many of them side by side.
Grouping them by the amount of light needed and temperature requirement is my first consideration. Next I group them according to the amount of water they need/ observe dormancies, also ease of watering.
As an example Cattleyas and Pachypodiums/ Adeniums can perfectly happily grow in the same bright sun, except I will slow down on watering the Fat plants as they go dormant. But, here in NJ they certainly can take the same amount of sun and sit in close proximity.
My Stapelias are right now in the greenhouse, but I am not hitting them daily with a shower, as I slowly lower the amount of water they need. In a few weeks my Habenarias which will be dormant by then, will join them and I will only direct a slight spray over them, perhaps once a week.
Small Cacti can certainly sit on the top shelf under the glass ceiling next to small rupicolous Laelias and similar, just water the Orchids daily, only spray the Cacti once in a while. Dendrobium lindleyi hangs in full sun, Rhyncholaelias love the sun and warmth, etc the list is long...
Cymbidiums and Epiphyllum hybrids are a perfect combo, temperature wise and considering the same light conditions, also Dendrobium kingianum fits here and Schomburgkias, Laelia anceps and autumnalis.

I would think it depends on your climate and general set up, but in my experience I can certainly grow Orchids and C&S in close proximity. ( But not in the same container) I should mention that all my plants spend the Summer outside and the indoor season here in NJ in a bright and sunny greenhouse with a glass ceiling.
Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 5, 2017 3:47 PM CST
Ursula said:grow Orchids and C&S in close proximity.
Mine will be in very close proximity but not in the same container, I think the feedback saying that their conditions may not be exactly the same is an important consideration.

Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 6, 2017 9:25 AM CST
Turbosaurus said:I agree with Daisy. Probably separate pots in a single container.

That's the answer to my unlovely 4 inch containers! They are going into larger,oval cache pots.
Thank you Turbosaurus and Daisy!

Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 6, 2017 11:49 AM CST
Hey Baja. Where are you located?

I'm in NY and all my christmas cactus go out in full sun all summer long no problem... i do acclimate them on my porch starting with morning sun and gradually increasing exposure, but by June they're out.
I have accidentally given them a really bad sunburn going from the livingroom window straight to the patio, but with gradual increase I have no trouble at all, and the ones in full sun tend to do better- they grow more and have more blooms come fall. Maybe its location?
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 6, 2017 1:44 PM CST

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Sunny Baja California (just south of San Diego). Full sun (=more than half a day of direct sun) turned my christmas purple and brown, on its way out. I am usually pretty careful with the gradual accommodation.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 6, 2017 3:22 PM CST
My Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus all live in a north facing window in my house. Its the only place I can find that they don't burn up - they even fried in the shade in my GH.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Nancy Mumpton
Sun Lakes, AZ (Zone 9b)
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nmumpton
Oct 7, 2017 1:37 PM CST
Baja CA, Phoenix AZ, Reno NV--the sun in these places much stronger than anywhere else in the country like Midwest and East and even the South! Schlumbergera need shade in the afternoon to survive. Here in Phoenix the humidity yesterday was 5%!!!! I struggle with Schlumbergera as you might expect. I only put them outside for 6 weeks in late Oct./Nov. to get the cool nights to help them set some buds. It is very difficult here though! You can see a Rhipsalis to the right. That died. Not enough humidity here! This Schlumbergera gets little direct sun and you can see the leaves show intensity of the light on it.
Thumb of 2017-10-07/nmumpton/c4933c

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[Last edited by nmumpton - Oct 7, 2017 1:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 7, 2017 5:14 PM CST

Moderator

Where's the jaw-dropped emoji? Smiling

Lovey dubby

5% humidity has got to be pretty rough on those plants.
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 7, 2017 7:12 PM CST
check this out- I just took this picture outside in complete darkness so forgive the poor quality- but it grows SO differently I had to share!
These are the christmas cactus that spent all summer in direct sun in NY...

Its SOO different than yours... mine NEVER trail. They barely arch until the weight breaks the bough-

BTW- the brown spots in the photo are fallen leaves, not part of the plant.


Thumb of 2017-10-08/Turbosaurus/5a20f2
Thumb of 2017-10-08/Turbosaurus/1c98db

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 7, 2017 7:35 PM CST

Moderator

I can't help with the habit of the plant but just a quick comment about sun... Full sun is not the same thing as direct sun. Full sun refers to a duration of 6 or more hours a day of direct sun. The difference can spell life or death for many plants (like the christmas cactus). Periods of direct sun with a shorter duration might be called part sun or part shade, depending on how many hours a day are involved.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 7, 2017 8:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 7, 2017 8:11 PM CST
Ahh... I think I get it...

These are outside on a patio with no shade at all. They get all of the sun's rays from dawn to dusk without any protection. That's full sun, right?

so Direct sun has nothing to do with duration- it's only the exposure at any discrete moment, it has no temporal dimension? E.g. my orchids get direct sun IN THE MORNING... My christmas cactus get 'full sun' becasue they get 'direct sun' for the entire day...

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 7, 2017 10:21 PM CST

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That sounds like full sun. Yes, direct sun refers only to intensity, full sun also refers to duration.

If there are walls, trees, structures, anything around your patio (and there usually are, unless you have no neighbors or no privacy) then the sun will be blocked for at least some of the day, some of the year. Unless it's a rooftop patio and there are no trees or walls nearby, there will be shade protection.

Even here (south of you) the sun only rises to a bit over 30° in the sky at midday in early winter. A third of the way to vertical. Other times of day it will be lower than that. All sorts of objects close to the horizon will create shade at that time of year, and for weeks on either side. At this time of year it's maxing out about halfway to vertical.

The best way to know what exposure your plants are getting is to physically see the sun and shade at different times of day and different times of year. I can pretty much guarantee you most of your patio does not get direct sun for the entire day, year round. We have extreme exposure here (the aforementioned rooftop patio with no trees and few structures taller than about 3 feet) and I still find plenty of protected places to put my plants where they don't have to be in the sun all day. Those places are lifesavers.

Speaking from experience growing a pretty good variety of succulents, there are very few which require or necessarily prefer full sun. With a handful of exceptions, most potted succulents do better in part sun or part shade. I know this because I'm constantly tinkering with exactly how many hours they enjoy or prefer. And the holiday cacti are not on the list. Not to argue with your experience, this is just mine.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 7, 2017 10:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 8, 2017 7:42 AM CST
Bringing together everything that has been said, the direct sun at higher latitudes is less intense. There are plants that I used to put in full sun in OH that just can't handle it 800 miles south of there, near AL/FL border. Location, location, location.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 8, 2017 11:34 AM CST

Moderator

Here's a widget you can use to calculate the angle of the sun in your location at a given date and time.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/...

Select a city at your latitude (or enter the numbers yourself), set the date, specify midday as the time (unless you want something else), and look at the angle (in degrees) specified under solar elevation. That is how high the sun will be in the sky. Intensity is a function of solar elevation and cloud cover, basically.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 8, 2017 11:48 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 10, 2017 9:45 AM CST
I also grow some orchids and succulents. I don't grow them together in one pot, they have their own individual containers. Or I group some succulents together, provided they have similar growing attributes.

Some succulents are summer dormant, and orchids are happy during warmer conditions provided they get their watering and lighting needs, so you have to consider that when you group your plants.

I have to consider their watering and air ventilation needs. During summer I have the orchids outdoors in my growcamp where air circulates well and I can freely water the plants. When seasons go colder then I move the orchids indoors, except for cymbidiums, they can handle our mild winter here.

Because our area is extremely dry and no summer rains here at all, our full sun is scorching in summer, I have to position some succulents in shadier areas. The canopy of city trees further protects them from the heat of the sun.

There's a wide range of orchids to grow, I fail miserably on some types, but so far Oncidiums tolerates my conditions here very well. I have learned to expect too that when our long, dry conditons are here and temps soar consistently from 90F and higher everyday, no blooming expected here. The plants will wait it out till the more tolerable 70F to 85F returns.

So consider very well your growing area, it maybe tempting to put them in one container, but the reality is the plants have varying growing needs.

Speaking of Schlumbergeras, I only keep them indoors here too by our west facing window, they will get fried here by our full sun and very dry conditions. They seem to like the area where I grow my Phalaenopsis orchids, so they are in that spot in my house, in their individual containers.

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