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Keep Them Outside Year Round?

This is a discussion on Keep Them Outside Year Round? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'm still not convinced I need to move all my plants inside for the winter. ...

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  1. #1
    Liz's Avatar
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    Default Keep Them Outside Year Round?

    I'm still not convinced I need to move all my plants inside for the winter. Keep in mind, I'm in San Diego, just a few miles inland, so my winters are pretty mild.

    We moved into our new house last October, right before that terrible firestorm (the county was closed for 4 days), and a couple whose home was lost moved in to our old house until they rebuild. We're about a mile away from the old house. They've built shade houses -- not greenhouses -- in our old back yard and screened in our front patio and they are growing orchids commercially -- a million of them, says my husband -- at my old house. (Who knew?!?!? I was such a newbie at the time that kept all my plants inside when I lived there.) My husband spoke to her yesterday when he went to visit a old neighbor/friend, and he had no idea what to ask her, but I haven't met her yet (can't wait to!)

    Does anyone leave or know of anyone who leaves them all outside year round??? They're doing so well that I hate to bring them inside and mess it up.

    Liz

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    Default

    Liz, in your climate I would only bring them in if severe cold threatens. I know this happens now and again, so be on the lookout. It always amazes me how much orchids can stand by way of temperature extremes. Your Phaltype Dendros can definitely stay out until temps hit 45F, Cymbidiums can take 29F.
    Many Catts won't bloom unless they get 50F. Laelias like anceps and purpurata can take light frost. Anceps up to 24 F.
    I would got to Jay Phal's site :http://www.orchidspecies.com/ and compare the temperature tolerances for orchids in your posession.

  3. #3
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    i would throw a tarp on if there is any question of frost. some plants like cyms can tolerate a light frost, but their buds will not. and even if they tolerate a frost, they may still suffer some degree of damage to their growing tips. if you have things in bud, you might be more conservative. they are infinitely more sensitive to temperature than the plants themselves.

    but then again, who ever heard of frost in san diego?

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    Oh, Liz, you lucky girl! I'd leave mine out if I could.

    Nice picture, Jason! That you?

    Lisa

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    Thanks Dosal, that's what I wanted to hear!

    Jason, my DH complained he had to scrape ice off the car window once or twice last year. He's from Scotland and then Michigan, so I couldn't believe he whined at a little frost. We also had a really cool hail storm, hail the size of peas, two years ago and took a bunch of pictures of the "snow" on the ground. Now that I think about it... hum. I don't think that that hail was predicted. Hail and orchids don't seem like they'd be a good mix.

    And, isn't that Rick James? Yes, I liked the pic too.

    I think I'm leaving them outside until they predict something funky and/or enclose the shade porch in a plastic tarp.

    Which begs a new question: what type of plastic should I use? Will it cut light? Should I put it over the shade cloth or replace the shade cloth? So many burning questions. :lemmetell

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    Please, heed Jason's advice and get plants in bud indoors when frost threatens. He is right, those can't take the cold.

    I remember frost in your area last year as well, but I don't think that is a regular occurance. I would think you need either shadecloth or plastic. The opaque kind will cut quite a lot of light.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by momokev
    Oh, Liz, you lucky girl! I'd leave mine out if I could.

    Nice picture, Jason! That you?

    Lisa
    If it were me, I'd be rich (and funny)...

    That's actually Dave Chappelle, of the hilarious sketch comedy show bearing his name on Comedy Central. One of his finer sketches this past year had him portraying the young Rick James, brash, incorrigible, high on crack. The real Rick James was also present in the sketch. I can't describe it, but it was really really funny.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dosal
    I would think you need either shadecloth or plastic.
    I've got shade cloth, but I assumed I would need plastic to keep the temp up, i.e., the shade cloth wouldn't be protection enough. Is it an either/or?

    And, I'll keep the seedlings and spiky ones inside. It'll just require that much less room inside.

  9. #9
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    IMHO both shadecloth as well as plastic (if it is the opaque kind) will be cutting too much light. Opaque plastic diffuses light beautifully. It will look bright all over inside, but you will need to allow for fresh air. It can get very hot under that without ventilation when the sun is shining. I have had my vegetable beds covered during the winter and got fluctuations between upper 30s and low 100s to 110. Bear in mind this is in SC, not San Diego.
    Shadecloth is fine as long as your temperatures stay at a reasonable level during the nights. Don't worry with plastic until it gets cold. In that case this is all you need. Open it during the day.

    EDIT: Of course all this depends on the species you are growing and only applies to sun loving plants like Cymbidium, Dendrobium and Laelia - Cattleyas, even Brassias and Oncids. If you grow Phals, Paphs, Phrags, keep them inside.

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