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Putting orchids out in the rain

This is a discussion on Putting orchids out in the rain within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; The other week, my two current orchids, a Cattleya and an Oncidium, were both about ...

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  1. #1
    poetiscariot's Avatar
    poetiscariot is offline By virtue of the absurd
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    Default Putting orchids out in the rain

    The other week, my two current orchids, a Cattleya and an Oncidium, were both about due to be watered and we had some rain coming. I put them on my patio (usually they're inside) and left them out there for a few hours, thinking, oh, this will be so cool for them, very natural and healthy. The Onc. had gotten a little dehydrated after blooming, wrinkled p-bulbs, and the Catt was a little off, too, so I thought, hey, take advantage of the lake effect for that. That was a week ago last Thursday and they're still not dry, and I'm now starting to wonder whether I should have done that. Good side: the plants looked really happy when I brought them in and the Onc. did plump back out. Bad side: possibly encouraging root rot? Possibly screwing up their growth -- don't Catts especially need to cycle between wet and dry (more quickly than this)?

    The natural aspect of it appeals to me tons, and it was certainly easier than standing over them at the sink with the sprayer. If it's healthy I want to do it again, but I didn't expect them to stay damp this long. Bamboo skewers seriously are still damp. What does anyone think?

  2. #2
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    What is your air circulation like in your grow area? My 'chids spend the summer months outdoors rain or shine. sometimes the get rain days in a row and stay wet longer than they would indoors. Hasn't killed them yet. But remember, there is usually a breeze outdoors during the rainy season. The duldrums hit in August when we seldom get rain, so it seems to work out.

  3. #3
    poetiscariot's Avatar
    poetiscariot is offline By virtue of the absurd
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    It's frequently breezy here (especially at the level of my 3rd-floor apartment) and I have them at a window without a screen in right now, so they get a good breeze.

  4. #4
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Smile

    I do the same thing....mine are out on my East facing porch. As long as the air movement stays good and temps dont go too high it should be okay. If the air movement goes bad, put a fan on them. If you see any signs of fungus, spray them with a nice fungicide. Otherwise; Relax, Breathe, Everything will be just fine. lol Wait until your skewers feel dry and then water as usual.
    Good Luck...

  5. #5
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Depending on what you have them potted in, the drying out time will be different. For instance, my big cattleyas are potted in lava rock and large bark mix. They get wet and dry out fast. My paphs are potted in a smaller bark mix with charcoal, coconut husk, and sponge rock. They need to stay damp longer. Everyone gets the same amount of water and air movement, but they all dry out differently depending on their potting medium.

    Cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
    poetiscariot's Avatar
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    Ok, super cool. I wasn't worried about the difference in drying time so much as the length for both plants. The Cattleya is in medium bark, charcoal, and perlite, and the Oncidium is in a somewhat denser mix, with some moss in there, but it looked like it was in good shape so I didn't repot it. But basically, if I drench the hell out of them, with the breeze and all, that's probably fine.

    Something I've never really known many people's opinions on is whether to add fertilizer to water you mist with. These particular plants both have new growths, so it seems like I could, but I'd hate to, I don't know, clog their pores with salts?

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