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When should I bring my orchids inside?

This is a discussion on When should I bring my orchids inside? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Yes, it is that time of year, again. I just started the process and hope ...

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  1. #11
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    Yes, it is that time of year, again. I just started the process and hope to get most in by tomorrow. The orchids are easy, it is the other plants that are a challenge. Too many plants, too little space. Good luck to everyone!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris1140 View Post
    I, too, expose my Phals and some of my Paphs to several weeks of cool night temps in the fall.
    It really induces them all to spike.
    I had been thinking about putting my phals out to enjoy the cooler night air, but most of them are fairly small species varieties, and I am really fussy about them and worry that they might be too delicate. Plus, I put a couple of Bellina seedlings out a few nights ago, and then it unexpectedly rained. Within two days one of the seedlings was dead from crown rot. I stopped bringing any of them out after that. I've spent so much money on these species plants and I baby them so much...I'd hate to have something happen to them.

    I did, however, buy a small DIY greenhouse the last time I was at a home improvement store. It's six feet tall by about 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep, and I could probably set it up outside our basement entrance doors on the brick patio out back. That would protect the plants from the wind and rain, but they would still get the benefit of the temperature drops, right? I'd feel more comfortable setting my phals and paphs in some sort of sheltered environment if I was going to set them out overnight. (We have a lot of munchy critters to contend with, too).

    Out of curiosity, if I were to put the phals and paphs out overnight, at what point would I need to bring them back in again? Just before the first frost? Thanks for your wisdom, everybody!

  3. #13
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    I think your greenhouse would work well. What I do is close the heating vent and open the window in the orchid room-actually a bedroom, so my plants get the cool temps at night but are protected by not being outside. I let the room cool down to the mid-50's at night and then back up to the 70s in the day. 2 to 3 weeks of this is probably enough to get them to spike. If my plants were outside I would not want them to get below 50 degrees.

  4. #14
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    i just feel so rediculously spoiled with socal weather right now. i take some care to choose orchid varieties (aside from phals) that can just plain stay outside all year, as my temps only get to the high 40's for a month or so at night really. i'm frost free, and my balcony is rather protected. i just water much less in cold weather, and most do just fine. this last winter i brought the mokara in as it was spiking, and all but 2 buds blasted. i find bringing things in really gives me a growth set back, even my sharry baby did poorly with the sudden change in atmosphere. and i do leave windows open to enjoy the chill for those inside, but i find the protected outdoor area with dry roots does me better. i just avoid the hot growers. mostly what i see though as a 'rule' is under 50 degrees, bring things inside. if not, let them stay real dry. for me, if it goes under 40, i pull some things in. hot vandas, 55 i think is the cut off, but you have the pachara, and that one can take temps in the 40's i think if dry enough. it has so much coerulea in it that it's hardly a hybrid at all. i'd worry more the buds would blast by taking it inside, let it go until the low 50's at least, and even then maybe just water less and let it go down to 45, but water early in the AM only and only enough to keep it from dessicating. it is probably your most cold hardy orchid, in the cymbidium range, and those things can take down to a frost. you don't want it to be 45 at night, and 80's in the day or you will get problems, but if the temp flux is under 20 degrees between day and night, you are probably fine. i've seen photos of cymbidiums and coeruleas with snow on them and reports they survived well. this year i'm going to be really adventurous and leave a ton of oncidiums outside, since they have cool tolerant parentage. i'm more worried about them getting too much sun, and setting up a second layer of shadecloth. there are a few that might not love it, but we shall see. my sharry baby will come in again i think, although i'm tempted, and the the enc. cordigera will come in, but that might be it. i left some oncidiums inside this summer to enjoyt heir blooms, but i keep thinking if i do it now, some can go out... to make room for sharry and cordi. 2 weeks ago i ordered a ren, tom thumb, and a ren/v. cristata hybrid, and i told the guy i was going to leave them outside this winter so i wanted small ones so they would root into their treefern stump better, and he just stopped and said he was so envious because he heard people here could grow them outside (they are imshootiana hybrids, from the same areas as coerulea i think), he had called me to verify the order just to find out if that was my plan! i so want a nice pachara delight. they look lovely in photos, but i don't want to end up with just a ton of blue vandas... but my advice is leave them out as long as possible, your greenhouse set up might be wonderful for them, they'll be dry, out of the wind, and out of the rain. at the very least, buy some cheap 'test orchids' (that's what i do!) and decide in advance they will be risked for it and give it a go. the payoff in finding their real tolerance can be astounding. i met a lady a few blocks away that showed me her collection hanging under a shady pergola, and they'd been there for 40 years. bought a couple ratty looking oncidium divisions (from single pbulbs with no roots, but popping out new growths) from her to pot up in my treefern stumps. it gave me a lot of confidence talking to her about her years of orchid experience in the local weather. if kept dry, some orchids can take a lot more cold than you might think. i don't run heat or ac, and it's almost like outdoors inside my apartment unless it gets really cold. but again, i completely avoid hot growers now. i'd never think to leave a phal outside, but i hear and see people do it all the time here. they just keep them out of the rain.

  5. #15
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    Hey Jen how have you been?!! I wish I had a green house, just recieved my new cattleya in the mail and it is in bud... this thing is huge, its not a mini catt!

  6. #16
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    I just brought mine in Two days ago. It's getting into the upper 40's at night & I didn't want to chance it with the Vandas. But while we're on the subject, and I know many have indoor grow areas (humid and warm), I have a question...How do I stop the fussy white mold from growing? It's been only a few days and I already have a white carpet on the outside of some of my pots. Any suggestions??

  7. #17
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    I live in a climate that can go from hot to quite cool in a matter of hours. I am trying not to worry too much about the majority of my plants. I was always lugging them in and out whenever the temps were forecast to be below 50F. For those plants that are hardy down to frosting, I probably did them more harm than good. It's a difficult question to even think about in a mixed collection. Given my conditions, I find plants that I never thought I'd do well with doing just fine. Its a question that has so many variables. A good blanket statement would be to avoid temps below 50F..."Most" plants do just fine outside of their given temp ranges for short periods of time. But it's dependent on so many factors.
    Quote Originally Posted by TirSigel View Post
    I have a question...How do I stop the fussy white mold from growing? It's been only a few days and I already have a white carpet on the outside of some of my pots. Any suggestions??
    I tend to have the same problem when I move my moisture lovers indoors. Ideally, increased air movement would be the answer. It helped me but there was still a bit of a problem. I usually give them a good dose of fungicide a few days before bringing them in and per a forum members suggestion, I keep a can of Lysol around as a preventative.Posted via Mobile Device

  8. #18
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    I've never had this mold but maybe let them dry out a bit and give them a shot of a good fungicide before bringing them in.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TirSigel View Post
    I just brought mine in Two days ago. It's getting into the upper 40's at night & I didn't want to chance it with the Vandas. But while we're on the subject, and I know many have indoor grow areas (humid and warm), I have a question...How do I stop the fussy white mold from growing? It's been only a few days and I already have a white carpet on the outside of some of my pots. Any suggestions??
    I have fought with that nasty white stuff many times too. I have to be really proactive or it takes over quickly. I've found watering with Physan to be the most effective preventative measure. The bottle gives you instructions on how to treat the surface of the plants and how to soak infected bark, but it doesn't say much on how to use it with regular watering as a preventative measure.

    So I posed the question here, and someone on the forum suggested I use one tablespoon per gallon of water as a preventative treatment. So, about once a month I mix up a batch of it and water all of my plants with the Physan-treated water. The plants don't mind it at all, and it seems to keep the mold at bay. If, on the rare occasion, some white fuzz comes back a couple of days after the Physan watering, I will take the plant out of the bark and give it a good cleaning off, sterilize the roots and the pot, and re-pot the whole thing in new bark. But it's a rare case when I have to do that any more.

    I hope that helps. Before I discovered the Physan trick it was a non-stop battle with fungus and mold. Pretty disgusting stuff.

    Now all I need to know is how to get rid of the damn yellow mushrooms that are growing in the pot with my anthurium. I have dumped Physan all over the yellow invaders, and they just keep popping up. They give me the heebie-jeebies... anyone know what I should do to get rid of the pesky shrooms? (No shrooms in any of my orchids...I keep the offending anthurium far away from my prized orchids!) But seriously...why the heck isn't the Physan killing the damn mushrooms? Sorry...I went slightly off-topic there... LOL

  10. #20
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    I'd think mushrooms in an anthurium pot would be a sign of correct moisture level. I always kill those things! About physan as a routine...could that cause the fungi to become tolerant? If so, would alternating a weak bleach solution be of any help?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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