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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; Hey all! My orchids have been happily "summering outdoors" for a couple of months now, ...

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  1. #1
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
    OrchidAddict is offline Senior Member
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    Question When should I bring my orchids inside?

    Hey all! My orchids have been happily "summering outdoors" for a couple of months now, and they are LOVING it. However, now that fall is approaching, the temps are dropping in to the 50's at night, and I'm wondering if I should be bringing the orchids in to protect them.

    For the record, my phals and paphs stay inside all the time, no matter what. So I'm not worried about them. But I have a gorgeous antelope dendrobium (a goldenrod) that is in spike, and I'm worried that if I leave it outside overnight, the cooler temps will confuse it and the spike will blast. I also have a Sharry Baby that's getting ready to explode with flowers, and I'm worried about the same thing with that guy. If the buds blast from the cool night temps I'm just going to cry!

    So the plants I'm most concerned about are--obviously--my Sharry Baby and my Goldenrod, and then my full-grown catts and the few catt seedlings I have. I'm also not sure what to do about my vandas in vases. They are super-happy in their vases, and they've been growing well outside. Will the drop in temps at night give them problems?

    I'm particularly concerned about my Pachara Delight, which arrived in quasi-bloom (the spike didn't look great when it arrived, and it had one wilted flower at the end that had bloomed in the box during delivery). I'd like to see if I can get the spike to perk back up and make some more flowers. The spike is still green, not yellow, so I'm hoping to coax more flowers out of it. But I'm worried that leaving it outside overnight is a sure-fire way to convince the plant to NOT try and make any more flowers on that spike.

    Okay...sorry about this long, extremely verbose question. I probably over-explained a bit. But I really, REALLY don't want my spikes and buds to blast! And if the drop in night temps might cause them to stall, I'll truck them all in every night and back out in the morning if that's what I have to do.

    Advice please? I could use some experts weighing in here! Thanks...you all are the best!

  2. #2
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    just bring them in to be safe, it wouldnt really hurt, but the cold would hurt!

  3. #3
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    Same here Jenn, I have recently brought all of them indoors. Fall is approaching and with the temperatures unstable, I couldn't risk it.

  4. #4
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    Mine are still all outside. I have gotten about 2/3 of the way thru clean-up and repotting, so that I can bring them in more easily when the time comes. I see a low coming up of 39 next week and will probably bring in the smalls and the phals that are not inside already because they're blooming. All my phals put out budstalks this summer outside. I should mention that my orchids are on my deck rather than in the yard, so they are somewhat protected. I will leave the cyms out until the first freeze is predicted and may do some bringing them in at night and then putting them back out during the day.

    I've been doing it this way for years and as far as I know have not had problems with spikes or buds blasting. I do sometimes get more sunburn since the sun is lower and starts catching leaves that are covered from the top but not from sun coming from the side.

  5. #5
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    You want to look up the lowest temperature for each species you have. Keep in mind where your plants come from and try to mimic their weather conditions. Vanda's don't go below 55-60, Cattleya it depends on the cross...Brassavola don't like the cold whereas some Laelia's won't bloom without going down to the 40's or so. None that I know of will survive freezing. Keep an eye on forecasts...windy and cold is worse. Try and protect your plant from cold breezes. And most importantly, while plants can handle some short bouts of cold weather, if they are cold and wet forget it. I know nurseries here that will go two and three weeks without watering, rather than risk cold damage. If they are in a garage, spray water on the cement floors. That helps keep temps up and plants will appreciate the humidity.

  6. #6
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    Oh wow...lots to think about! Well, I'm definitely glad I've been bringing my Vandas in then...the temps have been in the low 50's for the last few nights. I think I'll just start schlepping all my orchids indoors now. It's probably best for all involved. I just hope that Goldenrod holds onto its spike and gives me some flowers before the temps dip too much!

    Thanks everybody!

  7. #7
    gardenguysorchids's Avatar
    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    I live in Pennsylvania also and summer some of my orchids outdoors mainly catts and some large oncids. Mine will be moving back in this week as temps are to go down in to the low 50's and high 40's by the end of the week. The cymbids will stay out until there is danger of frost and I will be moving my phals outside tomorrow where they will stay for a couple weeks to enjoy the night time temp drops. I have done this with them for years and usually after 2 weeks outside in the autumn they seem to spike over night when I bring them back in. I place them on our decks up against the house and tilt the pots so if rain does hit them it drains away from the crown. All get a good spray with fungicide and an insecticide before coming back in. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    Yes, I forgot to mention that I also move some of my Paphs outside with the phals---especially the bulldog paphs. I learned that from a grower I buy from and it really works.

  10. #10
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    I bring in my cymbidiums at the first sign of frost (here around October 15th). They appreciate the very cool nights and it gets them to bloom, so I appreciate it too!! hahah

    cheers,
    BD

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