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Summer heat and orchids outdoors

This is a discussion on Summer heat and orchids outdoors within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi Maura, sorry to take so long responding but it looks like you've gotten lots ...

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  1. #11
    gnathaniel's Avatar
    gnathaniel is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Nat
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Dendrobium
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Athens, GA, USA
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    120
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    Hi Maura, sorry to take so long responding but it looks like you've gotten lots of sound advice. My collection is pretty mixed, various Bulbos incl. some cooler-growing species, Dendrobium species, smaller Laeliinae, a scattering of Paphs, and other random stuff; most of these now spend the year outdoors with seasonally-appropriate shelter. I try to stick with plants that are said to be temperature- and moist/xeric-tolerant since I know conditions will be a little stressful year round. Right now I have a rack of mounted high-light Laeliinae and Dendrobes in close to full sun and exposed to weather, with most other plants under cover in natural shade and a few up and down the full-sun front steps. Plants that aren't mounted are in various potted or basketed situations, my collection is diverse enough that it's hard to keep things too consistent in that regard; if something isn't working well I try to figure out what it needs and adjust it, with varying levels of success... My biggest concern about storms is damage from hail and falling branches, so I'm about to rig some shadecloth over the exposed plants to keep off falling objects and reduce heat stress a little.

    I agree with Pavel that it looks like you might could install your shadecloth using some of the hooks already present. I would probably run it from the hooks to the top of the railing, giving you a few microclimates to choose from and leaving the front and sides mostly open for better airflow . Hooks in the ceiling would be useful for hanging plants but I don't know how feasible that is with the aluminum, and the racks and railings you have look like they'll hold a good few plants already.

    Barring a few species that may have unworkable metabolic problems at high temperatures, 95% of heat stress I've seen in my orchids seems caused by tissue overheating from transpiration not cooling enough, or else dehydration from too much transpiration without replacing lost water. Abundant water and air movement reduces if not eliminates these problems. Adequate nutrition is also important, as mineral ions are involved in water transport, plants in higher light need to make more chlorophyll and anthocyanins, and minerals like calcium help build tougher, stress-resistant cell walls. I try to water exposed orchids at least once a day; on very hot days I spray them down mid-afternoon for evaporative cooling, then give a deeper watering in the evening to let them absorb more. Orchids under cover get watered less frequently depending on how fast they dry out, but I'll still water extra when it's really hot. I don't use any fans but rely on natural airflow, which even on relatively still days is significantly higher than most indoor environments.

    Nothing at all wrong with coming to Athens just to play pool, after all most visitors seemingly come just to drink and watch football! I'm a relative newcomer anyway and we moved last summer from a very tourist-heavy town (Asheville) so I don't get too riled about people's visitation habits. Besides, you live in a large and cosmopolitan urban area and so far I've only visited 3-4 times to go to the Aquarium (very cool), Botanical Gardens (even cooler!) and Buford Highway (delicious).

  2. #12
    llstl56 is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phals, Catts
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Male
    Location
    Saint Louis, MO
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    15
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    I have my Phals under a overhang with 70 percent shade cloth and the temps are in the high 90's and they are growing and doing great.

    ---------- Post Merged at 03:14 AM ----------

    Also, you might want to mist them a couple times a day.

  3. #13
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Jeff Tucker
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas, Phalaenopsis, Vanda
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Plantation, Florida
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    Cattleyas and encyclias can handle the hot temperatures but they need to acclimate to the brighter light. I think an hour or two of light in the morning or afternoon would be fine initially. Thunderstorms shouldn't be a problem unless you have media that holds a lot of moisture. If you use a mix that stays moist, you may need to put the plants under the overhang to dry out occasionally.

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