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This is a discussion on Who lives in Southern California? within the OrchidTalk Members Grow Area - Photos forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; i only have a lc trick or treat and it likes it outside. one secret ...
i only have a lc trick or treat and it likes it outside. one secret to growing outdoors is to keep plants dryer when it is really cold at night. december through february if it is in the 40's at night i don't water much, maybe once a week. plants i am concerned about just get misted heavily on warmer mornings, and an occasional watering like once a week or two. you have to monitor to make sure the plants are not getting too wrinkly in the bulbs. if i really want to water but am afraid of cold then i leave them inside that night and put them back out the next day. my balcony is sheltered from the wind and rain though, and that makes a huge difference. i think a lot of orchids can take our overnight lows if they are on the dry side. i have several encyclias and an epicattleya doing well so far. some in their second winter. i have a brassavola beginning to spike, oncidiums spiking and flowering, tolumnias, a dendro tetragonum, and the epicattleya is spiking. most plants do slow down their growth and some all but stop, but that is ok since they are drier they don't need the moisture if not growing. it can be trial and error, but some basic research into species that are known to do well will help you select orchids and hybrids that may do real well. one i can say not to try under 45f is oncidium twinkle yellow variety. the tips all burn on younger growth leaving it ratty looking, but it still blooms, however the cold seems to stifle the scent, and otherwise what is the point?
I wish I had more protection on my patio from the rain then I'd be tempted to leave more out. It's really good to know about keeping them drier. Thank you all for your comments.