Style Observer

SO Gardening ... Outdoor Orchids

Sunday, January 13, 2019

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For those who are lucky enough to live in areas with mild weather, you can grow outdoor orchids all year round. But even if you are not among the fortunate ones, you can still grow select orchids outside part of the year. In fact, many types of orchids will benefit from an outdoor vacation with brighter light and stronger air movement. Some orchids also like the distinct drop of temperature in summer nights and the occasional refreshing rain showers.

Depending on the zone you live in, you can grow many types of orchids outdoors. If your weather is hot and humid, like in Florida and Singapore, you can grow Vanda and Epidendrum outside.

Outdoor Orchid

Several things you need to be aware of when growing your orchids outside:

1. Your orchids might not be able to take the sudden increase in light and will get burnt. So it's best to ease your orchids into their summer home outside. Put your orchids in a spot that is only slightly brighter than your regular growing area at first, then gradually move them to a brighter area.

2. Outdoor areas have more garden insects and pests than indoors. Be sure to regularly spray your outdoor orchids. You can mix horticulture oil or neem oil along with several drops of liquid dishwashing detergent in the water every 3 weeks or so to kill some small pests. Also, be sure that your orchids are raised off the ground so that critters don't easily crawl into the pots.

3. To avoid sunburn, put your orchids under trees or shade cloth. But no suntan lotion!

4. Don't put your orchids under complete shade. They need light to grow.

5. Because it is brighter and less humid in open areas, your orchids will dry out faster. Be sure you water your orchids more frequently.

6. If you live in an area with constant rain, it's best to grow your orchids bare root on a tree branch or in a basket. Otherwise, your potting mix will rot with too much water, and the orchid roots will suffocate and die.


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