Growing Orchids Outdoors
Growing Orchids outdoors is easy in the warm, moist areas of the US. They can be grown outside all year long.....as simply as being tied to trees (epiphytes), planted in the ground (terrestrials), or placing your indoor potted plants outside.
In cooler parts of the country, summer conditions are fine for growing orchids outside, as long as they are kept inside until weather conditions are stable, and are brought back indoors when night time temperatures begin to fall below 60 degrees. Epiphytes in baskets, and potted plants can be grown indoors in winter, and then moved outside for the summer.
Here are some Outdoor Orchid growing tips:
Growing Orchids in Trees
Choose orchids that are of the Epiphyte type. Place the plant on a about a cup of moist sphagnum moss with the roots spread through out the moss. Choose a tree, fence, or other mount that will allow you orchid to have some morning sun each day. Place the orchid on the tree, or other mount, so that it is lying somewhat sideways......this will keep too much water from collecting at the stem base. Tie it in place, with plastic coated wire or fishing line, around the top and bottom of the moss-root ball. After a few months, the orchid and moss will have taken hold of the tree or other mount. At this time, you can remove the wire.
Tree grown orchids will dry out rapidly and may need to be watered twice a day when the season is dry.
Growing Orchids in the Ground
Only terrestrial varieties of orchids are suitable for ground planting. These orchids are unique in that they like to live in humus-rich soil that has a good deal of course mulch mixed in. Terrestrials with wide leaves should be planted where they have a lot of shade and just a little sun. Terrestrials that have narrow leaves require several hours of sun each day.
In their natural habitat, terrestrials often grow along streams and in moist clearings.They can tolerate somewhat more moisture than other orchids and need to be watered frequently if the climate is dry.
Pests such as slugs and snails can be a problem with ground planted orchids. Read
What Eats Orchids?
to find out how to deal with them.
Growing Indoor Orchids Outside
Indoor orchids benefit from an outdoor summer vacation and can be reinvigorated by the natural sunlight and fresh air. As long as they are protected from
and are not placed in areas that are completely shady, or where there is no air circulating. Care must be taken however, to insure they are not sunburned. Also, don’t put a saucer under your potted plants. It may collect rain water and keep the roots of your orchid too wet.
When moving orchids outdoors, avoid moving them into bright sun-light all at once. Instead, give them a chance to adjust by moving them a little each day, gradually increasing their exposure to the light.
Warning: Indoor Orchids placed outdoors may be pollinated by butterflies or bees. This will cause them to stop flowering and go to seed.
Before bringing your indoor orchids back inside, check each one thoroughly for
Check leaves and flowers, for aphids, scale, etc. Check the root balls for slugs and snails by removing the whole ball from the pot and examining carefully. Take care of any pest problems before exposing the orchid to your other indoor plants.
If you need Orchid Growing Tips for indoor plants, go to
Growing Orchids Indoors.
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