I live in zone 10B. I keep all my orchids outside. When winter hits I bring a few inside like, Mariposa, stelis, pleurathallis and some others. During the winter the temps will get to the low 40's and on occasion down to the thirties. For those of you in about this temp zone, do you bring yours inside? All of them? Den., Phals., etc?
Nobody on here today except me. I asked Andy the same question last year, and was told 50 is the magic number. That being said, if you look up the different species on his website, you will find different minimum temps on some. When the sun started peeking through the fog this morning, the shack got down to 51. I'm leaving all of mine in place until things get a bit colder.
I have a little programable heater for the shack, so most will stay in there. I haven't decided what, if any I'll bring in the house yet. The Coelogynes and Zygos stayed on the porch along with the Gerberara and Ansellia africana last winter, but we never got very cold last year. Of course the big Epis and Cyms are permanent fixtures. They're predicting colder nights Thurs. and Fri., so depending on how wet things get, I'll probably put the rest in the shack to dry anyway.
It depends on what you grow. The Phals should def come in with temps under fifty if they have been that way for a few weeks. At fifty-fifty five it will trigger winter bloom if you also keep them a bit drier. More than a few weeks will weaken the plants and they get unhappy looking. Some Dens love the cold and others not so much. Andy's plants have their culture needs pretty well spelled out. Most of my Masdies, including the warm ones, are not happy with high heat. Pleurothallids survive our summers but I can see they are much happier when the weather becomes more temperate.
Carol, it sounds like your shack is working well if you can keep your temps steady with small heaters and timers. That is what is working for me.
Ted, I'm surprised you can keep your more fragile minis, like Stelis, going indoors. More power to you.
I try to re create winter conditions as far as light goes in the garage with different light bulbs, timers and a fan. During warmer days I can roll out the shelving units they are on pretty easily into some shaded areas around the east-facing front of the house. Sounds more complicated than it is. I think the second most important item for the winter after temp is water. A lot, if not all like less and some barely need a mist once in awhile and my Catasetum or Cycnoches prefer even less and like to be bare root! I also try to keep the same angle to the light as I have them outside, which is why I think I have some luck with those like the Stelis , Pleurothallis and Platystele.
I've been skipping watering days, even on the mounted ones when it is cold and we have heavy fog. I figure if the moss is still wet, it doesn't need more water. As to the Phals, I see them the way the grower did...throw aways. If they do well, Yay...if not they're
in all the big box stores, and cheap. As to the heater, it can be programed to come on at 50, and since the lows are only around dawn, I'm up to turn it off when needed. I just need to get a dual outlet extension cord so I don't have to unplug the heater to plug in the fan. .
Same here, Carol, although I have no heater. I skip watering when it's cold unless it is also low humidity. Then I wait and mist once it warms up, mid-day.
Mine pretty much all stay outside, and I just cover with frost cloth unless it goes below 40. I haven't ever recorded the temp under the frost covers, but I've never had any orchids damaged by cold, either. My first two little Phals suffered through our record cold winter in '09 with no visible damage, but one did not bloom the spring after the coldest weather.
Elaine, That is the same unit I picked up at our Borg ( Big Orange Retail Giant)that I was talking about in my post. Great little unit. Most of our garage is under the house so it stays a little warmer that outside, but the plants still get that cooler temp that so many need to bloom
I got that GH and a larger one when I still lived in MD and I have totally forgotten I have them. They are still in the boxes. And had never thought warming a few containers of water would provide enuf heat for a chilly nite. Think I need to go drag all that out looking at the forecast for the weekend.
Jean, glad we reminded you, then! They make nice shelf units for your orchids even without the greenhouse covers.
My containers are 2.5 gallon drinking water jugs - the bigger the jug, the better it holds heat. We buy them for hurricane supplies, then drink the water after the season is over and I re-use the jugs for this. They definitely hold enough heat through the night for what the plants need. I do add some hot tap water, and put them out last thing before I go to bed if it's really cold, though. I also use a large collection of gallon sized jugs that surround my Earth Boxes where I grow my veggies. If you snuggle them all together touching each other, they hold heat pretty well, too. I put coffee grounds in the water to make it a dark color so it absorbs the sun's heat better.
That being said, the soil holds a lot of heat, so even just trapping it under a frost cloth - or a greenhouse cover - is probably enough here in Florida. We so rarely have killer cold temps for more than a few hours. Strange coincidence that our first "real" cold front is arriving on Friday which is the first day of winter!
I'm on a "Sliding scale"...mounted plants and Vanda's and Phal's are in below 55º...mounted are either in the greenhouse or the front bathroom, Phal's in the house, greenhouse or barn...Den's come in at 50º or below, the one and only Cymbidium I have come's in below 45º...and it's all budding up and/or spiking now so I'm watching carefully.
And of course we've got a cold snap down in to the lower 30's coming here too ( I'm with ya Ted)...wish it waited till after Xmas !! Not only the cids' but the Hoya's, and some Anthuriums and Philo's that are not so common, every old blanket, towel etc will be in use for the one's that I don't move inside somewhere.
Most of mine are in the shack with the heater programmed to come on at 50. The Zygos, , Coelogynes, and Cyms are on the porch with the "weed". Hoping the awning will be enough protection for them. I don't recall having this weather in Dec. before, but there are a number of things I don't recall...
I call Gerberara the weed. LOL! The Coel. cristata is in a moss basket in the shack. Coel. mooriana and barbata are potted in bark on my porch. It was 33 on the porch when I got up this morning. Frost on the lawns and roofs. Thank heaven I'm NOT in Colorado!
I had a thermometer on one of the plant stands and the indoor/outdoor, and it was 33 on the porch this morning here at 6am. NOAA is saying 42 for tonight. That is strange though. I would have thought you would be colder there.