Growing Orchids Outdoors
Posted by Beverly Hills Orchids on 4/30/2015
Certain species of orchids can flourish outside, but only under some very specific conditions. Orchids need a mild, Mediterranean climate in order to subsist in the outdoors. This doesn’t mean that the only way they’ll grow outside is if they’re in the Mediterranean, just that the conditions they’re in need to mimic that particular climate.
A Mediterranean climate is warm and dry in the summer, and winters are cool and wet. The temperatures are mild, meaning they rarely go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and rarely go above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in the northern part of the United States, it’s best to keep your orchids in a container that can be moved indoors if the temperature drops below 60 degrees.
It also depends on the type of orchid you plant. Epiphytes are plants that survive on other plants. Examples include the Dendrobium and the Oncidium, and cannot be planted directly into the earth. In a container, place a bit of Sphagnum moss, and use cork bark or a slab of cedar as the plant’s nutrient source and support system. Tie it loosely to the board with string. After a few months, it’ll attach itself to the wood, and the string can be removed.
Terrestrial orchids like the Pleione and the Cymbidium fare much better in the outdoors than Epiphytes. They can be planted in soil, but prefer the richness of peat moss. Mixing a good amount of peat moss with your soil will definitely promote the growth of these orchids. Remember that orchids need a Mediterranean climate, so if you live anywhere that it gets too hot, or not hot enough, your orchids might stand a better chance in containers that can be moved when the weather isn’t cooperative.
Orchids generally don’t like being in direct sunlight. Keep them under the canopy of a tree where the sun dapples through, but doesn’t burn their delicate petals. If the leaves turn dark green, they’re not getting enough sun. A red tinged leaf can indicate sunburn.
While most orchids can brighten up any home on the inside, it’s also possible to grow them outdoors either in containers or in a garden. Where you live and the climate you live in will determine how well they can fare, but following these guidelines will help your lovelies get a taste of the outdoors.