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How Long Can Orchids Live In Cold Weather?

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How long can orchids live in cold weather? This question has a bit of a complex answer. But don’t be troubled. In this article, I am going to discuss the answer to this question. Stay with me till the end.

How Long Can Orchids Live In Cold Weather

How long can orchids live in cold weather?

Orchids would prefer to grow in temperatures which are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you expose them to temperatures slightly below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for more than one or two nights, orchids will struggle to survive a little. Hence best would be to refrain from exposing the plants from those conditions.

Despite you being a fresher in orchid gardening or even an experienced gardener, you would find it challenging to make the orchids thrive in winter conditions. You might wonder, how you look after the tropical temperature loving plants during dry and colder times of the year. So, we are going to cover the winter care tips which you could practice helping them thrive during these periods.

How cold is too cold for an orchid?

An optimal temperature range from 20 C to 25 C would work well with these plants. On the other hand, most of these orchids would find temperatures around 5 C to 12C as too cold for them. That said it could vary depending on the orchid species too. Orchids usually go through a resting period from March early April right after they complete flowering.

The resting period may vary from a number of weeks to a month. So, once the plants go through this period, it is important that they get a temperature which is more consistent, and which doesn’t fluctuate all the time. Orchids would actively grow in late April to early May as by that time they can gain a lot of natural sunlight and sufficient heat level. 

This is when they produce young new leaves, which would become larger in size. To do that, it is important that they can gain sufficient energy and when you make the plants go through consistent temperature levels, it would help them to generate the necessary energy levels.

Having said that, if you have an orchid garden you need to identify which orchids can withstand colder temperatures and which don’t. So, if we consider the majority of orchids , they will withstand temperatures around 55 degrees Fahrenheit ( 13 degrees Celsius ) during the nighttime. 

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For example, we can consider on orchids such as Vandas, Stanhopeas, Oncidiums, Lycastes, Miltonias, Odontoglossums, Masdevallias, some Dendrobiums, Cattleyas, Catasetums and Paphiopedilums. 

Further if we consider Cymbidiums, they are tolerant of temperatures such as 40 degrees Fahrenheit ( 4 degrees Celsius ). To explain further on this, there are orchid species such as white or yellow Vandas and Dendrobiums which will not tolerate temperatures which drop to 60 degrees Fahrenheit ( 16 degrees Celsius). Literally the exposure for such temperatures would make them shed their leaves.

What is the best room temperature for orchids?

To briefly explain, a temperature range of 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and a temperature range of 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the nighttime would suit these plants the best. Many people are fond of growing the orchids as they can also thrive well in the temperatures which humans can also bear. If we consider orchids such as Phals, they can tolerate a daytime temperature of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime. 

On the other hand, they are also tolerant of a nighttime temperature of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Can Orchids Live In Cold Weather

How do you keep orchids alive in the winter?

Orchids could survive in winter if you look after them well. Literally the more effort you take, the better it would be. First and foremost, you could adjust the watering routine for your orchids. You could adjust it depending on the dryness of your home. The standard practice is such where you can apply three ice cubes weekly. So, if there is dry heat around the house, it would make the moisture dry out rapidly. 

Consequently, you would want to water them more frequently. That said, you need to keep in mind that you do not contribute to any over watering in the pots. When you practice this, do it with caution. Ideally you need to observe the plant’s roots first. If you consider a well-watered orchid, you could see their roots are plump and green. 

On the other hand, if the roots seem to be dry, you need to adjust your watering routine slightly so that you could provide the necessary moisture level it requires. Secondly, pay extra attention to the humidity levels around your home too.

So, if you keep the plants indoors , it is very unlikely that your plants suffer from temperature fluctuations. That said, since orchids are humid loving plants , they would find it a bit difficult to thrive as there will be low humidity levels during these times. 

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To increase the humidity levels, you could place your plant on a shallow tray in which you have filled it with pebbles and water. Besides, you may also run a humidifier for a few hours around the plants. Not only that but also, you could keep your orchid in a bathroom during winter too. However, you need to ensure that they still get sufficient sunlight there. In addition to that you need to make sure that your orchids get ample sunlight. As you may already know, the days in winter are shorter and it would be less sunny. 

Hence, you need to choose a spot where they can absorb sufficient sunlight. Ideally the sunlight should be indirect and natural. That will help them to thrive well. Next make sure that you do not place our orchid closer to drafts. Drafts would release warm dry air and that would bring adverse repercussions on the plants. So, if the plants are located closer to the drafts, you need to immediately relocate them to somewhere else.

That said, you should not place the plants near a doorway as if you keep opening that door, it will bring outside drafts in. Finally, if you happen to see any yellowed leaves, you should stop panicking first. So, if you spot any yellowed leaves that literally means your orchids are short of adequate sunlight. In that circumstance you have to simply move the plants to a brighter spot so that you could remedy that.

If sunlight has not been the issue, you need to feed them properly as yellowed leaves could be a sign of improper fertilizing. To sum up, if you look after the plants well, your orchids could thrive well and perform to their best of potential.

Should I bring my orchids inside in winter?

You could consider bringing the orchids indoors during winter. You may either bring them to a garage or any other indoor location where you could protect the plants from cold. You need to prepare those areas hospitable for the orchids even though you place them there temporarily. You could consider shifting them to temporary places such as a garage room, spare room etc. 

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You do not need to provide the perfect growing conditions as they only want to get protected from the winter conditions. If you wish you could cover the areas with plastic tablecloths, sheets or even with tarp too. Furthermore, keep in mind that the relocated plants should get adequate heat levels, lighting, and ventilation. 

You may consider placing in expensive supplementary heaters and lighting to supply them. Besides, you may also use a fan to maintain a proper air circulation as well. You could acquire them easily from the hardware stores.

When should I bring my orchids inside?

You need to bring the orchids when the outdoor temperature drops to 50 degrees Fahrenheit ( 10 degrees Celsius). That said, cooler temperatures are also crucial for the flower blossoming of some orchid species such as Phalaenopsis, Cymbidiums

Can you keep orchids in an unheated greenhouse?

You can keep growing the orchids in an unheated greenhouse. However, you need to ensure that they get high humidity levels as well as warmer temperatures to grow the orchids in greenhouses. Additionally, cooler nighttime temperatures around 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit and good air circulation are two more crucial things which you need to provide when you grow the orchids in greenhouses. Size wise, a green house with a width of 14 feet and a length of 14-20 feet would work well with the orchids. That will allow the plants to acquire sufficient sunlight. 

So, if you provide the right growing conditions, orchids can survive well in greenhouses. You simply have to mimic the same conditions they get in the natural habitat when you grow them in green houses. However, ensure that you monitor the temperature, humidity, lighting and ventilation when you grow them in green houses. Make sure that you don’t generalize the temperature for all orchids there though.

Do orchids need cold to bloom?

Orchids need cold to blossom with flowers. In fact, it is a crucial thing for them to produce the flower spikes. For instance, orchids such as Phalaenopsis and Cymbidiums need to have cooler temperatures to produce flowers. To further elaborate orchids species such as Phalaenopsis need to have temperatures around 50°s-60°s F/13° – 15.6° C. for a few weeks to produce flowers.

Credit to : Orchid Whisperer

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.