Hail No!

Last week’s wacky weather wasn’t limited to a mini heatwave; we also had a hailstorm. San Francisco’s mild weather seldom falls below freezing, but winter storms occasionally bring hail. It rarely does damage in our garden. After a powerful storm was punctuated by noisy hailstones, I saw that the leaves of the Brugmansia had been torn. I knew from past experience that orchid leaves can take a couple days to show hail damage. Sure enough, dead spots have been appearing on some of the outdoor orchids, showing where the hard impacts of the hailstones killed plant tissue.

Hail damage on orchid leafSarcochilus leaf hail damageEpidendrum leaves hail damage

Of course, outdoor orchids are always vulnerable to the elements. By November, only the hardy cool growers remain outside. Some originate from the cold highlands of the Andes or Himalayas, and endure hail in the wild. Cymbidiums, Masdevallias, an Arpophyllum, and a Sobralia were among those showing little or no bruising. Unfortunately, the Epidendrums, Sarcochilus, and some others got nailed. (It bears mentioning that although the Epidendrums’ leaves are pockmarked, the plants continue to bloom as they have for years.) The dead spots will eventually turn black, and some leaves may die completely. However, the plants should survive, and most of the leaves will remain as battered reminders of the storm. Hopefully, in a few months fresh spring growth will provide un-dented replacements.

Explore posts in the same categories: Cool Growers, Growing, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos, Problems

Subscribe to the About Orchids Blog:
AddThis Feed Button

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Comments on “Hail No!”

  1. PBC7 Says:

    sorry you’re plants got damaged. I’m glad they will recover.

  2. Brian Says:

    Harsh! Wishing a speedy recovery for your babies.

  3. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Odonts Says:

    […] Both the pink hybrid pictured above and the yellow one below survived our recent hailstorm completely intact, with barely a scratch on their leaves or flowers […]

  4. nancy Says:

    Oh no! They look really bad in the photos. Let me know if they survive.

  5. Bobbi W Says:

    Hey there
    I have many question about your post. I think u should write lot of more details. But Thanks anyway.

    thanks a lot

  6. Lee Hood Says:

    I really like your blog, the way you create posts and subject you covered are purely amazing. I understand how tough it is to get the visitors involved. I have made a decision to include your blog to my blog list.