Orchid Care During Heat Waves

With record-breaking heat waves and droughts the new normal, orchid growers need to adapt. High temperatures can damage or kill plants, and prevent most types from blooming. Adjust orchid care during excessive heat to keep them healthy and growing.

  • Most importantly in high temps, maintain good humidity and air movement. Warm growers, like Phals, Vandas, Cattleyas, and some Oncidiums, can manage increased heat as long as it is matched by increased humidity. For cool growing and intermediate growing orchids, constant high humidity is essential. Spray orchids with a mister, and group plants together. Keep pots atop pebbles in trays of water, always keeping the pots completely above the water level. Place plants near sources of water and water features.
  • Move plants into shade. If orchids are taking a summer vacation outdoors, bring them back inside to lower light and reasonable, climate-controlled temps. For orchids staying outdoors, move them under trees, which provide natural shade and add humidity from leaf transpiration.
  • In the heat, plants dry faster and need more frequent waterings, but be careful not to drown them. Maintaining high humidity works better than repeated waterings. As always, use enough water to run out the bottom, and let pots drain completely. Never allow orchid pots to sit in water for any extended period.
  • Even if the air conditioning is keeping up indoors, plants near windows feel more heat and dry faster. They should have extra water and humidity in a heat wave.
  • For many orchid varieties, excessive heat pushes plant metabolism to survival mode, and they cease using fertilizer. Stop fertilizing cool and intermediate growers in hot weather. Cut back fertilizer for warm growers, too.
  • Droughts and water restrictions spell trouble for moisture loving orchids. Even low-water Cattleyas don’t need frequent soakings, but still require moisture in the form of humidity. Water is a valuable resource, and water conservation should be an important consideration for all orchid growers.

Explore posts in the same categories: Fertilizing, Growing, Problems, Watering

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2 Comments on “Orchid Care During Heat Waves”

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  2. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Five Common Orchid Growing Mistakes Says:

    […] Many orchids die from drying out. Whether caused by forgetful owners or heat waves, inadequate water leaves these rainforest plants struggling. […]