Odonts: Hardy, Cool Growing Orchids

If you think all orchids need warmth, then these beautiful Odonts will surprise you. Odont is a conveniently shortened nickname for Odontoglossum. The pink hybrid pictured in the first row and the yellow hybrid pictured in the second row are great examples of this cool growing orchid family. They are reliable bloomers on our back deck every winter. Their flowers last for months, even during brushes with freezing temps and hailstorms. Native to high elevations in the Andes and the mountains of Central America, these Odonts enjoy chilly weather and foggy breezes.

Odont hybrid growing outdoors in San FranciscoOdont flowers outdoors in San FranciscoOdont hybrid growing outdoors in San Francisco, side view of flower

For most growers, it’s a challenge to keep these orchids cool enough, especially in summer. Odonts can tolerate a few warm days, but usually need to stay under 80°F (27°C.) In the mild climate of the Northern California coast, they are easy to keep outdoors, as long as they are protected from freezes.

Odont hybrid growing outdoors in San FranciscoOdont hybrid growing outdoors in San FranciscoOdont hybrid growing outdoors in San Francisco

Odonts need frequent waterings and bright light, and enjoy direct morning sun. They require high humidity and good air movement, even during winter dormancy. Odonts lend their hardiness to many hybrid varieties, making it possible to enjoy their beauty in a wider range of temperatures. Over the past few years, scientists have reclassified many Odonts as Oncidiums or Rhynchosteles, but the older orchid names often stick around. No matter what they’re called, Odonts prove that you don’t need to live in the tropics to grow orchids.

Explore posts in the same categories: Cool Growers, Dormancy, Growing, Photos, Watering

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3 Comments on “Odonts: Hardy, Cool Growing Orchids”

  1. Ashley Says:

    Very Interesting! I just came across your site and I had no idea there are “cool-grower” orchids. I live near Chicago and never thought I could keep orchids because the winters are just too cold. Maybe I should give this type a try.

  2. Lisa W. Says:

    very pretty…
    thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Anya Hernandes Says:

    what wonderful color! This is a very talented gardener to grow these outside.