Sunday, November 26, 2006

Getting the Right Temperature Change for Orchids to Bloom

Image courtesy of DHD Multimedia Gallery

If you want your orchids to flower, you must find a way to raise the temperature by ten to twenty degrees between nighttime and daytime. Orchids can grow fine with less temperature change, but in order to initiate flower buds, they need a large temperature variation. This is one of the main reasons orchids don’t bloom in the home. In a greenhouse and outside this change is no problem, but to reproduce it in the home certain measures must be taken to ensure that your orchids get the temperatures they need. Here are five steps you can do to get a proper day and night variation in temperature.

  1. Place the orchids somewhere in the house that naturally gets a major temperature variation, such as an enclosed porch or sunroom.
  2. Move the orchids close to a window, or into the basement overnight to achieve a greater temperature variation.
  3. Set the thermostat to get a couple degrees warmer than you’re comfortable with during the day, such as 75 degrees and a couple degrees cooler than you’re comfortable with at night, such as 65 degrees. This will establish the absolute minimum temperature variation orchids need.
  4. Place the orchids outside for the summer, in a shaded area. Outside your orchids will have no trouble getting the temperature variation they need.
  5. In general a room is warmer near the ceiling than near the floor. You can place orchids further up in the room, such as on high shelves during the day and then move them close to the floor at night. This can also be the case for upstairs and downstairs. If you grow under lights, place the orchids that need warmer temperatures near the lights and the cooler one’s further away and then move them at night.

Tomorrow I will cover the basics of artificial light. Light gardening is a new and viable option for those of us in the dark north, or in a small space with few windows.

Also check back for the ideal temperature ranges for different orchids.

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