Who doesn’t love spending a little time outdoors during the summer? Deeply inhaling fresh air and enjoying the greenery of the season is an instant mood amplifier. It really makes you wonder, “Wouldn’t my orchid enjoy the summer weather too?”
Yes, your indoor orchids can be outside. However, there are certain questions you should first answer to ensure your plant’s trip outside won’t be its last.
1. How humid is the climate?
A humid climate is more ideal for taking an orchid outdoors. Phalaenopsis orchids prefer the air to have 55%-75% humidity. The more humid your climate, the longer your plant can stay outside. If you live in a dry climate and would like to take your plant outdoors, make sure you limit the time to no more than an hour. If it’s a watering day, consider adding an extra ice cube before you set it outside. (Check the roots first to prevent overwatering.)
2. When should I water my orchid?
If you live in an area with a humid environment, the best time to water your orchid is in the morning. Watering your orchid early in the day allows your plant to drain away any extra moisture before the sun goes down and the temperature drops.
3. Will bugs harm my plant?
The longer you stay outdoors, the longer you’re exposed to insects. The same is true for your orchid. Certain insects are drawn to orchids, so if you put your orchids outside, look for telltale signs of insect invasion. For example, small webs mean spider mites, small white bumps indicate scale pests. Cotton-like residue on orchid leaves indicates mealy bugs. You can help to prevent these attacks by treating your orchid with natural insect repellent.
4. Is there such a thing as too much light or moisture?
Orchids adore indirect light, but putting your plant outside will expose it to full sun. How do you block out the sun? One word: shading or shade cloth. We seek solace in the shade when the sun’s powerful rays prove to be too much. Keeping your orchid under an awning will prevent it from getting sunburned. You’ll want to also avoid taking your orchid outside when the sun is at its hottest (around noon).
Too much moisture will encourage fungal growth, so do not keep your orchid outdoors during a rainstorm. You can, however, bring your orchid out after a storm so it can soak up the residual moisture in the air.
Although orchids originated in the tropics, they are sensitive to both light and moisture. No matter how ideal your weather conditions are, do not leave your orchid outside for more than a few hours at a time.
5. Is it cool at night?
Your orchid will enjoy the warmth during the day, but during those summer nights, it will prefer a cooler environment. If the temperature dips down to 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s OK to leave it on a screened patio. If the temp doesn’t drop, move your orchid inside overnight to cool down. Just remember to keep it away from the direct flow of air from a fan or air conditioner.
Learn more about orchid care all year round from our care videos.