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Yes, you can take your orchid outside in the summer. But there are quite a few precautions that you must take. First is knowing the conditions that best suit your orchid plant and providing those. And then, you have to adjust your orchid care routine to the weather outside your home. I cover all of this in this article.
Conditions for your orchid outside
For your orchid’s summer trip outside to be successful, you need to provide conditions much like the ones it has within your home. Here’s a summary of the best growing conditions for this plant, but for full details please read How to grow and care for orchids.
Indirect sunlight/shade only for six to 12 hours a day, avoid open sunny locations as it will burn the leaves.
From 18°C – 29°C during the day and 16°C – 18°C at night-time. Be careful not to put them out too early or bring back indoors too late in the season when the risk of a cold day or night is real.
Make sure it’s positioned in a shelter out of direct sunlight and out of any breezes and winds. Orchids like to have steady elements in their growing environment.
At least 40% humidity or keep them on their tray of water and pebbles. By a pond is a suitable location, given the above constraints.
Caring for your orchid outside
How you care for your orchid plant when it’s outside become a little different to its inside schedule and procedures.
First of all, you have to constantly monitor the weather forecast to anticipate the days when the temperature falls too low for the orchid’s comfort. As previously mentioned, this something that needs monitoring early and late in the morning.
Hint of rain
It’s especially important to keep track of any anticipated rain showers. Rainfall on orchids can contribute to over-watering and the plant standing in a pool of water. If unnoticed, this can result in a waterlogged plant. Root rot and eventually stem rot and a dead orchid can result. Place your orchid under a shelter or bring it in at the first hint of rain.
Your indoors watering schedule for your orchid probably won’t work outside. Winds and differing temperatures dry out outside plants more quickly than the constant environment the orchid is used to in your home. I suggest that you go back to the old standby watering rule – wait until the top of the potting mix is dry and then water your orchid. But be sure to check the moisture in the potting mix more often than usual.
Exposed to more bugs and diseases
Taking your orchid into the outside in the summer takes it from a relatively clean environment out into the real world of bugs and diseases. Be especially vigilant in examining your plant for the first signs of any bugs or diseases. My article Why is my orchid dying? lists some things to be on the lookout for, and Orchid pests and diseases is more detailed on the specific bugs and infections that your orchid can catch and gives instructions on how to deal with each one.