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Temperature and Air Circulation = Healthy Orchids

These tips will help your orchid bloom and avoid bacterial leaf spots.

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temperature and air circulation - orchids

Providing the correct air temperature and air circulation will go a long way in providing an environment where your orchids will flourish. In return, your orchids will reward you with their remarkable flowers. 

Temperature and Air Circulation

An orchid’s needs are simple, once you know what they are. A well-cared-for orchid will not just survive, it will thrive, producing the unparalleled flowers that orchid lovers, like us, adore. Recreating their natural habitat in both temperature and air circulation are essential components that if supplied will help you to grow healthy orchids.

The-right-temperature-and-a-gentle-breeze-now-my-orchids-are-looking-better-than-ever - what temperature do orchids like - find out here

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What Temperature Do Orchids Like?

Since ideal temperatures vary for orchids, my advice is to buy house happy orchids. A house happy orchid prefers the same temperatures you do. If you are cold, it’s too cold for a house happy orchid. Likewise, if you’re hot, so is a house happy orchid.  Before purchasing a new orchid variety, ask the seller if the orchid prefers a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.   There are many orchids out there specifically suited for greenhouse growers, so it’s always a good idea to ask.  The Phalaenopsis, sold in most grocery stores, is an example of a house happy orchid, but there are many others. I call these orchids that thrive in a home environment house happy orchids

Orchid Grower Types

Before purchasing an orchid, always find out what type of grower it is. If you know what type of grower your orchid is, there will be no guesswork–you will know with certainty what temperature your orchids like.

Cool growers can be hard to care for as indoor as the cool temperatures are often difficult to achieve indoors. For optimum results, go for warm to intermediate growers.

In reality, it is hard to overestimate the importance of providing an orchid with the right temperatures so they can rebloom. Some orchid experts say that providing the right temperatures is even more important than light is to reblooming.

Warm growers: between 65° – 85° F / 18.3° – 24.9° C. Give these orchids winter lows between 65° – 70° F / 18° – 21° C and summer highs around 85° F / 29° C.

Intermediate growers: between 60º – 80°F / 15.5° – 26.6° C. For optimum care provide these orchids with winter lows of 58°-62° F / 14.4° – 16.6° C and summer highs in low 80s° F / 27° C.

Cool growers: between 50° – 75° F / 10° – 23.9° C. These orchids prefer winter lows around 50° F / 10°C and summer highs around 80°F / 26.6° C.

Here are a few examples or orchid according to their temperature preferences:

  • Brassia: intermediate to warm
  • Cymbidium: warm to cool. Most varieties need cool temperatures in the winter.
  • Dendrobium: cool to warm. Check with the vendor before buying as cool growers are difficult for most of us to keep cool enough.
  • Laelia: warm to intermediate
  • Leptotes: intermediate
  • Miltonia: intermediate to warm
  • Oncidium: intermediate to warm (though some are cool growers)
  • Paphiopedilum: warm to intermediate.
  • Phalaenopsis: warm (with intermediate temperatures in the fall).
purple-phalaenopsis - what temperature do orchids like

Learn about 6 easy orchids that will thrive in your home.

 

Air Circulation

Orchids do best with gentle air circulation.  Orchid roots need airflow.  But there are other reasons as well.  Since house orchids are placed near windows, a fan will help to regulate extreme hot or cold temperatures that orchids may experience through windows.

Another function of air movement is that it helps to prevent bacterial infections on orchid leaves. If you notice black spots on your orchid’s leaves, your orchid likely has a bacterial infection. Don’t panic; it’s not the end of the world. These black spots are quite common. Keep in mind that using a fan will help to prevent these spots. To learn more about treating orchid pests and disease click here.

The good news is that fans are inexpensive and will help prevent moisture buildup that could cause mold and bacterial infections. Simply turn the fan to the lowest setting, positioned several feet away from your orchids. Point so the fan is not blowing directly at the orchids.  If you are lucky enough to have a ceiling fan with a low setting, that is ideal, but any small fan, like the one pictured below, will do the job.

provide-orchids-with-air-circulation-using-a-fan.png

Use a fan to create airflow and prevent infection.

Orchids Are Just Good Companions

Bringing the outdoors indoors rejuvenates the soul and helps us to have a better outlook on life. Living with orchids does just that.  A comfortable temperature, a gentle breeze, and orchids go far in creating home!

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6 Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Anna, Two days ago I bought a Cymbidium orchid and just noticed that the leaves are turning yellow. Thanks for your help.

    1. Anna says:

      If you just purchased the Cymbidium, the leaves were likely yellowing before you got the orchid. Follow this link to know what to do about yellowing leaves:
      Yellowing Leaves: What to Do About It
      Best!
      Anna

  2. Anonymous says:

    my orchid has one more flower and behind there are little buds emerging.. yet the leaf are getting yellow – Do I need to transplant ( because I was new -I now know that when I first replanted I didn’t know how to cut back the old roots. what to do now. thank you. I am very grateful.

    Elda

    1. Anna says:

      Elda,
      Yellow leaves are a common problem faced by many orchid growers. Here is a link with an article that will help you know what action to take to treat your orchid’s yellowing leaves:

      WHAT TO DO ABOUT YELLOWING ORCHID LEAVES

      All my best,
      Anna

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Anna. I have 3 Phalapenopsis orchids that I have kept on my front porch all summer. I have had them for about 2 years. They have been getting the morning filtered sun and are doing pretty well sending out new roots and sprouting new leaves. One has produced it’s 2nd Kaiki and it has 4 roots coming out of it. My question is when should I bring them in the house? The temperatures are starting to fall at night . I live in central NC, USA. It has gotten down to 52 degrees a couple of nights. Also I have only had one of them bloom for me and those flowers were kinda small and nothing like the blooms it had on it when I bought it. I have re-potted them in loose orchid bark as well and I think they really like that. Any thoughts and advice would be very welcomed and appreciated. Ps. The first Kaiki is not doing very well. I followed your instructions for removing it and now it has no roots but is still green. Help! I don’t want it to die.

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful question. I would bring your phalaenopsis indoors now. Phals like a few weeks of temperatures between (55-60 F / 13-15.6 C). As temperature is key to blooming orchids, about of month of lower temperatures is key, but you don’t want them to get any colder. New roots and leaves are a sign that things are going well. Your orchid is now in the active growth cycle. When this period of active growth is completed, watch for a new flower spike emerging under one of the leaves. Give it time. Overall, it sounds like your orchid is doing well. Summer outdoors will do your orchid a world of good to help it produce flowers later in the year.

      About saving your keiki, this is a little trickier as it has already lost its roots. Keep the potting medium moist and provide a humidity tent by placing the potted keiki in a clear plastic bag. Be sure to keep the bag out of direct sunlight.

      Keeping my fingers crossed for more flowers on your phals and for the recovery of your keiki,
      Anna

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the ONE email you'll open every week

Saturday mornings I send out an exclusive email sharing my best tips on how to grow healthy orchids.

YES! THANK YOU!