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Old 10-22-2014, 08:10 PM
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Default What do the temperature requirements for orchids mean?

I am planning a plant only tank with mini orchids and other nano plants. The orchids are what I'm most interested in, and because they're pricy, I want to make sure I'm only getting ones that I can meet the needs of. When a temperature range is given for an orchid, is that the minimum night time temperature? Or the maximum night time temp? Will going one degree out of that range kill the orchid?

I have one plant only terrarium right now that is new. I've been keeping an eye on the temperature and it ranges from about 58 F (at night) to 65 F (mid to late afternoon). I'm lighting it with a Jungle Dawn LED.

The orchid tank I would like to use is an exo terra nano 8 x 8 x 12. I know lighting it with a CFL would bring up the temps during the day, but not sure how good the tiny tank is at holding in heat over night. Also, my guess is that things will be considerably warmer in the summer, probably in the 70s. Are there orchids that can handle all this variability?
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: What do the temperature requirements for orchids mean?

When speaking of temperature ranges for orchids you need to consider that there are some species that will never tolerate any other climate than they have in-situ (where they grow naturally).
Then there are many orchids that are more adaptable and can tolerate to grow outside the rekommended range.

Generally I would dare to say that many orchids will tolerate to grow a bit cooler than they normally do. But it is much harder to grow a cool growing orchid in a warmer climate.

But one degree up or down will not do much difference or kill a plant.

If all other parameters (such as light, humidity, air cirkulation etc) is good the plant will tolerate to grow outside its temperature range better.

The temps you have measured is no problem for a cool - intermediate growing orchid.

How do you achieve these rather low temps?
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: What do the temperature requirements for orchids mean?

Ok, thanks. I'm not doing anything special to keep the temperatures so low, other than living with housemates who don't like the heat on I ordered a CFL bulb for the tank. If that runs too hot in the summer, I'll get a Jungle Dawn.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: What do the temperature requirements for orchids mean?

I think most intermediates will do well in your conditions. I have a tank that was running low-mid 80's day high 70's at night for them summer. Now it is running low 70's in the day and low 60's at night. Dracula cordobae(an intermediate) is doing great in these conditions. The most important thing is the night time drop. Even cool growers can take surprisingly warm daytime temps if they are allowed to get a night drop.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: What do the temperature requirements for orchids mean?

Thanks for the information. Knowing that there is at least possibly some flexibility makes me feel more comfortable with the idea of buying single plants online.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: What do the temperature requirements for orchids mean?

Another thing is that the ventilation of the tank and other things will affect how well the orchids do. For example, if your tank is screen topped or has good air flow evapotranspiration will help cool your orchids much more-especially since you can then water more aggressively.
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: What do the temperature requirements for orchids mean?

Yo Z baby:

The range is just that, a range of acceptable temperatures for long term health. Let me point that, while some intermediate to cool growers may live okay in a warmer environment, many will not flower--they especially need cooler nights. (That incidentally, is a big problem for some Central American orchid species due to climate change).

My tip for cool night orchids: Think plants from the Andes and/or New Guinea.

Do consult the following:

Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia

Andy's Orchids - Orchid Species - Tips and technichs to help your growing needs

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Groundhog; 10-26-2014 at 04:45 AM. Reason: Clarification
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