If you live in a place that has a pleasant climate e.g. Florida or parts of California, you can grow orchids in your garden throughout the year. Because while orchids are sensitive to extreme weather, they can do well when grown properly in locations that have got good weather.
Orchids particularly do well in locations that are humid and hot almost throughout the year. Examples include Florida, Southern California, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and Hawaii. Many locations in countries like New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are also perfect for growing orchids outdoor.
While many orchids can certainly grow outdoors, not all orchids are perfect for growing outdoors in the garden. Some are sensitive to too much sunlight, while others cannot tolerate the cold temperatures of the night.
In this post, I will share with you the best orchids for growing in the garden. I will also share with you’re the best places to grow orchids in the garden and the best tips for growing orchids in the garden.
The Best Orchids For Growing in the Garden
Below are the best orchids for growing in the garden. These orchids are generally perfect for most gardens in places that are generally sunny and humid throughout the year. However, to know exactly what plants will do well in your location, you will have to compare the requirements for the plant you want to grow with what is available in your garden.
Without further ado, here are the best orchids for the garden.
There are many species and hybrids of cattleya hybrids available on the market. The plants generally do well when grown in shaded areas e.g. under or on tall trees. They are also known to be temperature tolerant which is perfect for places that experience a noticeable dip in temperatures at night.
The best thing about these orchids is that they are very attractive and they are very easy to care for.
Dendrobium is a massive genus with a variety of different types of orchids that can survive in most outdoor environments. The genus includes epiphytic and lithophytic orchids.
The best types of Dendrobiums for outdoor growing are those that are native to Australia and Indian. This is because they thrive in half-sun and are temperature tolerant.
The best thing about Dendrobiums is the fact that they can bloom up to thrice a year.
Cymbidiums are also known as boat orchids. They are perfect for areas such as coastal California, where they can tolerate the full sun because of the low temperatures. They can also tolerate the full sun in some Florida locations.
As long as you live in an area where the sun is ever-present and the nights are slightly cooler, cymbidiums will thrive in your garden.
The best thing about these orchids is their beautiful blooms.
Epidendrums are very unique in terms of appearance. This is because they form some of the most beautiful and orderly blooms. They are popularly grown and sold as horticultural products. Because they are very valuable, they are relatively expensive. However, this should not put you off if you are looking for orchids that are temperature tolerant and enjoy full sun in cool coastal or lakeside regions.
The best thing about them is the shape of their flowers.
Paphiopedilums aka paphs are some of the most commonly sold orchids. This is because they are very easy to grow and maintain indoors. What most people do not know about them is that they can also thrive outdoors. T
Paphs thrive outdoors in gardens in many locations as long as they are shaded and the temperatures do not get too cold.
Oncidiums are native to Mexico. They can thrive in gardens in Southern U.S. states such as New Mexico, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California.
They thrive when shaded lightly.
The best thing about them is that they grow tall flower stems that show off beautiful flowers.
The Best Places to Grow Orchids in the Garden
Growing orchids in the ground is not recommended. This is because orchids generally need very efficient drainage, which is difficult to find in the ground. However, there are several great places where you can grow orchids indoors. Check them out below.
In Pots under Trees or under a Shade
Since most orchid species are not very well-adapted to growing outdoors in most locations in the Western World, it is best to grow them in pots. This makes it easy to transfer them indoors when the weather gets too cold, or when forecasted night temperatures or conditions are deemed too harsh.
The best location for orchids in planting pots is under a tree or a shade cloth. And the pots don’t necessarily have to be on the ground. You can put them on a bench or hung them under the tree. Only use a shade cloth is you do not have trees in your garden.
In Raised Beds
As mentioned a few moments ago, orchids don’t really do well in the ground because they need an extremely well-drained ground. Most gardens do not have such grounds. However, you can create such grounds by building a raised bed and filling it with a good orchid planting mix.
When constructing a raised bed for orchids, you should make sure it is about 1 meter up and has a good planting mix e.g. horticulture charcoals. And you must construct it under a tree shade or construct a shade over it to protect the orchids. Since the planting mix you will use must be very well-draining, you must water the orchids regularly.
The best orchids for growing in raised beds include Dendrobiums and vanda orchids.
In the Ground
As mentioned above, growing orchids in the ground is not advisable. This is because most orchids (probably around 90 percent of the most common ones) cannot do well in the ground. However, some orchids are rare but can do well in the ground just like other garden plants. The orchids are known as terrestrial orchids. Good examples of terrestrial orchids include Calanthe, Phaius, Bletia, Pleione, and Sobralia.
While these orchids are terrestrial, they must still be grown in areas that are well-draining or have been made well-draining. The best way to make areas in your garden well-draining is to substitute your garden soil with a good orchid mix which includes bark, loam, gravel, and sand.
The Best Tips for Growing Orchids in the Garden
Below are the best tips for growing orchids in the garden.
- Grow orchids outside only about three or four weeks after the last announced frost date. Because it is at this time that the outdoors will be warm enough for orchids. Orchids don’t tolerate very low temperatures.
- Move your orchids inside during summer. Orchids do not like very bright and hot sun because it can burn them. So even if your orchids are shaded, it is best to take them inside during summer to protect them.
- Water your orchids regularly. Orchids grown outside must be grown in very well-draining soil. Since the soil is very well-draining, they must be watered daily especially when they are in the blooming phase to get enough water for growth and survival.
- Protect your orchids using insecticidal soap. Orchids located outdoors are vulnerable to attacks from insects/ pests. Therefore, you should protect them by spraying them every two weeks with neem oil or organic insecticidal soap.
- Do not locate your orchid plants under total shade. This not only beats the purpose of planting them outside (which is to give them more light) but also makes it impossible for them to thrive because they need light to grow.