One of the great things about orchids, or members of the Orchidaceae family, is that you can grow them indoors. This makes the plant ideal if you don’t have a lot of space or live in a cooler climate. But, before you go out and buy an orchid plant, it’s essential to understand their environmental requirements. Read on to learn the ideal temperature and humidity conditions to keep indoor orchids happy and healthy year-round.
- Orchid Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerance – The Essentials
- Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges in the Orchid Plant’s Native Habitat
- Signs Your Orchid Plant Is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
- Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Orchid Plants
- How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
- Caring for Orchid Plants in Spring and Summer
- Caring for Orchid Plants Over Winter
- Orchid Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerance FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
Orchid Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerance – The Essentials
Orchid plants enjoy a range of temperatures, depending on the variety. Generally, this plant likes a daytime temperature around 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Its ideal nighttime temperatures are 65 to 75 degrees. Additionally, orchids prefer an intermediate humidity range of 40 to 70 percent.
Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges in the Orchid Plant’s Native Habitat
Most types of orchid plants are native to tropical regions with warm temperatures and high humidity. For this reason, many orchids cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a temperate region, you may be able to replicate an orchid’s natural growing conditions indoors. You can do this is by using a humidifier and maintaining a higher temperature in your home if needed.
Alternatively, you can purchase an orchid specifically bred to tolerate lower temperatures. For example, Vanda orchids, Jewel orchids, Moth Orchids, Lady’s Slipper orchids, or Cypripedioideae, can thrive in cooler growing conditions.
Signs Your Orchid Plant Is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
Exposure to the wrong temperature and humidity conditions can affect an orchid’s growth and appearance. Here are a few signs to look out for that may indicate improper temperature or humidity levels.
- Leaves droop or wilt
- Flowers fade too quickly
- Leaves turn yellow or brown
- Leaves display black rot or brown, dying leaf tips
- Bugs, pests, and diseases impacting your orchid plant.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Orchid Plants
Usually, orchids prefer daytime temperatures from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They like nighttime temperatures around 65 to 75 degrees. Most people keep their homes within these temperature ranges. So, chances are, if you’re comfortable, so is your orchid plant.
Now, orchids prefer a moderate humidity level of around 40 to 70 percent. Whether your home falls within this range will depend on a few factors, including the climate where you live. If you think your home’s humidity is too low for your orchid plants, find some tips in the How to Boost Humidity in Your Home section below.
You may want to monitor ambient temperature and humidity in various locations in your home to determine the best spot for your orchids. You can do this with tools like a digital thermometer and plant hygrometer.
Additionally, orchids will grow best when positioned near an east or south-facing window. They enjoy bright light, but you’ll need to make sure they don’t come into direct contact with the sun’s rays.
Finally, it’s important that the space where you put your orchids has good air circulation. However, you’ll want to avoid placing these plants near drafty areas, vents, or air conditioning units. And lastly, be careful not to over-water your orchids. Only water orchids them when their soil feels dry to the touch (we generally recommend not watering orchids with ice cubes).
How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
If you think your orchid would benefit from a boost in humidity, start by moving it to a more humid location like the kitchen or bathroom. You can also use a humidifier to adjust humidity or try misting your plant one or two times a day.
Additionally, you can use a humidity tray to improve the moisture around your orchid. These are plastic trays with pebbles and water that you place beneath your orchid plant. The tray releases moisture to increase humidity in the air around your plant.
Your orchids may also enjoy being placed near other orchids or houseplants. This can increase the humidity around the plants. However, you will want to avoid planting your orchids in the same planter as other plants in most cases. Even two different orchids placed in the same potting vessel can compromise the moisture levels the plants can access.
Caring for Orchid Plants in Spring and Summer
In the spring and summer months, you’ll want to place your orchids in a spot with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Ensure your chosen location meets the plant’s temperature requirements, between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Make any adjustments needed to maintain the orchid’s required humidity levels between 40 to 70 percent.
Additionally, you’ll want to fertilize your orchids every one to two weeks in the warmer months. Use a diluted fertilizer with a 20-20-20 NPK ratio. Or, you can choose to fertilize this plant with a higher concentration of balanced fertilizer once per month.
Remember, higher humidity in the summer months can lead to mold and mildew to develop. Take the necessary steps to avoid this, like ensuring your home doesn’t exceed the orchid’s humidity preferences. You’ll also want to ensure this plant doesn’t sit in soggy soil without proper drainage.
Caring for Orchid Plants Over Winter
Now, you may need to take some extra steps to keep your indoor orchids happy in the winter months. To maintain this plant’s preferred temperature and humidity conditions, you may want to use a space heater or humidifier.
If using a space heater, ensure harsh air movement doesn’t directly hit your orchids. They enjoy good air circulation and warm temperatures. However, they don’t appreciate drafts and other disruptive air conditions.
Keep your orchids in bright, indirect sunlight, and check their roots regularly to make sure they’re staying healthy over winter. This plant may need more water in the colder months. So, monitor the plant as the seasons change and make any adjustments necessary to keep your orchids adequately hydrated.
If preferred, you can use methods to increase humidity levels other than a humidifier. For example, your orchids may appreciate regular misting during the winter. They may also benefit from a pebble tray placed beneath their planter during this colder time of year.
Orchid Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerance FAQs:
What temperature is too cold for orchid plants?
Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit are too cold for most orchid varieties. However, some subfamilies are more cold-hardy than others. For example, Lady’s Slipper orchids are more tolerant of colder temperatures than other orchid plants.
What temperature is too hot for orchid plants?
Temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit are too hot for most orchid plants. However, some warm-growing orchids can tolerate temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Check which type of orchid you’re growing to ensure its ideal temperature range.
Are orchid plants heat-sensitive?
Despite the orchid’s tropical nature, this plant can be sensitive to heat. Orchids don’t grow well in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, this plant doesn’t enjoy exposure to direct sunlight.
Can I leave my orchid plant outside?
You can leave indoor orchid plants outside as long as conditions match their growing requirements. In fact, time outside may improve the plant’s access to optimal temperature and humidity conditions. Remember, outdoor orchid plants require good drainage and air circulation.
How do I know if my orchid plant is healthy?
You can tell your orchid plant is healthy if its leaves are thick and vibrant green in color, without any spots or discolored edges. Healthy orchids have bright-colored blooms that last up to 12 weeks. They should also have white aerial roots with healthy, green ends.
With proper care, orchids can live for many years to come and will happily rebloom throughout the season. Now that you know about the right temperature and humidity levels for orchids, you can keep your symbolic orchid plants healthy and thriving throughout the year. In addition to these conditions, remember to give your plant plenty of light and regular water. With a little bit of care, orchids can bring beauty and life to your home for years to come.
If you’re looking for your next orchid plant, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering orchids nationwide.
For more, see our essential guide to caring for orchids whilst you’re away or on vacation and everything you need to know about orchid plant care after they finish blooming and how to deal with orchid plants dropping leaves.