Growing Orchids Outdoors

Can I grow my orchids outside?

Orchids can thrive outdoors given the right environmental conditions that support their unique needs. Orchids are not as finicky as people make them out to be. They can survive in most climates as long as they don’t get too cool or too hot.

– In general, a frosty night can kill an orchid. So many orchids, depending on where you live, will need to be taken indoors in the fall and winter.

– Also scorching heat will both sunburn an orchid leaf and dry it out too quickly. So your orchid will need be placed in an area that has dappled shade (indirect sunlight). You can tell if your orchid is getting too hot by feeling the leaves….if they are hot to the touch then they need to be moved to an area that has less direct sunlight.

Orchids that especially benefit from growing outside are; Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium and Oncidium orchids. They love the warmth and extra light due to the fact that they are “high light” orchids. Because of this they may grow better and bloom more reliably when “treated” to the summer outdoors. We must remember that even if an orchid is said to be “high light” it does not mean the kind of full sun that you expect in say a tomato plant. “High light” is a term that is relative and specific to the light requirements of the Orchid Family. All orchids need “dapple shade” which is essential for “high light” orchids.

If you wish to move these orchids outside in the warm months simply bring them outside in their pots. You will want to really make sure that your orchids don’t dry out too much, so remember to mist them and put them humidity trays.

You can also mount them as seen in the previous post. My grandfather and grandmother love planting their orchids on Florida trees. This is a beautiful way to grow orchids!

NOTE: Allowing your orchids to benefit from the outdoors opens you up to fungus and pests that can wreak havoc on your dear plant!

Pest and fungus can be difficult to control both in and outdoors. If you have pets or children it can also be disconcerting to use certain pesticides to control these issues.

For pest I do the following; You can wash pests off with water but their eggs will remain so I use GET OFF ME! Pest Control Spray made from cinnamon. I spray this on my orchids each time I water my orchids. Also if you notice a lot of flies you can mix this spray with 50/50 with rubbing alcohol to increase its effectiveness. This is a safe substance to use around pets and children.

For fungus see my post on Orchid Health: Fungus; I always have Physan 20 on hand from rePotme.

Hope that Helps,


Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at with pictures of your orchid.


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