Orchids Now Rest

Orchids now don’t have to be brought outdoors. The important thing is to keep them away from the sun and spray them when it is very hot.

The Orchid family comprises about 25,000 spontaneous species, the most cultivated genera in greenhouses are some tens, while in the most widespread domestic environments there are only five: Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium. These are the easiest orchids to cultivate, all quite similar in terms of environmental and cultivation needs. Almost all the orchids now, when the summer is over, they have finished flowering and are preparing to spend a period of vegetative stasis until the end of September-early October, where it is important to keep at rest especially the radical structures and Do not allow the foliar to develop excessively. But even at this time, plants should not be neglected.

Move them to the shadow

Inside or outside, all orchids now must be able to enjoy a semi-shaded environment, indispensable to ensure the conditions of vegetative rest. A brightness too intense (necessary in the autumn-winter period to promote a regular flowering) in this summer phase is rather harmful to orchids, which could suffer from excessive temperature (bleaching and scalding And not be induced in the autumn to form floral organs of regular number and size.

Cymbidium and Phalaenopsis, which are the most adaptable and less demanding species, can be placed outdoors during the summer months, when the minimum night temperatures have stabilised around 14-16 °c, so from the end of May onwards Northern Italy. The position must be in half-shade, possibly under the canopy of stripping trees, such as oaks, beech, maple, birch, plane tree, never below the fronds of conifers (firs, pines, Cedars, Larici) as the resin that regularly falls from such Plants can easily damage their foliage.

If there are no trees because you move them on a balcony or a terrace, to defend them from heat and sunlight, it is advisable to choose always shaded exposures or to arrange structures that can repair the plants from the sun’s rays like nets, lattices, Tents, poles with branches.

For most other orchids it is now advisable to keep them indoors or to move them outdoors only in a protected environment, such as a greenhouse, sheltered from thunderstorms and excessive thermal rises. In particular Cattleya, Dendrobium and Wanda.

Reduce irrigations

When the rest phase starts, the watering is very reduced, approximately a third or even half for certain species (hence the need not to keep them outdoors, exposed to thunderstorms, often intense and frequent). Water excesses can cause rottenness of the root portions (roots and pseudobulbs) and encourage the formation of foliar fungal diseases. Both for those kept outdoors and especially for those kept in the apartment, it is advisable to spray leaf atomizations in moderation.


While they are fertilizing every 10-15 days in the months preceding the flowering (from October to March, depending on the species), the orchids now only want 1-2 fertilizations, to be carried out with specific liquid fertilizers for orchids and rich in Nitrogen, phosphorus and iron, in the less hot moments of the season. Only plants particularly weakened (leaves yellowed or bleached and not thick) for excessive production of flowers (frequent is the case of Cymbidium) can receive additional doses of fertilizer: it is therefore important to recognize the true nutritional deficiency and Do not confuse symptoms with fungal disease or excess water.

If they are to be repot

Every four to five years, during the rest period, the plants that have become too large for their container must be repoted: On this occasion we can also multiply by dividing the mother plant.