Drastic temp swings, how much can plants take in pots?

meyermike_1micha(5)January 24, 2011

I am quite concerned about this, especially with regards to my Hoya, Citrus, and Succulents, and a few CC..

I have registered a low of 45 in my greenhouse the past few days with readings into the 80's by noon.

I realize that many plants would prefer a 10 to 20 difference in temps from day to night, but do you think my plants will be able to handle such quick rises and drastic drops?

Most days the temps in my greenhouse will drop to no lower than the mid 50's, but on frigid days like this, temps can get into the low 40's at night.

3 hours ago, it was 43 degrees and now with the sun out, it is already 67 in there.

Any comments would be very welcomed.

Thank you..


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donaldb(5B Worcester, MA)

Hi Mike. This might or might not help but when it comes to some of my orchids, namely the dendrobiums, they are left outdoors unless there's going to be a frost at temps as low as 40 for sometimes two to three weeks on end. The citrus and hibiscus, along with a five foot tall cactus are also left out under the same conditions with no harm coming to any of them. As a matter of fact most of what I have is kept in a sunroom where the temps range from 53 at night to 72 during the day. I noticed on one of the forums that you were at Tower Hill in West Boylston. My wife and I belong up there and attend most of the functions and shows. Have a great day and week and month. Happy growing.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:10AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Is there any way that you could easily shade the green house during the day time? Even a white sheet over the top of it would allow sunlight to penetrate but would still reflect some of the light producing light waves.

Does your greenhouse have some sort of ventilation so that some heat can escape during the day? I don't see much problem with the high temperatures you've mentioned, but as the days continue to get longer, and the outside temps more temperate, you may have some daytime temps that are simply too high.

If not to both of those questions, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Large temperature differences can actually accelerate the ripening of some greenhouse crops! Especially citrus.

By the way, all of the plant species you've mentioned do quite well in very chilly temperatures, as I am sure you've already discovered.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 12:00PM
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Thank you so much!

Don, we have probably met and never knew it..lol
I will at the C&S meeting next month and that is a great place to be. I appreciate your words.

Rhizzp:I really appreciate what you said. I threw a blue tarp over it and the light still gets in, but it does not get that hot. The highest registered temp in there today was 72..The lowest it is so far with the sun down at present is 60. I think the cover is stabilizing the temps a bit until this cold snap is past.
Thank you very much


    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 5:16PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Hey mike

My greenhouse has 40-50 degree swings on a sunny day consistently without any noticeable issue, at least with my citrus.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 5:57PM
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Hey, Mike! Now, I'm not sure if it's true, but I recently read that by March the sunlight beating down on an enclosed greenhouse system is such that high temperatures can build and burn can easily happen. This is when the big greenhouses begin employing shade cloth and good ventilation.

I'm sure the resident experts will be along with yeas or nays on that... but either way, I don't think a little fluctuation right now is critical... just be aware of temperatures that get too low or too high, and be prepared to regulate them a little if needed.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 3:25AM
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