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Does car exhaust hurt outdoor orchids?

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by roccitman, May 30, 2017.

  1. roccitman

    roccitman New Member

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    Hey group

    Just joined and already love this forum. I couldn't find any previous questions like mine so here goes.

    Does (or can) car exhaust hurt orchids? My neighbor auntie is worried about the house behind her as they drive by her outdoor (we live on Kauai) flowers and she thinks she should move them. It's a big job so I want to make sure before we tear apart the planter boxes and move everything.

    thanks!
     
  2. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Here is an abstract of related paper: Effects of vehicle exhaust emissions on urban wild plant species. - PubMed - NCBI
    (I'm not sure if you have the full text access).
    Several different responses were observed: growth stimulation or suppression as well as other physiological responses (changes in gas exchange, or death of leaves). The paper suggests that gaseous NO and NO2 is generally toxic to plants (NO3 is not gaseous and it is plant nutrient).

    But if the air quality is so bad, I would think that human is more likely to be influenced by the pollution than plants. In that case, it might be more important to to relocate your auntie.
     
  3. roccitman

    roccitman New Member

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    Thanks for that link! No access to the full text but some interesting bits from the highlights. No worry about frost here :)

    Highlights
    ► Diesel exhaust emissions either increase or decrease the growth of urban wild plants.
    ► Vehicle emissions increase sensitivity of some species to naturally occurring frosts.
    ► Changes in droplet contact angle suggest effects of emissions on epicuticular waxes.
    ► NO and NO2 are implicated in the observed responses.
     
  4. carl

    carl Active Member

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    Sooutheastern Pencilvania
    Short answer - yes.

    Long answer: Every year I empty the gas tank in my lawnmower (4-cycle, no oil) by letting it run dry. One year I inadvertently let it run so the exhaust got sucked into the fresh air intake for my plant cabinets. While it did not kill the plants, it did mess up the leaves on some of them pretty thoroughly. I'll never to THAT again.
     
  5. roccitman

    roccitman New Member

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    Yeesh! That's pretty concentrated. I think we're going to be ok with this situation. As long as the cars aren't idling next to the planter boxes :)