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Orchid Care Question for the group

This is a discussion on Orchid Care Question for the group within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I am a newbie regarding orchids having only started collecting them last summer. My daughter ...

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  1. #1
    Dee
    Dee is offline Junior Member
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Orchid Care Question for the group

    I am a newbie regarding orchids having only started collecting them last summer. My daughter had a dozen or so phals. last fall that were just about dead from lack of watering so I brought them home, said I'd nurse them back to health if I could and return them to her when she had more time to look after them. I did repot them all in a 60-40 mix of bark and sphagnum moss as soon as I got them here and most had to go in larger pots.

    All her dozen are under fluorescent lights but the liht tubes are relatively old, I think one tube is meant just for general lighting, the plants are about 12" away from the light source and get about 12 hours of light per day. Humidity ranges around 55-60%. However, to save on heating costs in the home, temps are around 65 degrees during the day and about 56 degrees at night.

    All except 2-3 of my daughter's really far-gone orchids are showing signs of activity. Most look like they're sprouting roots but there are 2-3 plants with spikes.

    She thinks the lights have caused all this growth activity while I disagree, maintaining that either the temperatures or just plain care and attention, and water too, have caused this.

    Or could it be just the time of year? I've never had orchids in February yet so have no idea. Or am I doing something else right? Which factor do you think has caused this growth?

    Dee

  2. #2
    madphrag's Avatar
    madphrag is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Mitch
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phrags and Paphs
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    Aug 2009
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Default

    How long has she had them since they were under your care and exactly what kind of fluorescent fixture is she using?

  3. #3
    Dee
    Dee is offline Junior Member
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    Nov 2010
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    Default

    My daughter first started collecting orchids about a year ago but most were bought between May and August 2010. I started collecting, due to her influence, last July. Her orchids did well at her place until late last fall. Starting in September, she had school, a job, etc. and didn't have time for orchids. Rather than see them die which was likely to happen, I offered to take all hers to my place and try to nurse them back to health.

    It's me who is using the fluorescent light fixture. It's an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, two tube, 4 feet long fixture with one natural sunlight/Growlight/whatever tube and the other is a soft white. Both tubes are several years old.

    Helen

  4. #4
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Connie
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
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    Mini Vanda, Schombs &Encyclia.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West of Tampa, FL
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    9,139
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    Colder temperatures are usually the cause for spikes in phals. Unlike some of the other orchids, phalaenopsis can handle it as low as 55 degrees if it isn't windy and damp. As the temperatures heat up, your spikes will grow faster. I am not sure about the light you are using, but if your spikes are growing straight upwards i'd say it's safe to assume it's helping. And it sounds like they like your care....great job! I'd love to see the flowers when they bloom.

  5. #5
    orchidlady's Avatar
    orchidlady is offline Senior Member
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    Susan
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
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    Phal and Paph species
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    Apr 2009
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    Seattle, WA
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    904

    Default

    Fluorescent lights should be changed out every 1-2 years. Over time the light output decreases and you don't get much benefit. Also, Phals don't like to be below 60 degrees F for extended periods of time.

    Susan

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