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Phalaenopsis Questions

This is a discussion on Phalaenopsis Questions within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Julie That's very correct. The way I understand it, a plant needs a specific total ...

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  1. #21
    TundraKev's Avatar
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    Julie

    That's very correct. The way I understand it, a plant needs a specific total # of foot candles over a given period of time to do well. It doesn't matter much if that amount of light is given in 10 hours or 16 hours as long as it gets its full dose of light. I suppose that would have to be adjusted for those plants that need a certain # of hours of darkness to flower properly. I can't think of which ones those are though.

    Somewhere there's a chart with all this info. Anyone have it?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TundraKev
    It reminded me of another discussion in another place when someone asked what orchids would do well 12 feet from a west facing window. There must have been a good dozen posts naming all sorts of orchids that would like that. In a fit of frustration I finally said silk. Naturally, I was the bad guy.
    LOL, Kev. I don't think you were the "bad" guy at all! Twelve feet back from a west-facing windows and hoping orchids (even Phals) will bloom is, in my honest opinion, foolishly optimistic! I suppose, in that situation, a jewel orchid would *grow* without blooming and that might be acceptable since most people grow them as foliage plants. If, however, you're really looking for a foliage plant, get something cheaper than a jewel orchid!

    You did the person a favour, whether s/he realized it or not by being the heavy. I might have been a little more tactful and said "GET AN ASPIDISTRA!"

    Cheers,

    R2D2 (aka Rob)

  3. #23
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    Thanks to all for the good information... I'm pondering whether to bother with the light meter or not, other than out of pure curiosity. I should probably just be happy that I am blooming what I'm blooming indoors.

    One other thing, for indoor growers, I'd mention. Dust and water spots can dramatically reduce light intensity on glass. My neighbors must think I'm psychotic, but I clean my windows inside and outside fairly often so that this doesn't reduce the incoming intensity. Even the type of glass thickness, single or double pane, etc. affects what makes it indoors. I read somewhere outdoor intensity can be cut in half just coming through glass.

    At any rate, I'm sure this thread will prove useful for others in the future.

    Matt

  4. #24
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    Yep, Kevin, I mean Howard. He brought me to the light, too. By far, the most helpful advice I've gotten has been from him.

    I don't recall an actual chart about the total fcs, but I know what you're talking about. I think it might have been a complicated math thing, which I purposely would have blocked from memory.

    This isn't exactly what you're thinking about, but it's from "Ortho's All About Orchids":
    "What fluorescent lights lack in intensity, they can make up in duration. Use a timer to set the day length. . . . November to January 16 hrs/day; February to June 18 hrs/day; July to August 16 hrs/day; September to October 12 hrs/day."
    Liz

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    I'm a windowsill grower and adore my phals....however, there is light, then light. If you have an eastern exposure with trees or a house blocking some of the light, then you are apt not to have enough. Generally, if you can bloom an african violet in the light, then you can bloom a phal. Here, I put mine in the southern window during the summer as the sun is so far in the north here at that point....if you put your hand over the phal and see a definite shadow with difuse edges, then you probably will be ok, but I agree, I'm betting you will need supplimental light.

    As far as watering goes....everyone is correct...slightly damp...think a sponge wrung out until almost dry..not sopping. I like to use the skewer method with my phals...if you can feel moisture on a skewer (stick it in the media in the middle, pull it out and run it across your cheek or upper lip which is more sensitive...if it feels cool/damp don't water....very slightly damp or dry, water). Most folks overwater phals.

    I agree with Mike...for most people s/h takes the guess work out of it and the Phals love it.

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    Okay, here’s the light, my room faces west, and my blinds are open in the morning and afternoon, but when the sunlight begins to come directly into my room, I close them. That’s the light in there.



    Sorry for the late response, I’ve been having computer issues.

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    This is one of those situations where because I don't know what part of the country or even what part of the world you're in, I would be reluctant to give you cultural advice. A West window in MN is different from a West window in Hong Kong or even Miami. But generally I think (I hope) you understand that plant is probably going to want some sunlight. You may have to rethink the idea of always closing the blind.

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    I know this is counter-intuitive, but my friend Joe grows phals in his northern exposure living room, doesn't even put them by the window, and they flower religiously once or twice a year. Some of them are 5 or 6 years old, very big plants, beautiful leaves, growing nicely. It's downright weird.

  9. #29
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    John I've also heard of people who grow some orchids in a north window with success. It is weird. Again, it's so hard to give a definitive answer to some of these light questions without actually seeing the growing area.

    One entire side of my house faces north and yet I am able to grow and bloom things outside that I theoretically shouldn't be able to do because of the exposure.

    In my situation, there is a very large, white stucco house across the street. That surface faces south and reflects a ton of very bright light back across the street to my shade garden. So even though it is a northern exposure, it does receive a lot of extra light.

    All these variables can drive one nuts.

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    Sooo... basically, it's more like I need to take into account what everyone said about light requirements, try to match them best I can, and just see what works for the Phal I have and what doesn't? I once thought the light requirements were a concrete thing, but it seems like there are many factors influencing it.

    I live in Utah BTW, so the UV rays here are extremely harsh.

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