Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 18 of 18
Like Tree22Likes

Controversy on Paph light levels?

This is a discussion on Controversy on Paph light levels? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I just get very confused about orchid lighting. Don't place them in full, direct sun ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #11
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Kelly
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Vandas and Catts
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    811

    Default

    I just get very confused about orchid lighting. Don't place them in full, direct sun (even advised against acclimating them to it)...however many grow in full direct sun for part of the day in the wild. Look at the leaf color, it should be a grassy light green...in my experience many orchids NEVER get that light color, no matter how much light you give them. The list of miscommunication and misconception goes on and on. I do have a light meter that only goes up to 2,000 f.c., but the needle is straining to move past that point when I check my window light so I figure the light is well above that. At least 3,000 if not more. But it's cheap, and could be completely wrong. I think that's what is most frustrating about the orchid game...waiting, at times, two years for blooms trying to see if you have the right light. Add to that the fact that many of us have large seedlings or "near blooming size" or "mature" plants that haven't yet bloomed, but are obviously close to it...and at the same time, we have no idea how long it will actually be. 2 years later you have a plant that still hasn't bloomed, and you have no clue if your light is wrong or if the plant still just isn't ready to put on its first show.

    *pulls my hair out*.

  2. #12
    Magnus A's Avatar
    Magnus A is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Magnus
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    There are to many...
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden, Europe
    Posts
    341
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Kelly
    What you point out is that everyone has different growing conditions. Advice should only be given in general terms and it is up to each individual grower to master his or her own growing conditions by trial and error.

    My advice is always to give as much light as possibly and carefully observe how the plant react. This includes touching leafs to get a feeling for temperaturs and soo on. At any indication of unhealthy bleaching of the green color lower the light, and if heat is built up either move the plant to lower light or increase air curculation to cool the plant.

    Unfortunate to many growers give to detailed advices, totaly ignoring that the growing conditions can be totaly different!

    /M
    Last edited by Magnus A; July 18th, 2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #13
    gardenguysorchids's Avatar
    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
    Real Name
    Bill
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphs, Oncidium,and Catts
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,526
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I agree with Bruce and several others on the light question concerning Paphs. I have success growing and blooming paphs and phrags on windowsills and on shelves under my catts that are grown under lights. I think your problem mostly likely is as has been pointed out that it takes them and any orchid time to adjust to being repotted. I do mine once a year mmediately after they have bloomed and can expect them to sulk for a month or so but then they take off. Another problem I see is that u moved them from bark to s/h and back to bark. I am sure they are struggling with those sudden changes. Give them time and stick to one media. I really feel bark is the best for these guys. Best of luck with yours.
    As far as lighting and other orchids I too find it confusing. I try and follow the general rules and generally have good results. If I have a young plant or any plant that has become blooming size and it hasn't bloomed in a timely manner the first thing I do is increase the lighting and usually it is amazing how quickly spikes and sheaths develope. If that doesn't work then it goes to friends who have greenhouses and I let them worry with it. Some times they end up pitching it becaues for one reason or another they can't get it to bloom --but that is rare. I just don't have the time or space to waste on orchids that are not going to reward my care and efforts with at least yearly blooms.

  4. #14
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Kelly
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Vandas and Catts
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    811

    Default

    My orchids have to fans blowing on them, or else there will be too much heat buildup on the leaves with my afternoon sun windowsill location. I suppose it's possible to have too much heat, and still not enough light, though. Right?

    I've officially hijacked this thread. My apologies.

  5. #15
    Magnus A's Avatar
    Magnus A is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Magnus
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    There are to many...
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden, Europe
    Posts
    341
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sand_tiger86 View Post
    My orchids have to fans blowing on them, or else there will be too much heat buildup on the leaves with my afternoon sun windowsill location. I suppose it's possible to have too much heat, and still not enough light, though. Right?

    I've officially hijacked this thread. My apologies.
    Yes Kelly
    Heat mainly come from the far red part of the spectra, near infra red (NIR) and infra red (IR). If your light source have alot of NIR and IR and little red, green, blue you will have alot of heat with "to little light".

    /M

  6. #16
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Amey Bhide
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya alliance
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    5,363
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    I really switched them out of S/H because I couldn't keep them damp enough without draining and flushing each one at least once a day, and once a week fertilize weakly - for 100+ orchids that was about 6 hours taking them back and forth to the kitchen sink, waiting for them to drain - for 25 or so, it took about 2 1/2 hours a day. The S/H system I had had pots with 2 holes about 1" about the bottom, and that reservoir dried up every day, plus the clay pebbles above dried completely even before that.
    There is something definitely wrong with your SH system, that I can tell for sure. Most probably you are using very tall pots (Capillary action not efficient in tall pots) and also the reservoirs must be insufficient. However dry your conditions are a SH set up should need watering only once a week, that how you design it. Also I recently compared different LECA pellets and found out all of them are not created equal, some will just sit there without any capillary action, but that still would not explain your daily evaporation ! Anyways since they are not in SH anymore it is not of concern.

    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    Since I obviously don't want to disturb them again, I'm trying to figure out what "dressing" I might be able to spread over the pot surface to help retain moisture without suffocating them. Any thoughts?
    I agree with Pavel on this sphag or coconut husk mulch on top should be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    And, unlike other orchids, paphs actually LIKE to be repotted every 6 months to a year. I was counting on that somewhat, even with the medium changing.
    I think you are confusing between what is implied. This biannual repotting is very different from the repotting you are doing. The process is to constantly grow the orchids in pot bound conditions. Say for eg. the seedling is growing in a 5 cm pot, instead of repotting it in a 8 cm pot straightaway and not worrying about it for a year or two, it is planted in a 6 cm pot. Because it is in a smaller pot, it dries up fast, needs to be watered more frequently ( thus also fertilized more frequently), more air gets to the roots leading to overall good growth. At the end of 6 months, when the seedling is almost getting pot bound it is moved into a 8 cm pot. This repotting does not involve any change of media or any disturbance to the roots. The seedling plug is removed from the 6 cm pot more moss or any other media is wrapped around the plug and it is put into the bigger pot. And the same cycle is repeated for another 6 months, at the end of which the plants are much more superior in health ( more no. of individual growths and biomass in general) as compared to those already potted in 8 cm pots at the beginning of the year and without any repotting in between.

    The repotting we do, where we get rid of the old media and either change the media or the media type is NOT LIKED by any orchids.

  7. #17
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
    OrchidAddict is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Jenn
    My Grow Area
    Sunroom
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Whatever's in bloom today!
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    749

    Default

    I also agree with the layer of sphag on top...I think that will do well to hold in your moisture. Also, I've found that larger-grade bark tends to dry out WAY faster than the smaller stuff. So when I'm potting up something that needs more moisture like a paph, I use the finest bark mixture I can find (or at least I sprinkle as much of it on the top of the pot as possible! LOL).

    I own two paphs, and both are VERY happy. They are right next to a bright window, but not ON the windowsill itself because it gets really hot there. (I reserve that for the tropical plants that need tons of heat and light to thrive). The paphs do get hit with direct sun for a brief period each day as the sun moves (no more than half an hour of direct sun on each one), and they seem to like it. They are growing like crazy.

    I am wondering if perhaps you could do something different with your fertilization. I purchased my first paph from a very passionate home orchid grower that sold his orchids at shows, and he was adamant that paphs need to be in bark, not sphag. He also said that they absolutely need a high-nitrogen fertilizer to grow successfully. Apparently paphs need to grow a LOT of greenery before they can support a new flower...and they need the nitrogen for that. It could take an entire year to grow all the leaves needed for the new bloom...so don't get discouraged. I fertilize mine weakly every other watering or so, and it seems to be working well. I've got crazy leaves sprouting all over and am expecting a bloom from at least one of them within a couple of months.

    Also, I just want to make sure that you are soaking your paphs' bark thoroughly prior to fertilizing when you do feed them. You should soak the pot, then let it drain for a while, then come back 10-20 minutes later and pour the fertilizer/water through the mixture. This way the roots are already softened up and prepared to absorb the nutrients. I've been told that just fertilizing without soaking first can shock the roots and damage the plant.

    Okay...I hope everything I said here made sense. I learned a lot of this from the guy who sold me my first paph, and it seems to be working GREAT, but there's a lot of advice floating around out there, so you need to experiment and find out what works for you! Like others have said, we all have different growing conditions. You just need to find the magic formula for you!

    Good luck!
    Smiles, Jenn

  8. #18
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Maura Caffrey
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphiopedilum lowii
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Englewood, FL
    Posts
    3,092
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Started to write before I saw that there were so many more posts than I had expected.



    Yipes! I'll think twice before I ask about controversial subjects again.


    Yew, I think you're absolutely right about not generalising, but, fortunately or unfortunately, I have a somewhat generalised grow area. All of which makes me think that I've simply got to keep better track of which ones do well, and the cultivation conditions for them, and which don't. The ones that don't do well need, perhaps, to be eliminated from my collection. Goes against my nature, but not for the first time in this orchid business.

    By the way, I don't know the term "Sigmatopetalum" - which species does this include?

    I so appreciate all the input from everyone, from potting and repotting, to top-dressing, fertiliser, media, temperatures, etc. I think, maybe, that I failed to convey that my paphs are not dying - far from it; I'm just looking for optimum conditions for them. One factor in my wondering about light levels is the way my outside orchids have taken off like crazy, and they were all also repotted from S/H into a bark mix (medium to fine bark, charcoal, perlite, clay pellets, and some sphagnum mixed in). I know they're not paphs, naturally, but, if the outside orchids are at optimum light levels, then I thought maybe my indoor lighting could use some tweaking.

    As for the S/H, Amey, you must be right about the S/H system, but I used, exactly according to direction, all the materials straight from the company that originated it, so I wouldn't know what to do about that. It is true that the plastic pots are relatively tall - they come that way, ostensibly to prevent root rot, I think.

    Orchids really seem to bring out some strong opinions and emotions - I think I've only encountered that before in tomato-growers! I truly do thank everyone who posted here, and I hope that everyone knows that I take all the advice seriously, but not personally, and I hope everyone else does, too. After all, OT is all about bringing people together to grow orchids - not splitting them apart!






    Last edited by mauraec; July 18th, 2012 at 06:53 PM. Reason: sp, etc.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. orchid Light Levels
    By DEC in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: July 14th, 2011, 08:23 AM
  2. Light for a Paph?
    By Teachth in forum Paphiopedilum & Phragmipedium Info.
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: June 13th, 2011, 05:39 PM
  3. Light levels Experiment
    By Kerry in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: April 9th, 2007, 01:23 PM
  4. Paph philippinense (light yellow form)
    By Paphraguy in forum **NOT IN BLOOM** All Genera
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: September 2nd, 2005, 05:09 AM
  5. Light levels and "The mirror incident...."
    By mde in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: April 14th, 2005, 07:14 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.