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Regional Humidity and Watering

This is a discussion on Regional Humidity and Watering within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Regarding the humidity - people are always saying that orchids might be too dry in ...

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  1. #1
    hcubed's Avatar
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    Question Regional Humidity and Watering

    Regarding the humidity - people are always saying that orchids might be too dry in the home environment and you need to compensate for that, etc. But my biggest problem right now is root rot and I only water (run through at sink and let drip) once a week or less, depending on the potting material.

    And for some reason I had never looked this up but I wanted to see what the average humidity levels for my region are over the year. Thinking to myself, gee, it rains all the damn time and there is moss on literally everything, so I bet it is pretty humid.

    And guess what, for last year the AVERAGE humidity level was 80.15%! Wow! I guess maybe that's why I don't have problems with things drying out on me but rather the roots rotting away because it's so wet!

    So I thought it would be interesting/informative to compare watering techniques and regional humidity tendencies.

  2. #2
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    I had no idea it was that humid in your area. Where I live (Southern California) The humidity averages about 25 - 35%, with extremes of 2% and 80%. I struggle to keep humidity in the grow area (which is indoors) at 50%, running a humidifier 24 hours a day.

  3. #3
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    Default Hey!

    Our winter and spring is VERY humid here. We rarely get below 40%, average for those two seasons is probably close to 70%, at least.

    However, our summer and fall is hit and miss. Some days can be so humid that the air is hard to breathe and other days it is so dry that the ground cracks. Of course, I water more in Summer/Fall than in Winter/Spring. This is due as much to temps as lower humidity.

    If you have a problem with rot, you may want to put your orchids in some media that dries out quickly like Hydroton (a great German product). Or, why not mount some?

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    hcubed's Avatar
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    I also was surprised at exactly how high the average was, but if you look at the weather report the is hardly a day in a month with a less than 30% chance of rain.

    Maybe I should starting picking plants based on this...paphs, maybe? And someone earlier was saying miltonia are hard to give enough humidity. But my new growth is nice and smooth...

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    Re: potting - I have actually been thinking the same thing - need a new media because moldy, rotting roots is a big problem, especially in winter because of the low sunlight. So any suggestions in that area would be good. Hydroton you say? I will check it out.

    Right now though mounting is out of the question - practicality and I don't think the orchids that I have like mounting for the most part. I didn't think you could mount these: Paph, Phal, Cymb, Miltonia, which only leaves an oncidium and a "cambria" leftover which I also find hard to imagine mounted, so....but I don't have any experience at all with mounting, who knows...

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    Pat mounted a phrag and it looked great. Check out this thread on mounting an orchid.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    I live west of Tampa and humidity is something that causes alot of rot problems. I have begun adding 'potting charcoal' to my potting mix for even my phals. The more I want them to dry out the more charcoal I add. I have a couple Vascostylis in almost pure charcoal, maybe 15-20% plain wood mixed in and some perlite...you have to water more often as things dry out so fast, but it stops the rot for sure. I also use a spray for bugs that includes an antifungal as it seems to help keep that problem under control as well. I use my sprays once every three weeks per a local nurseries instructions.
    Hope this helps....
    Connie

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    I can see I need to make a trip to the hardware store!

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    GiovannaD is offline Senior Member
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    I used to have humidity-moistness problems too. It was impossible to water my phals in bark correctly and at first I lost some roots, so I repotted. Again it was impossible to keep them evenly humid, because bark dried out on the surface and the crown couldn't produce new roots.
    I bought a humidity&temp meter, found the right spot in the house where temps fluctuate between 18-24C, light is sufficient (skylight with blinds) and humidity ranges between 45-70%. Winter is always challenging (fairly dry, at 30% mainly due to central heating).
    I switched to Hydroton 2 months ago and converted my regular transparent orchid pots to s/h ones. Have to say...this medium works!! I spray the surface from time to time, just to keep myself busy. Now the roots are sprouting all over the place, I haven't seen any rot in the crown even though I "buried" half the crown in the medium to induce new root growth.
    My point is...find your good humidity spot in the house, use it as a grow room and when they spike, move them to a nice place for show. Also use the appropriate medium for your area.
    BTW I bought some p.bellina seedlings in sphag... I should be saying I'm growing Phal.MouldyCrowns. Changed them into hydroton, we'll see how that goes.

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