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Winter Woes

This is a discussion on Winter Woes within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So technically winter is a long way away still, I guess, but it doesn't really ...

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  1. #1
    hcubed's Avatar
    hcubed is offline Senior Member
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    Unhappy Winter Woes

    So technically winter is a long way away still, I guess, but it doesn't really feel like it here, what with the light fading fast and the stores stocking Christmas cookies already (totally serious on that).


    Looks like from now until April or so I am going to have to constantly worry about whatever new color mold things are growing this year. I went to water my plants this morning (and I can forget waiting for a sunny day, they would never get watered!) and since they seemed heavy for over a week of no water, I weighed them. And they have actually gotten heavier! gah!

    May just put EVERYTHING into s/h to at least reduce the amount of mold. hmpf.

    Combination of cool weather, rainy days, very little sunlight and almost none of it direct is already making everything stay wet. Not good! Anyone got some sunlight they can spare for me?

  2. #2
    Mehera's Avatar
    Mehera is offline Just Another Senior Moment
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    Here, have some of mine; plenty to spare most days. :-) I didn't realize Germany was so cloudy and rainy--is that typical year round?

    Do you have a light set up for your orchids?

  3. #3
    hcubed's Avatar
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    Well, it is much more cloudy and rainy than say California, or even New England, but this summer was particularly bad. And Hamburg/northern Germany is a lot like England and Denmark weather-wise, the south of Germany is a bit sunnier and warmer.

    The biggest difference though is the "too far north part", which means that the amount of sunlight per day changes very quickly as do the seasons. So it is light out until 10.30pm in the summer and is practically dark at 3pm in the winter. And of course, when we do get sun it is a lot less strong because the rays are at a more indirect angle and lose more through the atmosphere. I have phals and a paph getting direct south window sunlight (not all summer, that WOULD burn, but aside from July/August it doesn't)

    Think pacific northwest but at the latitude of northern Canada (for comparison Boston is approx. the same latitude as Rome).

    Nope, no light as yet. Maybe I should look into that though. I think mostly I need to keep things less damp and a bit warmer. Or I should specialize in those that like it cold and damp! Are there any that LIKE mold?

  4. #4
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
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    Just hold back on the watering for now.

    Low light = less fuel for photosynthesis and therefore the plants are using less water for food production.
    Cool temperature also slows down the plant's metabolism and reduces the need to transpirate water to cool itself down - further reducing their water consumption.

    A plant that dries out in three days in summer could need two weeks to dry out in winter because of slower water consumption.

    If you are concerned about mold from wet conditions, try to increase air circulation to speed up evaporation of the water from the pot's surface - this should draw out some of the water that is not being taken in by the roots.

  5. #5
    GiovannaD is offline Senior Member
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    Well I should add that Autumn here in Athens Greece is the first Autumn I've seen in years...We usually missed this season here, with summer weather all through October then WHAM! Come November someone would push the "winter" button and the temps would go from a steady 25-28C(77-82F) straight to 10C(50F).
    My phals are progressing like crazy! Throwing fat roots into the LECA, growing big leaves that stiffen up in a week and hopefully some spikes as well and that is why I'm putting them out in the evening to take advantage of these cool and breezy nights (15C, 60F).
    I love this! Full sun and 80% humidity nights. Textbook orchid weather.

  6. #6
    Mehera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiovannaD View Post
    My phals are progressing like crazy! Throwing fat roots into the LECA, growing big leaves that stiffen up in a week and hopefully some spikes as well and that is why I'm putting them out in the evening to take advantage of these cool and breezy nights (15C, 60F).
    I love this! Full sun and 80% humidity nights. Textbook orchid weather.
    Not fair. Not fair! Perfect orchid weather for ALL peoples of the earth!

  7. #7
    GiovannaD is offline Senior Member
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    Some orchids are more equal than others!
    Besides, I deserve some decent orchid weather after that 42C(108F) summer! My phals were drooping like weeping willows!

  8. #8
    hcubed's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips webfeet!

    It's just so frustrating - I want to take care of the plants, but really I should do nothing and I have a hard time resisting the "want to water" urge. I didn't in fact water this morning. But I water once a week in the SUMMER, so where does that put me - once a month? With normal bark mix anyway, I think I am going to start mixing more bark with hydroclay pellets.

  9. #9
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    I'll try shipping out some of our extra sunshine....Florida's got lots extra. If that doesn't work think grow lights....I lived in Ramstein for a couple years and came to appreciate Michigan weather. We grew up with awful weather, but more sun than Germany gets on a regular basis and way way less fog.
    Connie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcubed View Post
    and the stores stocking Christmas cookies already (totally serious on that).
    & here I thought it was only retailers here in the US that were that annoying....


    Well Connie, you couldn't have "appreciated Michigan weather" too much ... after all you abandoned us for Fl!

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