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Faded blooms in greenhouse - ??

This is a discussion on Faded blooms in greenhouse - ?? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello all. Fairly new to greenhouse growing of orchids. Have an 8x8 greenhouse with solexx ...

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  1. #1
    scottfar is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
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    Default Faded blooms in greenhouse - ??

    Hello all.

    Fairly new to greenhouse growing of orchids. Have an 8x8 greenhouse with solexx panels/sides/roof. Have grown orchids under lights for about 15 years... overall greenhouse is doing great... took a while to dial in the heaters and get watering down. The plants seem to be happy overall (although went through a major temp drown down to about 35 degrees and MANY plants lost 100% of their roots.. nothing died and they're reestablishing themselves). Not sure if the temp drop caused the root die-off or it was my watering.

    Okay... question. Plants seem to be doing well - lots of spikes and flowering. Flowers seem to be lasting MUCH longer in the greenhouse - 3-4x what I got indoors. I'm guessing this is a combination of higher humidity, overall better condition of the plants (more light/quality of light) and more consistent watering.

    So the blooms are lasting longer.. but they're fading. Not dying - just the colors - so vibrant and wonderful at first, begin fading - bleaching out within days and in a week they're almost white (from purples, yellows, oranges, even reds). The exception seems to be orange blossoms. Seems obvious that this is being bleached by the sun/too much light... but wanted to verify this.

    What do you do? Should I put shadecloth up and reduce the light? Should I move the orchids in bloom to below the benches where there is a lot less light? As to the light intensity.. really varies... at the peak of the day can be well over 4,000 footcandles... esp near the sides toward the sun.. yet the other side can be only 1,500 footcandles. Originally tried putting phals under the tables.. but the light dropped off DRAMATICALLY ... less than 900 footcandles...

    I have put shadecloth on the southside of the greenhouse.. but not yet on the roof/west, east or north side. The shadecloth is attached to 1" PVC which sits next to the greenhouse.. so there is only about 1". Its very high shadecloth - something like 70% shade. I live in Northern California where summers OFTEN reach more than 110. Should I put shadecloth all over greenhouse? Temps here have been about 80 outside the last two weeks.. and w/out fans going can climb to 90 but with fans has been staying below 80. Just bought a huge swamp cooler but haven't installed yet.

    Thanks... I know, lots of questions.

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Bruce Brown
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    If you light was too bright, your plants would be affected before your blooms. I have never seen what you are describing about the blooms (all blooms across your grow area). I suspect that it is a nutrient problem. I will let others chime in here, but you have a unique problem - at least to me.

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    scottfar is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
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    Mostly have cats... and a FEW of them do have reddish leaves (too much light?) so I've moved those to an area with less intense light. A few that I moved a few weeks ago (vanda types!) actually got sunburned. Usually when moving from my window or from under lights I put them under the shelves for a couple of weeks to let them acclimize.. but the vandas (I'd had them for about 3 months.. and they were in full bloom in the house/in a east facing window) I figured, they like bright light.. they'll do fine on the shelf... but they all got sunburned. First time I've sunburned an orchid. Ooops.

    .. when you say nutrients you mean too little? I make my own mix like a mad scientist... with a little of everything (in diluted mixes). Usually have to water 2 - 3 times per week, with a water breaker from a hose... then usually fertilize just once a week using a 3 gal. sprayer... and once a month do a physan 20/neem oil spray to leaves (top and bottom) and two weeks later (also once a month) do a foliar feed.

  4. #4
    scottfar is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    In a Greenhouse.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cats and Phals
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA USA
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    oh, a few of the cats have almost mottled -like leaves. only visible when you see light through them.. but not solid color. lighter green overall, with patches of darker green. Its not a fungus or anything on the surface, again only visible when leaf is seen as a silhouette against a lighter background of bright light. Some cats are DARK green and the one next to it is light green...

  5. #5
    Tmai's Avatar
    Tmai is offline Ya'll are funnin' me!
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    Jun 2006
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    I have noted the same thing with my catts if I leave them in the shadehouse after they bloom. Now I move the blooming plants onto my deck (shaded most of the day). The blooms seem to stay brighter and I can enjoy them from inside the house, too. Then I move them back out into the orchid house when they are through blooming. My shade house has about 6-7000 fc light near the top on a bright day. Good luck with yours!

    Tami

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