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Advice wanted! Is this too much shade?

This is a discussion on Advice wanted! Is this too much shade? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi all! Some of my orchids were getting burned in their new windowsill (southern exposure) ...

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  1. #1
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    Rebecca Luce
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    Question Advice wanted! Is this too much shade?

    Hi all!

    Some of my orchids were getting burned in their new windowsill (southern exposure) so I decided to create some sheer curtains. I'm concerned that it might be too shady now...what do you think? I grow mostly catts and mini-catts. This is just regular run-of-the-mill "sheer curtain" fabric from a fabric store. In the picture, you can see the light level now compared to the full sun....light level experts out there, please let me know what you think!

    Thanks!
    ~Becky
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  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    That looks good to me. My sheers are very close to yours....and mine do good with the phals in the living room. Anybody else??
    Connie

  3. #3
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    See, I'm thinking that it would be good for phals...but the catts need more light than the phals do. Does anyone think that this set-up would be too dark for catts?

  4. #4
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    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    Becky, I am in central Iowa. That should be a close approximation to the conditions in chicago. I think the shear curtain material you are using is perfect for catts in very early spring when the sun sizzles into southern windows. That takes care of April, maybe part of May. The rest of the year, my catts are right up against the glass in the south window. Nothing between them and the light except glass (not thermal, either). If you are worried that the catts are getting burned, do you have an old window screen around?The nylon screens cut a bit of light but will let more through than a shear. does this help any?

  5. #5
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, I think you are right Cindras - how long have your catts been accustomed to southern exposure? Mine were just introduced about a week ago, and several of them have very scary burn marks on them...I got a little worried. Will they become accustomed to the southern exposure more over time? I kept thinking that perhaps they will grow foliage that can tolerate the sun, but I've never had these types of conditions before, so I'm just not sure...I feel like I'm rationalizing it away! LOL I didn't really want to purchase sheer material, bc we have a nice view of thie Chicago skyline...but I love my orchids and I don't want to torch them. Anyone else have a southern exposure? This is new to me

  6. #6
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    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
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    I have a southern window. When it's not summer time, the orchids are usually on it and I've never had this problem...my windows, however, have a screen on the outside and my house was built last year so I'm sure my windows are the new fangled kind that block out harsh rays and such. All things considered, my windows probably suck.

  7. #7
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    You cattleyas will probably need more light than they are getting in that photo. It is probably good to block the direct sun at the hottest part of the day and then open the sheer to allow them good, bright light the rest of the day. I bet you got burns because of the drastic difference. Ease them into the higher light levels over time. They should be fine soon enough.

    Cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    cindiras's Avatar
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    Becky, My catts have been on the windowsill through two winters. I did get burns on two leaves this April before I pulled them about 6 inches back from the window. By the end of May, they weree snuggled back up to the glass. Can you pull yours back a good 6 to 10 inches? In a week, skootch them an inch closer, the next week another inch closer.....

  9. #9
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    In my opinion....too much shade

    The secret of the biggest and most numerous of blooms is as much light as you can give them without burning the foliage. My advice would be to add a fan to keep the leaves cool and leave the light alone.

  10. #10
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    I really, really appreciate all the advice - I think you guys are right; I'm taking down the shade cloth. I knew it was too much shade...and I don't want to set them back, they've been doing so well! I agree, I think it was probably just the drastic change that caused them to burn. Clint, great idea with the fan, I'm going to get one out tomorrow...luckly for me, I always have fans around! Thank you all again, I truly appreciate your advice and suggestions!! I know my orchids will get used to the space over time This forum, and all of you, are the greatest!!!

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