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  • 1 Post By AtantaR
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Increasing humidity

This is a discussion on Increasing humidity within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello all! I'm wondering about increasing the humidity around my small orchid collection. I grow ...

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  1. #1
    Abrielle107's Avatar
    Abrielle107 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Increasing humidity

    Hello all! I'm wondering about increasing the humidity around my small orchid collection. I grow on a homemade grow table that has built in humidity trays, always about half full with water, sitting in a south facing window with a sheer curtain over it. I have a thermometer/hygrometer that shows my humidity ranges from 30-45%, temps from 66 to 75 degrees F. I live in Cincinnati Ohio, and am growing phals, a seedling Catt, and a psychopsis (oncid) papilio. The phals and psychopsis are blooming, seedling is too young, obviously.

    Is the humidity ok for these plants? Can I use a cool mist humidifier? it's winter and my heater is on, so I know that it's going to be a battle...

    Also, I'm hitting 2 orchid shows in my area in the next month and plan to buy a Catt, paph, and possibly encyclia. I know their light needs will vary-- my grow table has 2 levels with a grow light over the bottom level, and I have some ideas--but do you think the temp/humidity I can provide are ok for those additions?

  2. #2
    Kmac's Avatar
    Kmac is offline Senior Member
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    The humidity is a bit low...but sounds like your phals and pyschopsis are dealing with it. The catt will probably deal OK with it.

    They'd all prefer more humidity, but the encyclia in particular may need it. I grow on shelves in humidity trays also, and keep my humidity between 50-65% or so, with spraying them a few times a day (being careful not to get water in crowns). I cool mist humidifier is a step I have not taken, but I know some folks here use them to good effect.

  3. #3
    AtantaR's Avatar
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    I just recently started using a ultrasonic fog generator that i found at my local pet store. I have a square glass jar that had a candle in it, about 5 inches tall. I put the little device inside and fill it with room temp water. It kinda spits water cause its meant for a water fountain but i just put a little plastic lid on the top so the fog can get out but the water cycles back into the jar. It kicks my humidity from 45% to 55% or when i water from 70% to 85%....seems to have made all my plants produce new roots I also have a fan pointed at the fogger to distribute somewhat....looks pretty cool actually...kind of my own cloud forest...to bad i didnt have it when i was growing my new Guinea dendrobiums .............but anyhow..ive tried multiply ways to increase humidity, i always mist but ive tried laying sponges around to suck up water and make it evaporate faster, standing water, standing water with a fan blowing on it, humidity trays, clay pots sitting in water to suck up water and help it evaporate......i find the best that worked for me beside the fogger was the sponges. I just dont like sitting water and tends to get flies going more.......at the moment i do have sponges around my pots in curtain locations, slight water on the shelves but not enough to stay wet or "water" the plants, cause some of my plants i water from the bottom of my pot, and then finally the fogger...oh do i love this little thing....right now its 75 degrees F. and 60 % humidity with natural light/sun and a 64 watt tube lights...note my 4 tear shelf is not enclosed..how this helps

  4. #4
    jhodgson is offline Member
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    I have to use a cool mist humidifier and humidity trays for the winters in Chicago. Even then, I struggle to keep the humidity above 50%.

    For my Encyclias and Cattleyas plant (and especially root) growth is best when I can maintain the humidity over 50%.

  5. #5
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    orchidsal is offline Senior Member
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    Cassandra, If this helps my own personal opinion is that Andrew's combined solution of a fogger/sponges would per his humidity figures do more at less expense than humidity trays and a cool mist humidifier. The better cool mist humidifiers I have seen that last and do the job all use wick filters and depending how hard your water is they are expensive if you have to replace them often. If you don't replace them when their full of mineral wastes they stop humidifing. If anyone knows of a permanent 'filter' that works please chime in! I have internet shopped and have not found one that lasted more than a month or two (the actual humidifer machines die). AL
    Last edited by orchidsal; February 14th, 2012 at 01:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Abrielle107's Avatar
    Abrielle107 is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the feedback! I'm glad I'm not the only one with humidity issues outside of a greenhouse :0)

  7. #7
    opaline's Avatar
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    I used those foggers that andrew is using now with my golden mantella frogs in a terrarium. They were second in line to a fogger on a larger scale with a 2-3" hose but was way to much. These small ultrasonic foggers are ideal, convenient size and applicable to many situ settings, bareing in mind keep note for a supplier as one particular part ( a disc of some sought) has to be replaced regularly. Andrew will have the specifics on that im sure, but most likely the site specialist in reptile/ amphibian (herps) hobbies. I like those waterfalls aswell but the pumps need to much maintenance with blockages esp when amongst types of medias.

    My home uses gs central heating and the room itself that has been turned into a shrine to the amazon also set full. My extended sun window grow area is first table top wise lined with x5 1 inch deep gr.house trays filled with old bark, moss and constantly wet. On these sit potted plants of heliconia, gingers, cymbids and bromeliads etc.

    Suspended from ceiling are individual, pot, multi planted orchids tillandsia, nepenthes. Alot of sphag is laid about but with no immediate contact to plant and also water gel crystals - tiny clear crystal granules that absorb 10 times their size in water, used for gardeners with hanging baskets outside to help reduce drying out periods and killing summer bedding plants. Mine are strewn about randomly - use with caution/ avoid direct contact to plant esp collecting in joints, bracts. (will give rot a birthday.). Custom made vertical planters (moss sandwiched in folded mesh/ chicken wire.) and old 'clothes horse' type rails used as multi hangers for wood/ cork mounts - these are backed with bubblewrap.

    I spray everything once daily x 2 1ltr rainwater with systemic fungicide/tapwater bi-weekly - full strength. Humidity 60-70 % rarely below and fan used lots, but dont aim fan in direction of plants more to left or right. Its funny sometimes with growers dilemmas of air movement v humidity crisis. It is air movement/ air circulation that is required this will also aid cooling for plants when sun is hardcore. Sunburn will be to incorrect positioning. Having fan aimed directly at plants (still or rotating) will just destroy humidity so compromise with man made environmental controls.

    Some measures provided for incr humidity will additionally increase favourable conditions for fungal/ bacterial invasion esp when warm so observe your actions until implemented permanently otherwise like me, lesson will be learnt the hard way.

    If you are passionate about orchid growing a few mistakes and yes sometimes at the expense of the plants life will be insignificant compared to what you gain. I couldnt emphasize that enough. We will never achieve complete natural ideal conditions unless your grow area is outside in malaysia and it doesnt have to cost you much either to get as close as possible

  8. #8
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    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    I'll add my own experience, for what it's worth. I grow my orchids in my living room, in front of a south-facing sliding door. Since my collection has grown (and many of my plants came inside for the winter), I have about 12 shelves, in varying units all in the area around the window, so some of those have required some auxiliary grow lights. My most distressed paphs are in an aquarium under grow lights and have their own microclimate, but the rest are basically at one end of a pretty large room.

    Keeping the humidity about 60-70% is difficult, but we do it with the help of THREE cool-mist humidifiers, and find that ultrasonics produce the best "fog" factor. During the day, we keep them going at full steam, but drop off a bit at night, since the temps cool down. Altogether, we grow species minis, angraecums, oncid/brassia-types, catts, paphs, phrags, phals and zygos, as well as a couple of small stag horn ferns and 2 bonsais trees. So far, we haven't lost anything - fingers crossed!

  9. #9
    AtantaR's Avatar
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    opaline is correct about the fogger. I got it for around 50 buck, there are prob bigger units or cheaper ones...idk...but yeah again if you have a water source filled with minerals then it can collect on the device. Its a simple screw top with a little disk. The disk can be cleaned, but over a long period it will have to be replaced. I havent really looked into this yet, nor do i know how long it last. I figure if you maintain it well then it will last longer. Mineral salts can be cleaned with a solution of vinegar and water, maybe a rub from a toothbrush.

  10. #10
    Abrielle107's Avatar
    Abrielle107 is offline Senior Member
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    Wow, you guys are great! Thanks so much... Lots of ideas... Researching here I come

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