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phal - central heating tolerance

This is a discussion on phal - central heating tolerance within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; ...

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  1. #1
    chemist's Avatar
    chemist is online now Senior Member
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    Default phal - central heating tolerance

    Hello dear OT members! Your advice is needed!
    Since I acquired more orchids I'm thinking now to make a shelf for them or maybe it will be for other plants if place I chosen wont be good for them and I need your advice where to position shelves.
    I have east faced window so I was thinking to make shelves on that window. But here I have questions:
    1. Under windows on floor I have a central air radiator… If I’ll build the lower shelf 24 in (or 36 in etc.) above the radiator (see pics) will Phals tolerate it or not? In the summer of course it does not matter but here in Long Island, NY we run heat from maybe October till April-May (I’m not sure, depends on weather).
    2. Will it tolerate morning sun? Now in summer average room temperature (in shade, in the spot where orchids are) 80-85F (25-30C) but when I put thermometer on windowsill on sunny spot temperature went up till 95F (35C) and humidity from about 60% (on the spot close to humidity tray) went down to 40% (with no humidity trays around). Is it too much? Of course I can shade the window with blinds but I leave for work at 7:30 am it means if I don’t open blinds there will be no sun all day. And if I open at 7:30 I’m afraid to burn orchids since leaves getting pretty warm when on direct sun.

    Other possibilities:
    A) To put shelves on a wall across that window but it will be 8 feet away. Is it will be enough light for phals? I don’t have device to measure foot candles, but per “orchid guy” tip I have light shadow from my hand one foot away from wall, according to him it should be enough for phals.
    B) To make shelves on west faced window (kitchen), the only one which does not have radiator under it, but I have dining table next to it (I have small apartment so its eat-in-kitchen). In this option I have a tree blocking the sunlight (the tree about two yards away from window) and I have direct sun only when sun in North-West position (I guess tree won’t be a problem during winter time when there is no foliage)
    C) I do have south faced window but then I will need to make shelf on the wall going from the window toward the inside of the room (from 0 to 5 feet away from window). That window is under roof so light is not that bright all day long and central heating is fairly far from that wall.

    So dear experts, what would you suggest?!
    Thank you!
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  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    Baseboard, radiant, electric?

    With good air movement, I would think you are fine any where. Fans!!

  3. #3
    chemist's Avatar
    chemist is online now Senior Member
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    Baseboard.

    What about sunlight?!

  4. #4
    chingjervis's Avatar
    chingjervis is offline Senior Member
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    Hehehe looks like any orchid lovers house.

    As long as there is space and the orchid fits...viola!

  5. #5
    chemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chingjervis View Post
    Hehehe looks like any orchid lovers house.

    As long as there is space and the orchid fits...viola!
    That's the problem there is no more space on wall unit or desk - have to make more space
    Posted via Mobile Device

  6. #6
    coeruleo's Avatar
    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    it might sound brutal, but here is exactly what i would do - use a cheaply bought phal to test the space first that you ar enot emotionally attached to, think of it as a test orchid.... however, you already have the orchids... so............? do you already have orchids growing in these spots, and how are they doing? how long are the plants actually in the sun? as the sun is rising, the air is cool and the sun can be a bit softer, so if it is shaded by 9am, i would try it. maybe even if by 10am in the shade... i grew many orchids in an east facing window once, and i mean a ton crammed into that window! all within 3' of the glass. oncidiums and phals did pretty well there. as for the heater, that is more of a worry to me. those type of vents pump out very hot and dry air. i would have to build some sort of non-flammable diffuser or duct for the vent to focus the hot air stream away from the orchids. that can really dry out your plants, and can just plain cook them sometimes if you're not careful. you could also block off this vent, and if needed use a small electric space heater in that area or a fan to circulate warmer air from other parts of the apartment. i currently have a west-facing window that has some 'houseplants' and phals near the window the get sun for a while in the late part of the day, like 5:30pm to 7:30pm depending on what time of year, they can be in the sun for an hour or so. they do great there. i think this can actually mimic nature to some extent. orchids get some morning or evening sun when the sun is angled lower int he sky, and then the tree canopy shades it form the intense sun... may not be good for all, but there must be some orchids that like it.

  7. #7
    chingjervis's Avatar
    chingjervis is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chemist View Post
    That's the problem there is no more space on wall unit or desk - have to make more space
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Hahaha...majority are like that... no more space...MAKE SPACE!!!

  8. #8
    Carolla's Avatar
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    I have grown my Phals in an east window, they loved it. It is not, however, that hot there. I wouldn't worry about the heat vent - you can get covers to direct the heat away from the window if you wish, keeping the plants from a direct blast of winter heat. I'd say a small fan to move the air away from the window in the summer and keep it more even throughout the house. They will probably need more water. I wouldn't try it with a blooming plant, but what to look for is that, if its getting too much light the leaves will turn light yellow. If they are dark green, it could use more light. Can you gradually move plants into the space (so that they are a couple of feet out for a bit) to see how they do? Let them acclimate a bit. Also, for humidity trays, I've been using the black nursery flats with gravel and putting 2 - 3 orchids in each one. Not as pretty, but more efficient for space management when you have a shelf or bench to use. I have 12" wide windowsills, perfect fit.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    chemist's Avatar
    chemist is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleo View Post
    it might sound brutal, but here is exactly what i would do - use a cheaply bought phal to test the space first that you ar enot emotionally attached to, think of it as a test orchid.... however, you already have the orchids... so............? do you already have orchids growing in these spots, and how are they doing? how long are the plants actually in the sun? as the sun is rising, the air is cool and the sun can be a bit softer, so if it is shaded by 9am, i would try it. maybe even if by 10am in the shade... i grew many orchids in an east facing window once, and i mean a ton crammed into that window! all within 3' of the glass. oncidiums and phals did pretty well there. as for the heater, that is more of a worry to me. those type of vents pump out very hot and dry air. i would have to build some sort of non-flammable diffuser or duct for the vent to focus the hot air stream away from the orchids. that can really dry out your plants, and can just plain cook them sometimes if you're not careful. you could also block off this vent, and if needed use a small electric space heater in that area or a fan to circulate warmer air from other parts of the apartment. i currently have a west-facing window that has some 'houseplants' and phals near the window the get sun for a while in the late part of the day, like 5:30pm to 7:30pm depending on what time of year, they can be in the sun for an hour or so. they do great there. i think this can actually mimic nature to some extent. orchids get some morning or evening sun when the sun is angled lower int he sky, and then the tree canopy shades it form the intense sun... may not be good for all, but there must be some orchids that like it.
    Thank you Coeruleo for advise!
    I would not want to kill even 99c orchids, since it living thing... but maybe will follow your suggestion.
    No I did not grow orchid in that spot so I have no idea how they will respond.
    I would say in that spot they will be in shade by 11am (im not sure - mostly I'm not home at that time so its hard to say. I'll check this weekend).
    Unfortunately I cant block of heating in only one room and put diffuser on the vent, its old house and it does not have zoned heating, no central AC either. If you can see from top picture heat is provided by radiator which goes from wall to wall by the floor. Maybe I can put a fan under the shelf to blow heat away from under the shelf...

    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla View Post
    I have grown my Phals in an east window, they loved it. It is not, however, that hot there. I wouldn't worry about the heat vent - you can get covers to direct the heat away from the window if you wish, keeping the plants from a direct blast of winter heat. I'd say a small fan to move the air away from the window in the summer and keep it more even throughout the house. They will probably need more water. I wouldn't try it with a blooming plant, but what to look for is that, if its getting too much light the leaves will turn light yellow. If they are dark green, it could use more light. Can you gradually move plants into the space (so that they are a couple of feet out for a bit) to see how they do? Let them acclimate a bit. Also, for humidity trays, I've been using the black nursery flats with gravel and putting 2 - 3 orchids in each one. Not as pretty, but more efficient for space management when you have a shelf or bench to use. I have 12" wide windowsills, perfect fit.

    Good luck!
    Thank you carol for advise!
    I will wait when my orchid stop booming to try it (actually one is almost done blooming). For now I will move amaryllis there to see how they will be doing there and then gradually will place orchid.
    I bought two big humidity trays - its length exactly same as window width. Do I need to add Clorox to the water in tray with gravel? or I have to change water more often so the gravel does not get slick?

  10. #10
    chemist's Avatar
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