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  • 1 Post By Halloamey
  • 1 Post By tucker85

Is my orchid getting enough light? Are these leaves be 'long and thin'?

This is a discussion on Is my orchid getting enough light? Are these leaves be 'long and thin'? within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; I'm trying to figure out of my phal is getting enough light. It seems to ...

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  1. #1
    cricket776 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Is my orchid getting enough light? Are these leaves be 'long and thin'?

    I'm trying to figure out of my phal is getting enough light. It seems to be the right colour, but the newest leaf that grew last summer is longer and thinner than the others (I bought it last spring).

    Up until recently I just assumed it was doing well. When I brought it home I lost no buds or flowers, and after the flowers dropped off a couple months later, it quickly grew a new leaf, and produced new flower buds this winter. But the buds withered and dropped off right before I though they were going to open, so I started doing more research and became concerned about the amount of light.

    I have my phal in a south facing window, but there is a building blocking direct sunlight. This is the brightest spot in my apartment (my place is quite dark), so I don't have the option of trying it somewhere else.

    I have attached a picture showing the leaf shape and colour. The leaf on the left is the newest one.

    Thanks!

    Jeanette
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Jeanette, I am really glad that your orchid made so far in the moss substrate. You should immediately repot it in a more open Bark mix. From what I can see, the Phal is not getting enough light. The leaves are too dark green-blue. In correct light they will be lighter green. Longer leaves may indicate insufficient light, but is also sometimes dependent on the genetics and parentage of plants. If you do not have a more brighter spot at your place, try moving it to your working place etc, where there may be more light available. Or else you can think of providing supplemental artificial lighting with the help of fluorescent tubes, but I do not think that it is a feasible, cost effective approach for just one plant.

  3. #3
    cricket776 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi,

    Thanks for your help. I will definitely repot my orchid in a better substrate, I've been reading all the repotting threads on this forum

    I work from home, so I don't have a workplace where I could take my orchid. But the windowsill where I keep my orchid is right next to my desklamp at home, is there anyway I could use my desklap to supplement it's light? Perhaps by putting a bulb in it that is good for plants? Also, are there small plant lights I could mount near my orchid? I'd like to get a couple more orchids, so I think I will look into supllemental light...

    Jeanette

  4. #4
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    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    Bud drop can be caused by many different environmental factors but low light is not usually one of them. Too much or too little water, too much or too little fertilizer, sudden changes in temperature and cold drafts are some of the many things that can cause bud drop. Some plants are more prone to bud drop than others.

  5. #5
    cricket776 is offline Junior Member
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    We had a sudden cold snap, followed by a warm spell, so I think that is what caused the buds to fall off...

    ---------- Post added at 10:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 AM ----------

    Thanks for the input regarding light levels! Now that I think back, it is darker than it was last summer and fall.

    I work from home, so I don't have an office where I can put my orchid. I'd really love to get a couple more orchids, so I think I will look into supplemental lighting for this windowsill. Are the compact flourescent bulbs effective? I was thinking of mounting one or two of those on the side of the window pointing down towards my plants.

    I will repot it this weekend! I've been reading all the repotting threads so I will know what to do.

  6. #6
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    I can't add much - I agree wholly with Amey and Jeff - get it out of that moss and into some brighter light. Amey's right - those leaves are far too green. Deep green on low-light houseplants is desirable but orchids generally have far more yellow in the leaves when they're getting enough light. I have auxiliary lighting on my orchids - some are under fluorescent tube grow lights, but others are under "task" lights that have strong daylight fluorescent bulbs in them. The individual plant that's closest to the smaller growlight gets a good bit of light - I find it keeps the leaves their proper color - but I only use the auxiliary lighting in conjunction with somewhat bright indirect natural light, and I only grow my lower-light plants under them - like my paphiopedilums. Just my 2 cents worth - good luck with your phal!

  7. #7
    cricket776 is offline Junior Member
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    I got a plant light, and it is now set-up on the windowsill with my orchid. I'm starting off with 6 hours of extra light per day (10am-4pm) and I'll adjust from there depending on the leaf colour. Does anyone know how long it would take for the leaf colour to respond? I was going to wait a month, and if it is still too dark green get a second light.

    I also cut off the spike so my plant can rest.

    Thanks for all your help so far!

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