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Too much of a good thing?

This is a discussion on Too much of a good thing? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Just about a week ago, after a scare w/ a couple of spider mites, I ...

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  1. #1
    Heather is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default Too much of a good thing?

    Just about a week ago, after a scare w/ a couple of spider mites, I broke down and purchased a humidifier. I was having difficulties getting the area up above 38%. The table/space is about 6' x 8', covered w/ nine humidity trays with grids which the plants sit upon, and the trays catch the runoff when I water. About 1 1/2 feet away I have a little supply cart for all my orchid gear, upon which the humidifier sits.

    It took until Friday to aclimate to a more constant level of humidity. The humidifier is set to go off when it reaches 50% and has been steady at 51% for about the last 24 hours. However, the growing area hygrometer is reading a solid 69%! It has been grey here since Friday also so I'm not sure what will happen upon a really sunny day. At any rate, now 'm wondering at what point, in the winter, humidity is TOO high for the plants? Since I worry about every little thing, I started to get a little anxious about rot, and my watering schedule. I do have fans running 24/7. Am I worrying for nothing?

    Oh, I guess maybe I should mention the area has only Paphs. and Phrags. growing there. Roughly 65 plants. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    peteMc's Avatar
    peteMc is offline innocent bystander
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    Jul 2004


    well, this may or may not be helpful but...

    i had a lot of concern for humidity during the winter up here too, and came across a few letters and articles here and there, most notably at Charles and Margaret Baker's site, that talked about the inaccuracy of hygrometers/humidistats and using their readings as benchmarks instead of taking them literally. my meter has had the occassional reading that, if correct, should have been high enough to rain in my livingroom.

    as i'm sure you know, it can be tough around here to get that much moisture to stay in the air this time of year; i let the humidifiers run and play with the heat and fans to make adjustments - a couple weeks ago, i had a day or two that it was damp or clammy as opposed to humid, if that makes sense, and bumped the heat up a bit to spread the water in the air out. besides how it felt, the best indicator was the plants - a couple of my stan's leaves developed a spot or two. not a really high price to pay to learn what it's supposed to feel like, for me anyway. an aeranthes is now spiking, a good indication for me that the mix is about right...good luck with it.


  3. #3
    Heather is offline Banned
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    May 2004


    Thanks Pete, I agree, it is going to take me playing with it to see how it progresses. The last couple days, as you know have been humid outside as well. Interestingly I seem to be retaining warmer temps in the window during the daytime, around 74 (my thermostat set at 70) as well, since the humidity rose. I am of course taking my thermo/hygro readings w/ a grain of salt, I've read that also, about them not necessarily being all that correct. I guess I'll just watch and listen to how the plants continue to react.

  4. #4
    uncasteeb's Avatar
    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    Jul 2004


    Here in the UK (Midlands) the temp for tomoze is 33f day & 33f night & RL is 100% .Needless to say my humidifier(in my growroom) hasn,t run @ all for months.I do get condensation occasionally on some of the plants & a Zygo had some mold but i,ve increased the air movement & added bacteriacide to the water in my gravel trays.Everything is honky dory again.

  5. #5
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Louis J. Aszod
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    Feb 2003
    Clarksville, Arkansas
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    Here, the GH gets down to about 50% before it's watering time again (at which point it jumps dramatically after I water, since no exhaust fans are running to pull outside air in and clear the moisture away.

  6. #6
    Heather is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default Accuracy of hygrometers?

    Helps to know what you are looking at. I just realized I had my min/max hygro/thermo set to MAX!

    So, my happy 69% is really closer to 54%. Here I thought my plants were generating there own nice warm, tropical ecosystem. LOL!! Sometimes I can really be an idiot!

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