Those dazzeling displays of flowers aren't magic. They're the
of that plant getting what it needed during its
Orchids have 3 seasons; grow, bloom, and rest. The "growing
season" is an important time for your plants because that's when
they're actively growing and building up the energy to flower. If you
you need to give your plants what they need during this period.
Sidebar: This is where orchids differ from houseplants.
Houseplants are perfectly happy staying in one place with the same
growing conditions year round.
Orchids, on the other hand, expect changing seasons throughout
What are orchids looking for during their growing
season? Technically, that
depends on the
type of orchid you're growing. But generally speaking, they're looking
for three things; 1) good, bright
light (maybe even some sun), 2) adequate humidity, and 3) at least a 20
degree difference between day and night temperatures.
"A Place to Grow" for
Now that we know what orchids need during their growing season, how do
we deliver it?
We're going to build "a place to grow". This "place to
grow" will mimic the conditions
your orchids would experience during their growing season in nature.
"A Place to Grow" for orchids needs 3 things:
1. Lots of
Orchids need energy to make flowers. The only place they can get energy
is from the sun. So your plants are going to need lots of light.
Orchids need at least a 20 degree difference between day and
temperatures to trigger a bloom cycle. They won't bloom without it.
Orchids can't tolerate dry air. They don't need a rain forest but they
do require at least 20-30% realtive
humidity. This can be a challenge during winter months.
Finding Your "Place
Where can you find a "Place to Grow" in your home that has all
three elements? You might be surprised!
Meterologists describe "micro-climates"
as small areas that are
hotter/colder, wetter/drier, or sunnier/shadier than the surrounding
Your home has micro-climates
too. There are areas around windows in
every room that
are hotter/colder, or sunny/shadier than the rest of the room. You may
not notice this but from an orchid's perspective this can mean life or
With a little detective work, finding micro-climates
is easy. Let's investigate.
Light: Using the compass in
direction the window is facing. Be aware that the sun changes postions
in the sky with the seasons. East and west windows are sunnier during
summer months, then get shadier during winter. South windows are
more or less shady in the summer but get hot and sunny in
winter. Of course
trees, awnings, etc. also effect light levels.
Temperature; A sunny window
can reach temperatures of 100 degrees or
more. The temperature at that same window can drop to 60
or lower on winter nights. That's a 40 degree difference ...
Hi/Lo Thermometer is
the tool you'll need here. They're easy to use and measure the highest
and lowest temperatures over a period of time.
Humidity: Adequate humidity
can be a challenge during winter
months. Grouping your plants together on humidity trays at the
window - and closing off the heat vents will raise the humidity levels
in your growing area considerably. Hi/Lo
Where are some of the best places to look for growing areas in
your home? Here are some ideas.
or west facing windows work well. Try finding
a window where the
heat source can be shut off. This
helps with temperature requirements and boosts the
humidity levels during winter. (Don't worry, your plants won't be too
with shear drapes or window blinds work best.
Unprotected plants can burn quickly in a window that gets hot, direct
unsed bedroom or guest room are great.
Simply close off the
heat and air conditioning in the room and close the door. The sun will
the room during the day and your plants will love the cool nights.
(Again, don't worry about your plants being too cold.)
Under Plant Lights.
With plant lights you can grow almost anywhere. Cool rooms are
best. The gentle heat from the grow lamps warms the plants during the
day and the ambient room temperature cools them at nigh. This creates
the temperature variance we're looking for to trigger a bloom cycle.
Basements are great for this because orchids love cool, damp
Outside in the Summer. This
is the best place of all! Nice warm days with gentle breezes. Cool damp
nights. Occasional rain showers ... what
could be better?
Our Hydroponic System makes orchid care easy. With Hydroponics you'll
be growing like a
pro in no time!