Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light.
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  #1  
Old 09-24-2019, 12:25 AM
BrassavolaStars BrassavolaStars is online now
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Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light. Male
Default Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light.

Hello All,

I am currently furnishing my greenhouse. To maximize space to fit my +100 orchids in an 8x12 greenhouse, I have been using chrome-wire shelves like these for my plants.

https://www.amazon.com/Seville-Class...G2FZ1JW4W2V0Z0

My question is if the plants on the lower shelves (under other plants which have clear saucers) will be getting enough light.

The shelves are up against the north and south walls of the greenhouse. Most of my plants are cattleyas/brassavolas with some dendrobiums here and there.

The plants on the lower shelves are almost ground level and are not under the shade cloth whereas the top shelf is in front of the shade cloth.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:52 AM
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Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light. Female
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Photos would really help to visualize the setup.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:38 PM
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Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light. Male
Default Pictures of setup.

Hello All,

Here is the picture of my exact setup. Is this okay? Will the bottom plants get enough light?
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Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light.-img_0006-2-jpg   Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light.-img_0005-2-jpg  
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:10 PM
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Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light. Male
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It is "open" enough that with the traversing of the sun across the sky, it should be no issue.

You should group the plant with high-light ones on top, low-light on the bottom, because the greenhouse covering acts as the light source, making the distance differences significant.

The only negative I see is that, when you water, the upper pots will drain to the lower ones, providing a great way to spread pathogens.
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:19 PM
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Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light. Male
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Thank you everyone for the input.

It is good to know that this setup will work.

I will try my best to fit all the high light plants on the top shelves.

Even though they may not show up well in the photos, I do have clear plastic bowls/saucers with tall edges under each pot on the top two shelves. Hopefully, the plastic saucers will be enough to prevent water from dripping on the plants underneath or I will have to invest in thicker saucers
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:38 PM
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The saucers will control the drips, but if you have standing water in them, your plants' roots will be sitting in water, not good. Consider large trays with "egg crate" (light diffuser grid) to hold the plants out of the drips. I used that approach (I used deep bins but shallow ones will work if you aren't too heavy-handed with the water) in my early orchid-growing days before I had a greenhouse. Here is what it looked like: http://orchidcentral.org/GrowingAreas/indoor.jpg
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:33 PM
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Another option is to cover each shelf with a piece of rigid plastic that extends beyond the front and back a bit so that water leaving the pot falls to the floor without hitting the plants below.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:31 AM
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Orchids on multi-tier shelving units: will lower shelves get enough light. Female
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From experience: those saucers are going to leak at some point. You might try boot trays with raised bumps in the center, which then might drain to the sides as Ray says. Again, you want to be extra careful with that water runoff.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:51 AM
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I agree on on the tray vs saucer issue. Here's a setup I used for awhile with boot trays:


If your flooring is okay to get wet, you can also drill a hole at end of boot tray and put in a half-inch PVC pipe that drains down to floor on each tray. Obviously mine drains through the floor, as lots of water on an oak floor is not good.





The other issue with just watering in place with a saucer, you can't actively drench each plant when watering. Saucer won't hold enough water, and when you water you want it thoroughly water down through the media, not just a dollop that won't overflow the saucer.
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