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  #1  
Old 07-08-2022, 07:56 PM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Default What did I change to have success? post for any ideas to help new growers.

I'd like those who consider themselves successful, or somewhat successful to submit an answer please. For myself, I pretty much gave up on orchids in around 2016 for various reasons. But I decided to come back in late 2021, and by February had bought a few plants mail order (not a good time for shipping, I know). At the same time, in January my state legalized recreational pot, and I thought I would give that a try as well. So, how did Cannibas Culture change my orchid culture? The light!!!
I bought a good cannabas overhead LED light. I ended up not growing much pot but I got several more orchids, and they are hogging the light.

I ended up deciding that I would try only certain orchids. I got Phrags because despite what the lectures and blogs tell you, phrags are so much more easy to care for than Phalenopsis. I got a paph aslo. It depends what you think of Phrags I guess.

I also ended up getting wet/hot dendrobiums-- and I got a "surprise box" with a few others-- some that I had never grown but which are doing awesome under the lights.

I ended up also going R0 water but only on the Phrags. The dendrobiums and random plants don't seem to suffer from tip burn like the phrags.

So, The plants are having between 2 and 8 new growths, they are developing flowers if they are old enough. To me, the Magic Key is lots of water, good drainage, and lots more light than you would think.

Caviat, I live in a hot arid environment so if you live in a place that is highly humid do not over water.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2022, 12:11 PM
realoldbeachbum realoldbeachbum is offline
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Excellent idea Op. I am a new grower and look forward to what the experts say!
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Old 07-12-2022, 12:40 PM
Leisesturm Leisesturm is offline
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Originally Posted by realoldbeachbum View Post
Excellent idea Op. I am a new grower and look forward to what the experts say!
The 'experts' do not disagree with the o.p. I commend the o.p. for saying what they have said so well. For the price of one blooming size orchid you can get an LED fixture that will keep a dozen orchids thriving.

Good light is the sine qua non of orchid culture. Most indoor growers do not (cannot) have light that is adequate for re-blooming of orchids. They live, they grow, but they do not (re) bloom. And mostly we want those blooms.

Interesting that. Lots of houseplants we grow can bloom. They never do as houseplants because the light indoors is usually so poor. But they do live, and mostly we are ok with that. With orchids, even though the plants themselves are quite interesting (to me anyway) it's those blooms we live for.

Maybe its the association with Cannabis culture, but I have found that mentioning artificial light to indoor growers is met with a fair amount of indifference and even push-back sometimes. That is a pity because, thanks to (stealth) Cannabis culture, things like LED lighting, Grow Tents, and misting/fogging systems have been brought to a high level of performance and sophistication and Orchid Keepers could benefit immensely from the work that has been done by the Weed growers.
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Old 07-12-2022, 12:56 PM
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Maybe its the association with Cannabis culture, but I have found that mentioning artificial light to indoor growers is met with a fair amount of indifference and even push-back sometimes. That is a pity because, thanks to (stealth) Cannabis culture, things like LED lighting, Grow Tents, and misting/fogging systems have been brought to a high level of performance and sophistication and Orchid Keepers could benefit immensely from the work that has been done by the Weed growers.
Thanks for answering. I did forget to add that I bought the light and so on out of the challenge of growing cannabis. Before that I killed a lot of orchids. Adding the light and other tricks of indoor growers I now get 6 or more new growths per plant. Not all of course.
You are also So Right about the fact that most real growers would tell you that light is one of the most important aspects. But people are rather human-centered. Just because people can see inside a room, that dosent mean it is enough light for photosynthesis of most orchids. And photosynthesis is the most important thing that fules both growth and flowers.

LED lights are now fairly cheap. It is a good investment if you want to grow orchids in your living room.
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Old 07-12-2022, 01:10 PM
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Another thing that supplemental light provides for indoor growers - not just intensity, but duration. If you grow on a windowsill, for most houses you get a few hours of good light and then the sun shifts. I found 'way back in my early days of orchid growing (when I had a lot of hybrid Phals) that even with good window light, they were getting maybe 4-5 hours of good light. I added lights (at that time, fluorescents) for 12 hours a day, and went from almost no reblooming to nearly 80% reblooming. Tropical orchids in nature get about 12 hours per day of light all year around, and the closer you can get to that, the better. The LED lights that are available now are a lot more efficient, the concept is the same.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2022, 02:49 PM
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Before LEDs available lights also provided a lot of heat. Many people, even plant lovers, don't want an ugly light fixture in living areas.
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Old 07-12-2022, 04:48 PM
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An aesthetically appealing way to add plant lights without breaking the bank that I’ve had success with is putting a 32w LED grow bulb (the style with the heat dispersing fins) into a regular floor lamp with a downward facing bulb socket, and positioning it over a side table with plants on it.

The current distance from the bulb to the plants (2-2.5 feet) provides about 500fc and it’s on a timer for 10-12 hours a day. The table would otherwise receive roughly 100fc for about an hour each day and then less than 50fc for the rest of the day so I wouldn’t be able to have plants there without the light. A Phal. Little Gems is growing a leaf, tons of roots, and a spike, my jewel orchids bloomed happily over the winter, and my African Mask is throwing out new leaves now that I water it more frequently. It really doesn’t take much additional light to make a difference.
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Old 07-12-2022, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Lots of houseplants we grow can bloom. They never do as houseplants because the light indoors is usually so poor. But they do live, and mostly we are ok with that.
In the lobby of the office I ultimately retired from had a large Dracaena massangeana in the lobby. It was a good 20 feet from north-facing windows that were tinted black, so the "caretaker' added a 20 watt, incandescent lamp attached to the pot, shining up at the foliage. I'm pretty sure it was more for effect than anything, but the damned thing bloomed!

I hade several aglaonemas and a spathiphyllum at home for a decade or more. 6-8 weeks after I applied 2 doses of kelpak, they bloomed...
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Old 07-12-2022, 06:56 PM
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The vast majority of house plant growers never fertilize their plants, even if they remember to water them. Bagged potting soil is mostly sawdust ("forest products") with no nutrients. That's why so many house plants hardly grow.

Large numbers of people are completely blind to plants. I've walked into a home with a brown, withered, dead house plants sitting in a pot with shrunken potting mix that had an inch of space between it and the pot. I told the people the plant was dead because it wasn't watered. They told me it looked just like that when they bought it.
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Old 07-12-2022, 07:50 PM
Leisesturm Leisesturm is offline
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Large numbers of people are completely blind to plants. I've walked into a home with a brown, withered, dead house plants sitting in a pot with shrunken potting mix that had an inch of space between it and the pot. I told the people the plant was dead because it wasn't watered. They told me it looked just like that when they bought it.
i've read some sad things in my life but this,I think, takes the biscuit ...
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