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  #1  
Old 01-16-2010, 03:14 PM
Flatland2D Flatland2D is offline
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How long to give optimal light exposure?
Default How long to give optimal light exposure?

I'm still relatively new to orchids. I've been growing a phal stone dance and miltassia shelob webmaster for five months. I've also picked up two more NOID phals from Lowes and Walmart in that time, and yesterday I got my first online order from Oak Hill.

What I'm wondering is, how long do I need to give each orchid its recommended light exposure? Right now, every orchid I have sits on a desk in front of a south facing winding. Between tweaking the blinds, distance from window, and position around the window, I can pretty well fine tune lighting requirements (intensity and duration) for the different things I'm growing. However, that place is starting to get a little crowded and I'm thinking of moving some to hanging to the side of a west facing window.

The problem is, east and west windows only get light for a couple hours a day, whereas my south window gets light for most of the day. I've been using my camera to measure light levels and have been a little surprised by how much light is needed. My west window at midday with the sun on the south side of the house gets about 500 foot candles. It might go up to around 1500 later in the day, but the sun's intensity is less at that time (south window gets around 2000 to 2500 at its peak), and it only lasts for a couple of hours. Is this enough light for an orchid requiring 1000 to 1500 foot candles? I'm thinking about moving a phal and a paph here. Thanks for any help.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2010, 03:28 PM
trdyl trdyl is offline
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How long to give optimal light exposure? Male
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East facing windows are perfect for Phals. As far as your Miltassia I am not sure.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2010, 03:43 PM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline
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I agree, the phals will do just fine in an east or west facing window. A few hours of direct sun is more than enough for them to bloom. Same for the paph. An east window has been enough to bloom all my Oncidium type plants. They get 2-3 hours of sun there every day from march to november, and then spend the summer outdoors in light shade.

I would save your south window for all the higher light orchids, and everything with lower light requirements can go to the other windows.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2010, 04:08 PM
lycaonpictus lycaonpictus is offline
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How long to give optimal light exposure? Female
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This is a good question! I was just recently wondering the same sort of thing, but about artificial light.

Someone (Ross, I think) commented that the "optimal" footcandles suggested for various orchids assumes that the orchids will only be getting that much light for a few hours a day. Under artificial light, though, the plants are getting a consistent intensity for many more hours.

So if I have a plant that prefers, say 2500 fc, but I've got it under an HID for 12 hours a day, how many fc should I truly be looking at supplying? (I'm trying to decide if I need to raise my HID.)
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2010, 11:01 PM
cabbo cabbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatland2D View Post
I'm still relatively new to orchids. I've been growing a phal stone dance and miltassia shelob webmaster for five months. I've also picked up two more NOID phals from Lowes and Walmart in that time, and yesterday I got my first online order from Oak Hill.

What I'm wondering is, how long do I need to give each orchid its recommended light exposure? Right now, every orchid I have sits on a desk in front of a south facing winding. Between tweaking the blinds, distance from window, and position around the window, I can pretty well fine tune lighting requirements (intensity and duration) for the different things I'm growing. However, that place is starting to get a little crowded and I'm thinking of moving some to hanging to the side of a west facing window.

The problem is, east and west windows only get light for a couple hours a day, whereas my south window gets light for most of the day. I've been using my camera to measure light levels and have been a little surprised by how much light is needed. My west window at midday with the sun on the south side of the house gets about 500 foot candles. It might go up to around 1500 later in the day, but the sun's intensity is less at that time (south window gets around 2000 to 2500 at its peak), and it only lasts for a couple of hours. Is this enough light for an orchid requiring 1000 to 1500 foot candles? I'm thinking about moving a phal and a paph here. Thanks for any help.
I've asked the same question from a variety of sources and never seem to get a definitive answer. Always seems to come down to...it depends. Like everything else, there are too many variables.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2010, 11:14 PM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabbo View Post
I've asked the same question from a variety of sources and never seem to get a definitive answer. Always seems to come down to...it depends. Like everything else, there are too many variables.
True that! Not every orchid is the same. Not every window gets the same kind of sun exposure regardless of direction. Yes, there are a lot of variables.

But, there is a simple solution...

Research and...

Trial and error.

Doesn't need to be that complicated.

Be brave! Dare to mess up every now and then!

You already have people's opinions. Now start thinking critically and try something out.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 01-16-2010 at 11:37 PM..
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2010, 01:47 PM
Flatland2D Flatland2D is offline
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How long to give optimal light exposure?
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Thanks for the responses. I'm going to order some hang-a-pot hangers and install them to the side of my west window in the kitchen, above the sink. I was thinking about waiting till the spike had formed, but I might just move it sooner. I have been giving the phal stone dance more light than normal, which I think has helped the extra growth I got. Plus, the temps are much cooler now which allows for more light. There's no sign on burning on the leaves. I'll check light levels at the west window later in the afternoon to get a better feel for it.
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2010, 06:53 PM
bodaciousbonsai bodaciousbonsai is offline
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My theory is ya gotta kill em to learn how to grow them. Plus alittle reading does help
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:18 PM
Stickygreengo Stickygreengo is offline
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How long to give optimal light exposure? Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodaciousbonsai View Post
My theory is ya gotta kill em to learn how to grow them. Plus alittle reading does help
I agree. That's why I started with the clearance rack orchids; cheap, sick, and good trial subjects. And not to mention, its freakin' awesome to see sick orchids respond to some TLC that would have otherwise suffered a slow death in large nurseries.
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