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  #1  
Old 09-25-2018, 05:42 PM
Denver1911 Denver1911 is offline
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Home design with orchids in mind
Default Home design with orchids in mind

Hello,

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a newcomer to orchids and am building a new home. I want to figure out what to do in order to incorporate good ideas for a new hobby of orchids.

I am in central Kentucky and will have a sunroom with full windowed walls facing southeast and southwest. Should I plan for shelves directly in front of the windows? Or maybe on the wall above the couch opposite one wall of windows? With that setup, any particular orchid types I should focus on?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2018, 07:42 PM
plantzzzzz plantzzzzz is offline
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Why beat around the bush? Just live in a greenhouse. This is optimal for plant growing.


Seriously though if I had to design a house:

- Big windows, windows everywhere, as many as you are able to. It's easier to create shade than to add light.

- Central humidification. You don't have to live in a rainforest, but at least it'll keep your home above 50% RH or so.

- You'll need powerful ventilation/air conditioning with that many windows, especially in kentucky.

- Have your home thermostat on a timer to get that day/night differential that orchids love.



This will be very expensive.

Last edited by plantzzzzz; 09-25-2018 at 07:45 PM..
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2018, 11:40 PM
malteseproverb malteseproverb is offline
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If I could have a sunroom built for orchids I would want tile floors and a floor drain and maybe even a hose somewhere. God, the amount of time I could save watering if I had a floor drain! Or at least if there were outdoor access nearby where I could put them on a rolling cart and shove them outside to water. People have come up with other really neat systems to water in place, like shelving with a lip from which water can drain into a pipe in the floor or using funnels that go into buckets. These would be good to look into. For sure, my priority would be to find a way to ease the burden of constant waterings.

South and east would be the ideal exposures in my mind. Ideally there would be windows on the ceilings too. Shelves right up against the windows could be nice, or at least a hanging rack or two for my mounted orchids. I would build the shelves out of clear plastic or glass for maximum light and put them at varying heights.

I will say with southeast and southwest windows you will have to find a way to mitigate the heat in the summer time. Ceiling fans will be important. I don't know what kind of orchids you would be growing but in those high light, high temp conditions I would recommend cattleyas, encyclias, vandas, catasetums and many kinds of dendrobiums. If you could keep it cool you could probably grow oncidiums and phrags. Phals could sit over by the couch, depending how far away that wall is from the windows.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:10 AM
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Pay attention to the glazing used for windows. A lot of modern energy-saving glass doesn't transmit enough light for high-light plants to grow well.

Have a water source near your plants so you can use an automatic watering system as much as possible.

Have extra electrical outlets, and even a separate high-amperage circuit for your growing area. You might want artifical lights or other equipment. You should have fans on your plants in a window. They will tolerate much more sun on their leaves if fans keep leaves down at ambient temperatures.

As mentioned above, have a sloping waterproof floor with an in-floor drain.

Have windows that will open during nice times of the year, and sturdy screens to keep insects and animals out when the windows are open.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:31 AM
Denver1911 Denver1911 is offline
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Fantastic!

Water: floor drain is out. My wife would kill me. Besides! The plants are decor and a hobby, not a way of life for me. Will make sure to build shelves with built in drainage to the bottom.

Fans: yep.

Outlets: good mention on having enough capacity available.

Windows: they will be low-E, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on the light levels as construction progresses so I can get a feel for it before we move.

We will have solar shades on the windows to help with the summer heat. Trade off is, of course, light.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2018, 09:17 AM
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Depending upon the Low-E technology chosen, the windows will likely transmit 60-70% of the visible and PAR wavelengths, and will do so uniformly, so the spectrum will not be shifted. While you might not be able to bloom a terete vanda in that, everything else should be OK, and it will likely still be too much light for most plants.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver1911 View Post
...Besides! The plants are decor and a hobby, not a way of life for me....
Resistance is futile.
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