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  #1  
Old 01-10-2024, 02:00 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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humidity and watering in IKEA cabinet?
Question humidity and watering in IKEA cabinet?

Hey guys!

I got sent here for some tips.

In the future I'd like to set up an IKEA cabinet to put my plants in. it can trap heat and humidity, so it's a bit of a greenhouse then (possibly some insulation needed but that's ok)

I also grow cattmryas, but I never use pure bark or any pure chunk mixes as watering would be impossible as I mostly focus on Catts. they're in a mix of moss, bark and perlite. they're doing great right now, especially with the heat mat under them.

I was scared that my cattleyas might do badly in it but recently I learned they can be wet a sling as they have airflow, so that calms me. for them I was thinking...even more ventilation holes (16 rows of 5 or 6 instead of 8 rows of 4 or 5) and i'd make sure they remain in their moss mix setup. I'd also wanna incorporate a fan to accommodate airflow.

I was just wondering how I should go about watering plants like that? I heard Catt's don't have to go bone dry, just nearing dryness with airflow...but how would I ensure they don't stay moist for too long? I tend to like to have my plants dry up in about 7 days. I also would like to dry to stick to the "almost dry" element instead of letting them go bone dry...bone dry moss is hard to get wet and with the amount of water it takes to fully wet it...it may be too much water for the airflow or I'd risk possibly killing the roots...however this is just conjecture and my own worries.

and not just for Catt's really...I'm using them as an example.i'd just like to learn how to properly water and take care of plants in that setup. would there be ways to decrease humidity a bit and keep the heat?

what are your thought on all this and my various questions?
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2024, 03:25 PM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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You’d be changing the growing conditions, so that could mean that you need to make a change to your media choice. Increasing the proportion of bark would decrease the water holding capacity of the pot, but you may find that in the warmer and more humid environment the plants are able to use a lot more water for growth. You may not need to change anything. Especially if you will also be increasing the light they get.

I wouldn’t overthink it, but be watchful when you move them into the cabinet. If you do.
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Old 01-10-2024, 03:41 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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humidity and watering in IKEA cabinet?
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I would only be using this setup in winter. in summer the warmth is here naturally and I won't have to rely on the heat mats. essentially the humidity is a bit of an added "disadvantage" for a winter warmth setup. Being that's the philosophy behind it, I feel changing media may not be a good idea, especially when summer comes around.

what is the reasoning behind them using more water in a warm humid environment? I always thought more humidity meant the media would dry much slower, even if it's warm in there? I'm interested to know more.

They would be getting more light, but that would also be the case without that specific cabinet: I'm going from 630 lux in total per shelf to 2200 lux. (yeah, big change. the light I have now isn't bright enough)
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Old 01-10-2024, 04:10 PM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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Orchids are typically adapted to warm humid environments. There are outliers, but the bulk of them come from the tropics.

Warm and humid + ideal light levels = rapid growth

The faster a plant can grow, the more water it will draw up from the pot. Instead of relying on the atmosphere to help dry the pot, the plant will do it.

I didn’t catch the part about this only being a temporary setup. If I had a growing cabinet with lights I’d leave them in there year round and remove the heat mats when it’s time. In that case, just avoid over saturating the pots in the winter and they’ll probably be fine.
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Old 01-10-2024, 04:35 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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humidity and watering in IKEA cabinet?
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Yes that's the idea; heat mats in winter and when it's summer take them out. since I mainly grow Catts I could also leave the cabinet doors open then and then the humidity issue is also gone.


as I understand, I can let Catts dry up to the point the media is almost dryw but not bone-dry, so that when I wate rit the moss won't be hydrophobic and wills till distribute the water evenly. is this correct?

I also just got the idea of instead of doing mixes of moss, bark and perlite I could go for moss and leca, possibly? leca will make it very airy and I'd just layer the Mo's along with the leca to provide moisture. what are your thoughts on this idea?
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Old 01-10-2024, 05:07 PM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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I don’t have experience with catts. so I’ll let someone else answer those questions.

What’s your humidity like in the warm season?
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Old 01-11-2024, 01:06 AM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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humidity and watering in IKEA cabinet? Male
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I think the standard advice for letting Cattleyas dry between watering is an adaptation to growing in extremely humid greenhouses, at lower than ideal temperatures or during their resting seasons. During their growing season they really prefer a lot of water, and I would rather mine not dry out.
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  #8  
Old 06-21-2024, 04:02 PM
Rwhb12 Rwhb12 is offline
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humidity and watering in IKEA cabinet? Male
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Well I have some of my collection in an ikea Maslow cabinet. I try and maintain 70-75% RH and the heat mats are thermostatically controlled with Inkbird units. All get misted once a day, very briefly.

But the fans run 24/7 and the heat from these adds to the environment along with the lights which are on 12/7. After a lot of plant failures, I now enforce no heat during darkness to try and emulate lower night temperatures and this seems to have worked. But I will say moss will not grow at 70-75%, so recently I have been thinking of raising the r.h.

One think I would advise is placing trays on the shelves. Look for boot trays if you cannot find the correct size. These allow drips and water to be contained.

The big thing for me was recognising max and min temperature of the varieties….

I am now building a tropical cabinet..

Russ

Last edited by Rwhb12; 06-21-2024 at 04:06 PM..
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