Best orchids for west facing windows? (Northern hemisphere)
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:05 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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Best orchids for west facing windows? (Northern hemisphere) Male
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A thought I had is you might have energy efficient heat and light blocking glass. It's hard to grow most plants in these windows because they block so much.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:20 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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A thought I had is you might have energy efficient heat and light blocking glass. It's hard to grow most plants in these windows because they block so much.
I honestly wish. This is a former textile plant converted into work-live lofts, based on the light readers and how poor of a job these windows do with insulation I doubt they have light blocking if I don't add a layer myself.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:22 PM
dbarron dbarron is offline
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Best orchids for west facing windows? (Northern hemisphere) Male
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I don't even live with curtains, because all the light I can get is great for stimulating growth. Make sacrifices for our plants *lol*.
I saw a link about a house build inside a greenhouse...sounds WONDERFUL (in the winter at least).
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:53 PM
c123anderson c123anderson is offline
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If I could add my experience: I bought a lovely oncidium and took it to my new office (a present for a new job). The light and temps seemed fine, so I introduced it to my work space.

In two weeks' time, it was going downhill fast.

Although I took it home, it was too late, and I lost it.

I found out later that the building was set so that weekend and night temps would be very low to save $$. So there were some severe temp. swings for this plant that were incompatible with its growing.

If you're going to take an orchid to work, know the environment, especially where you're not around on weekends/evenings. I won't take any plants to work any more due to my inability to control the environment.
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2023, 08:58 PM
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Best orchids for west facing windows? (Northern hemisphere) Female
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So, even though this post was originally meant to find out more about orchids on west facing windows. We finally moved into our loft and discovered that we're actually facing NW. We have unobstructed views of the skyline but a building to the left blocks the sun from the west, so I actually don't think I might need to worry about temperature at all.
Great view! Before you draw any conclusions about light coming in the windows, you need to be vigilant at least until summer. Remember, the sun direction moves. We're still 6-7 weeks until the equinox, and the sun will continue to shift toward the north until the solstice, and also move higher in the sky for longer.(You will see an increase in sun angle as day length increases) So what looks like gentle Phalaenopsis light right right now may be very bright in a few months. I have found late March (right around the vernal equinox) to be the most dangerous time... when the sun suddenly clears obstacles - like buildings. I have toasted more plants at that time of year than any other, so I speak from hard experience. (Orchids can adapt to gradual changes but they hate going from shady to full sun in a couple of days, which can happen)

So stay alert, and flexible. This is a dynamic situation! After you have lived in a place for a year, you'll know what to expect, but until then you will be on a learning curve, particularly in a complex architectural environment such as your neighborhood..
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2023, 09:36 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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If I could add my experience: I bought a lovely oncidium and took it to my new office (a present for a new job). The light and temps seemed fine, so I introduced it to my work space.

In two weeks' time, it was going downhill fast.

Although I took it home, it was too late, and I lost it.

I found out later that the building was set so that weekend and night temps would be very low to save $$. So there were some severe temp. swings for this plant that were incompatible with its growing.

If you're going to take an orchid to work, know the environment, especially where you're not around on weekends/evenings. I won't take any plants to work any more due to my inability to control the environment.
Thank you. This is a picture of my home.
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2023, 02:49 AM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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Great view! Before you draw any conclusions about light coming in the windows, you need to be vigilant at least until summer. Remember, the sun direction moves. We're still 6-7 weeks until the equinox, and the sun will continue to shift toward the north until the solstice, and also move higher in the sky for longer.(You will see an increase in sun angle as day length increases) So what looks like gentle Phalaenopsis light right right now may be very bright in a few months. I have found late March (right around the vernal equinox) to be the most dangerous time... when the sun suddenly clears obstacles - like buildings. I have toasted more plants at that time of year than any other, so I speak from hard experience. (Orchids can adapt to gradual changes but they hate going from shady to full sun in a couple of days, which can happen)

So stay alert, and flexible. This is a dynamic situation! After you have lived in a place for a year, you'll know what to expect, but until then you will be on a learning curve, particularly in a complex architectural environment such as your neighborhood..
Thank you so much for such an informative post, Roberta! You're an orchid blessing.

I definitely need to watch this light and temperature like a hawk. I was considering just placing all my orchids under lights but I would like to have some plants by the windows.

I think instead of risking it with the Phals, I'll keep some guinea pig cattleyas there (not all so I don't burn my entire collection) and supplement light for the next month or two, then reevaluate during the Spring. Whatever I end up doing, I know I'll need to be able to act nimbly.
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  #18  
Old 02-03-2023, 07:30 AM
c123anderson c123anderson is offline
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But if you’re in an office building, let me stress: know the full 24/7 temp. and air arrangement. One way may be a temp./humidity monitor that will store data. That way you know if temps reduce at night/weekends.

My current office, our HVAC system isn’t working properly, so it is overly warm in my area. A coworker — who keeps plants in her office — got a rude surprise when the temps were down in the 50s F and had some plants be unhappy. This same colleague lost some plants when we couldn’t return to our offices due to COVID.

Roberta is right, too, that natural lighting can fluctuate throughout the year. If you’re also providing lighting, you may be giving your plants too much light. Don’t forget to account for the fluorescent lighting usually in offices is that good for orchids. Don’t forget to account for that in the lighting.

I would love to have some of my plants at my office, but it’s not a good location. Just like assessing plant needs when you are bringing one home, bringing any to work should be a similar analysis, which is why you’re asking.
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  #19  
Old 02-03-2023, 12:50 PM
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Best orchids for west facing windows? (Northern hemisphere) Female
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Originally Posted by MateoinLosAngeles View Post
Thank you so much for such an informative post, Roberta! You're an orchid blessing.

I definitely need to watch this light and temperature like a hawk. I was considering just placing all my orchids under lights but I would like to have some plants by the windows.

I think instead of risking it with the Phals, I'll keep some guinea pig cattleyas there (not all so I don't burn my entire collection) and supplement light for the next month or two, then reevaluate during the Spring. Whatever I end up doing, I know I'll need to be able to act nimbly.
You're welcome! Things I have learned the hard way as an outdoor grower... Your loft residence isn't outdoors, but you get lots of wonderful light. (There is a reason that lots of artists live and work in your neighborhood) Don't be afraid of it, just observe and learn the patterns. As the year progresses, you will move things around. But certainly take advantage of that resource, orchids do love natural light. Then supplement where you need it, give some shade as needed. (Utilize different parts of the room... the side away from the windows will get softer light without need for shade)
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2023, 06:45 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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But if you’re in an office building, let me stress: know the full 24/7 temp. and air arrangement.
Yeah I totally hear you. Fortunately in this apartment we can control the temperature.

I do have thermometer/hygrometers placed around the apartment in my "plant islands" and I track those. I also track the temperature on our air purifier and HVAC system.

For my most temperature sensitive plants I place temperature sticky tape on the pot for better control.

We're considering getting a nest thermostat to see if we can save energy (and money!) while having a more accurate control of our HVAC.

---------- Post added at 02:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:41 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
You're welcome! Things I have learned the hard way as an outdoor grower... Your loft residence isn't outdoors, but you get lots of wonderful light. (There is a reason that lots of artists live and work in your neighborhood) Don't be afraid of it, just observe and learn the patterns. As the year progresses, you will move things around. But certainly take advantage of that resource, orchids do love natural light. Then supplement where you need it, give some shade as needed. (Utilize different parts of the room... the side away from the windows will get softer light without need for shade)

Thank you! I've been growing under lights mostly so I had almost total control but I'm excited to experiment with the opportunities that this natural light offers. The complex architecture does add another level of intricacy... there's always some random window on a building that is perfectly reflecting on one single corner of your apartment, and you're left wondering, where's that coming from?!

It's definitely exciting to have this amount of light and it feels that the growing journey in this space is just starting. If you're in LA you're always welcome to stop by for a glass of wine and some orchid chatter!
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