How to Choose the Right Orchid For You

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Before buying a new orchid you need to determine the growing conditions you have to offer. Temperature, light, and humidity are very important to orchids. You may also need to consider the amount of space needed and how much air circulation is available.

Temperature

Wither you are planning to grow orchids inside or outside you will need to determine what the temperature range is from the coldest nighttime to the hottest daytime. If you are going to grow outside you can find several online websites that give what the temperatures range in your area. You can also buy your own min max thermometer and gather the data yourself.

Many garden enthusiasts have their own mini weather stations.
For growing indoors you should already know the temperatures you set your thermometer at, however if the plant will be at a height level that is different from the thermometer you will need to determine the temperature.

An example would be how much warmer it would be on the second story of your home when it is 78 degrees at the thermometer on the first floor.

Orchids have a variety of temperature preferences depending on the genus of the plant. The orchid temperature preferences are determined by the coolest nighttime temperature. Cool growing is from 45F to 55F, intermediate growing is from 55F to 60F, and warm growing is from 65F and warmer. Phalaenopsis orchid types are popular as an indoor plant because they fall into the warm growing temperature range.

Light

How much light your orchid needs is just as important as temperature. Some orchids need several hours a day of direct light. Others need only shady or less intensity light for longer hours. You can also grow orchids under artificial lights. Most medium and low light orchids can be illuminated by using florescent lamps. Orchids can be divided by the amount of light they need into three groups, bright light, medium light, and low light.

Orchids needing bright light require a very bright south facing window if grown inside or a bright greenhouse. You can use artificial lights with high output florescent lights which are special order and more expensive than normal fluorescents.

For medium light needs you can use an east facing window if grown inside or a shaded greenhouse. For artificial light you can use a normal four tube florescent light fixture.

Low light orchids can be grown in an east facing window or artificially with a two tube florescent light fixture. This is another reason Phalaenopsis orchids are popular they are low light and can be grown under normal indoor florescent lighting.

Humidity

Your orchid will require at least 50% humidity. If growing indoors you will need to be observant of the humidity. Air conditioners and heaters that on often when really hot or really cold will suck the humidity out of your house. In the conditions you may need to put your orchid in a room with a humidifier. I know some friends who move their orchids to the bathroom in the cold of winter because during hot showers the humidity rises and the plant gets the moisture it needs. There are many way to humidify a green house. I am assuming that if you have one you already know about humidity.

Space

Some orchids when full sized and in bloom require a lot of head space. So if you are planning to grow orchids on a window sill it will be important to measure how much space you have above the pot to the top of the window.

Air Circulation

Indoors most houses have enough air circulation, but you need to consider the placement of the orchid in your home to make sure the air will circulate around the plant. Many types of orchids gather most of what they need from the air. Sometimes just a small fan or turning on a ceiling fan can have a dramatic affect on your orchid.

When you go to purchase your orchid be sure to ask the grower or resident gardener about the temperature, light, humidity, and size of the plant you are considering and you will be happier with your results if you match your plant to your growing environment.

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Ellen Reader
Ellen Reader - your online orchid expert Need more Information about Orchids please visit The Online Orchid Center. There you will find more articles pertaining to orchids.

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