January 19, 2009

Orchid care - Phalaenopsis - how much light it needs?

If your orchid is not reblooming - this doesn't mean you don't have hand for orchids. It only means that probably your orchid doesn't get enough light.

If new leaves grow longer and darker - it means there is not enough light.

There is a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to amount of light that orchids need.

I will cover most important issues like watering, fertilising in the next posts, so everyone can enjoy at home reblooming orchids.

As Phalaenopsis is most popular and easy to grow I will mainly write about them.

First of all - don't be fooled 'orchid needs half shadow' is not true in many countries.

In natural conditions Phalaenopsis grows in the tropics in half shadow, sheltered by big trees, because too strong direct sunlight can burn the leaves.

This applies to tropics and countries where sun is really strong for most of the year.

In countries which are more far from the equator sun operates much lighter. In many countries there is not enought light for people from October until March. Do you think, that this amount of light is enough for your orchid?

My orchids grow indoor in zone 6. Without special artificial light, they grow strong and rebloom voluntarily placed on southern windowsill, on direct sunlight except July - when I move it little away form the glass. Sun is so high, that I don't need move my orchids to different spot.

How to tell if your orchid has enough or too much light?

Look at the leaves - slight clared coloured leaves show you need to move the plant to shadow immediately, cos it is close to be burned.

Touch the leaf - this is good way to check whether the amount of light is proper. If its hot, means there little too much light.

Another easy to grow orchids suitable for beginners is Odontonia - fragrant, that I bought lately - see it here.

If you are looking for practical guide which covers all you need to know about orchid care Click Here!
Happy reblooming orchids!
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F Cameron said...

Thank you for the information about orchid care.


joey said...

Great post, Ewa. Love orchids and have had great luck reblooming. Mine like to vacation outdoors in summer ... how about yours?

Anonymous said...

I am so tempted to try growing orchids, but I am not sure I have enough indoor light. I know they would do well outside during the spring through fall since I live in a mild climate, but I'm not so sure about winter. These are some good hints if I decide to try.

Always Growing

Jan said...

Hi Ewa, I enjoyed your informative post. I have been thinking about getting an orchid to give them a try.
Thanks for the useful info!

Anonymous said...

I usually move mine into the conservatory for more light but temperatures are fluctuating so much in there that I have not been able to do it yet.
Consequently only one of them is flowering so far. The rest are sulking!

Unknown said...

Very good advice, Ewa. I'm just waiting for mine to decide it's time to put up flower shoots; still a little while longer, and I might have to go buy another one just to help me get through until the flower spikes start...

Debbie Z. Lattuga said...

Hi Ewa,
Love orchids! I'm Polish (Zelinski - maiden name) and used to live in zone 6. Now I live in zone 9 in Florida and I'm addicted to orchid growing. You're right about growing orchids indoors. Phalenopsis will bloom well in a sunny window as long as they are adapted to the light gradually.

Balisha said...

I have two dendrobium orchids. They bloomed in late summer and are now sending up new shoots. Some of the older leaves are drying up and falling off. Is this a natural thing for this type of orchid? Mine are in the only window that I can use...a north one. I have artificial lights on them.

HelenJ said...

I move my orchids outside in summer. But I put them in the shade.
Thanks for all good information about orchids!

Victoria Cummings said...

Ewa - I think that my orchids are almost like having pets. They give me such pleasure. Both are full of buds right now. Your advice is excellent. I have mine in a window that faces east and gets good light but no direct sun. I'm looking forward to your post on fertilizing them - and when to re-pot. I know that it can be tricky and mine are probably ready but I'm afraid it will disturb them so they stop blooming each year. What do you think?

Robin Ripley said...

Good point about orchids needing so much light. Mind do best in the covered light garden (plant light stand), which also keeps in humidity. I take them out to display when they bloom.

Aren't orchids so beautiful to have around the house? Fabulous.

Robin Wedewer, Examiner
also at bumblebeeblog.com

Barbara said...

Actually there are four Phalaenopsis waiting to bloom again. They grow (good leaves according to your advices) nicely but do not show any sign of bloom to come. I'm patient and wait and hope...
Have a nice Sunday!

Shady Gardener said...

Ewa, thank you for the information about growing orchids. I've tried twice and they did not thrive. I should have plenty of light... so I'll have to research this a lot more! :-)

Ewa said...

I think orchid loosing old leaves is kind of normal :) mine are also loosing - they usually keep 6 up to 8. You are right, at the north window, they need artificial light.

Ewa said...

They need to be repotted, when they are really kind of out of the pot. This happens after many years. I wonder how old is yours?

Ewa said...

I usually keep my orchids at thome in the summer - I don't have proper place for them outside, as my garden is still 'young' :)

Carol Soules said...

Hi Ewa!! Thanks for checking in on my blog. Love the orchids. I've never tired growing them myself Maybe that's one to put on my list?
Carol in Massachusetts

Gardeness said...

i have one orchid that last flowered Christmas '07. I so needed this information. Thank you, and I appreciate you stopping by my blog. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the handy orchid tips! :-)

Alan Pulley said...

Great info. Makes me want to go out and get an orchid.