Exotic, beautiful, and expensive, the orchid symbolizes extravagance
and luxury. For those who want to enjoy this sophistication, you
may be pleased to learn that you can grow your own orchids inside!
Orchids, like any other house plant, have very specific needs. Bear
in mind that orchids are naturally from the tropical areas of the
globe. These areas enjoy tremendous rain, have distinct patterns
of sun and shade, and are very humid. In fact, the ideal humidity
level for an orchid is 80%! Considering that a room kept at 80% humidity
is uncomfortable for most human beings, you need to find other strategies
to keep your orchids happy and healthy.
Plant Stands and Grow Lights
Because of the orchid’s specific requirements, you will first
have to determine how many ‘lux’ your orchid needs to
thrive. Too many, and your orchid will die. Too few lux, and your
orchid will not bloom properly.
A ‘lux’ or ‘candlelux’ is, simply, a measure
of light. The more lux you have, the brighter the light. 10 lux is
equivalent to the light of one candle. 50 lux is the approximate
amount of light in a typical family living room.
Orchids need a minimum of 200-400 lux, and some varieties need even
more, reaching 1000 lux or even higher. Unfortunately, there is no
direct comparison between lux and wattage in bulbs. The closest comparison
is to note that High Output fluorescents produce about 5,000 lumens
per 54 watt bulb. One lux is equal to one lumen per square meter.
Luckily, grow-lights have taken the complicated math equations out
of providing sufficient light for your orchid. Purchase a grow-light,
a timer to give your orchids the correct amounts of both light and
darkness, and a plant stand for your orchids – and you will
enjoy a simple, effective process of growing beautiful orchids inside.
Combined with a grow-light, a plant stand gives you to total control
over your orchid’s light, humidity and nutrient requirements.
Since most people do not want to live in conditions of 80% humidity,
an easier way to humidify your orchids is to provide them with water – up
close and personal. Purchase a deep saucer and some pebbles, and
pour the pebbles into the saucer to the depth of about ¾”.
Set the orchid pot on top of the pebbles, and then water the pebbles,
making sure that the water never touches the actual orchid pot. This
will set up an artificial high-humidity climate around your orchids,
eliminating the need for you to sweat it out just so your orchids
can be happy.
To determine how much shade and sun your orchid will need, you will
need to do your homework. Talk to the people from whom you purchase
your orchid. Look up information about your orchid online while conducting
your pre-purchase research. Some orchids thrive on a lot of sun.
Some wilt if they don’t get mostly shade. And since there are
at least two distinct ways of growing your orchids – known
among orchid growers as “soft” (shady) and “hard” (sunny) – you
will have to determine which method is best for your particular plants.
The ‘hard’ or ‘sunny’ style of growing orchids
means that you get enjoy many blooms, but not much plant – and
the leaves you do get will be yellow and stunted. The ‘soft’ or ‘shady’ style,
however, means that you’ll have a healthy, thriving plant,
but the blooms will be small and infrequent. You will have to determine
which growing style is best for your individual plants.
With research, the right growing lights and plant stands, you can
enjoy creating your own indoor orchids for the ultimate sophistication!