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Four Tips for Getting the Right Light for Growing Orchids

Orchid in filtered light


Getting the right amount of light is an essential component in the growth of most plants, and growing orchids is not an exception. Different plants have different lighting requirements that a home gardener must meet so that the plants will flourish. Though there are many orchid species in existence whose need for light varies, generally, orchids need a healthy amount of diffused light. This is because they are mostly grown in tropical conditions around the world, and receive certain patterns of both sun and shade. Here are some tips on how to get the best light for your growing orchid.

1. Do your research

It is a good idea to do some research on the specific type of orchid you bought to know the specific requirements in caring for it. Orchid growers differentiate orchids by the kind of light they like. Hard growing orchids enjoy sunny conditions and produce numerous blooms. The plant may wilt easily though, and the leaves may be yellow and stunted. Soft growing orchids, on the other hand, flourish in the shade, and will usually have a healthy, vigorous plant that doesn’t bloom frequently.

2. Placement of the plant

Make sure to place your orchid in an east facing window, so that it will receive the cool, early morning light and avoid the strong afternoon sunlight. You can also put them on a north facing window or a shaded south one. If your windows face west, then it’s best to place your plant in a protected area. This ensures that your orchids will get the right amount of light to flourish, but not wilt in the heat.

3. Check the leaves

A good indicator in determining if your orchids are getting the right amount of light is by looking at the color of their leaves. Orchids should have bright green leaves that look very healthy. If the plants are not getting enough light, they will have dark green leaves. When they are receiving too much light, the plants will have leaves that are yellowish-green or red. Another thing you can do is to feel the leaves. If the leaves seem warmer than the air around it, the plant is receiving too much light and you should move it to a location that is less bright.

4. Use artificial orchid lights

A good way to control the amount of light that your orchids receive is to utilize artificial orchid lights. You can give your orchids the right amount of light and darkness with just a glow light and a timer. You can even make use of fluorescent lights for a lighting effect that is not too strong. Different types of lighting can be classified into low, medium and high. Make sure to do your research on the type of lighting your orchids need. The Phalaenopsis orchid, for example, enjoys low lighting, while the Cattleya orchid likes medium lighting.

Ensuring that your plants receive the right amount of light will ensure that your orchids thrive, flourish and grow beautiful, fragrant flowers.

photo credit: Odontonia Samurai via photopin (license)

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