Will solar lighting bother my orchids?

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by AABGM, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. AABGM

    AABGM New Member

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    Hi all, forum newbie but have had orchids for about 20 years. I have a bunch on a bay window sill (phal, dendrobium, oncidium, potinara, ascocentrum, brassia...) and just bought a string of little solar night-lights which I put above the window; they're 2-3 feet above the plants. They aren't terribly bright lights, but I wondered if they would be enough to bother blooming cycles. Most of the orchids are doing pretty well there, and I realized I don't know if they require a certain amount of dark hours to bloom. There has been a single small night-light to the side of the window for some time. I think it's brighter than the solar string.
    Any ideas? Thanks!
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    See this article from the American Orchid Society: Light, the Key to Successful Blooming

    That establishes that photoperiodicity can affect some species (given that these orchids are tropical, night length variance won't be huge). The questions then become: which species might be affected and how sensitive are they to low light levels? It seems like you are a long-time grower, so I suspect you would have the patience to test for a year and see if the night-lights actually do seem to affect bloom in your situation. I have my doubts that the question for a mixed group of species would be settled any literature.
     
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  3. AABGM

    AABGM New Member

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    That's an interesting article. I printed it out to keep in my orchid book. So, I have learned that some of the plants I thought were too pale are actually the "right" colour, and that's a good trick about the hand shadow. It's a south-facing window and unshaded except for a piece of sheer curtain I stick across the middle of it when the sun is low enough to blast right in (most of the year). Maybe I'll look up each of the types I have and see if there is info about photoperiodicity. And maybe move the wee lights a bit higher on the window frame.
    Thanks for the help :)
     

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