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Mediterranean terrestrial orchid growing area

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by pcolman, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. pcolman

    pcolman Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I've wanted to grow various genera of mediterranean climate terrestrial orchids for years, though there were obstacles. By mediterranean I mean the climate type, not just the Mediterranean itself.

    Med_climate.png
    The species I'm interested in have some characteristics in common: Dry summer dormancy, cool moist winters, and very high light requirements (to full sun). Those requirements aren't really compatible with the rest of my plants. So I had to make a small growing area just for them.

    First step was the plant stand. Normally I'd just build it myself, but I would have saved less than $100 and I figure it would have taken me at least 12 hours, so I just had it made. It's a foot square and 26" tall. The light is the same one I've used several more of in the rest of my growing area, a Migro 100+. This time I got it with a 60 degree lens since I'm covering a small area, and in fact I'm going to try it with a 45 degree lens once I get my hands on one because it's still more light spread than I need. It's more than capable of equivalent light to full sun. As with my other lights I got it with a 95CRI 4000K LED COB. I ordered both the light and the plant stand and didn't get either until this month. This was just in time as some of the dormant plants started coming out of dormancy this month, which I wasn't expecting until next month.

    I built a frame for the light and fan from 1" black anodized aluminum extrusions. It's attached to the plant stand via four 1/4-20 bolts. I drilled 4 holes into the extrusion and installed for 2 insert nuts into each of the back legs of the stand, so it's easy to remove the frame from the plant stand and it isn't noticeable as long as the side of the plant stand faces the wall.

    The fan is a Noctua 1200 rpm case fan with anti-vibration pads on the corners, which is enough to keep it snugly in place without any fasteners once the aluminum extrusion are tightened up next to it. Its noise level is only 18 decibels, so it's basically inaudible unless there's complete silence. It provides nice gentle air movement.

    The humidity tray for runoff I had to sort of make myself. I couldn't find any that were square of the right size, so I bought 13.5" square black melamine tray and black egg crate. I cut it to slightly large than the size needed, then sanded it down until it fit snugly. I glued two more 4x4 cell pieces of egg crate under the center of the egg create for support, and put black silicone tape at the corners in case the egg crate ever moves out of place, though that doesn't appear likely.

    I have Ophrys, Anacamptis, Serapias, Diuris, and Thelymitra species. 5 have come out of dormancy and I've started watering lightly. The rest are still covered by plastic wrap to keep from getting wet during watering. All are in 70-80% fine perlite (mostly 80%) and good quality buffered coco peat. The European genera have about 1% lime added to the mix.

    Fertilizer regimen will be the same as for my Disa uniflora, very little, once or twice a month. Hopefullly they will do well.

    Note: The light is as low as it will go at about 10% intensity, otherwise it would entirely blow out highlights in the photos.

    Med_orchid_area_01.jpg
    Med_orchid_area_02.jpg Med_orchid_area_05.jpg
    Med_orchid_area_03.jpg Med_orchid_area_04.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
    rico and Foozil like this.
  2. pcolman

    pcolman Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I forgot to mention one thing. As is this setup is too top heavy for my liking and tends to want to tip backwards if pushed, so I attached 10 lbs of weight to the bottom of the lower shelf. It's black and only an inch or so above floor level, so it isn't something you'd notice unless you knew to look for it.
     
  3. RustyExotics

    RustyExotics Nicholas - It's a terrestrial thing

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    I've wanted to do the same, but with Australian terrestrials specifically. You'll have to keep us all updated. This is exciting!
     
  4. spiro K.

    spiro K. Active Member

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    VERY nice!
    Keep an eye out for the Sept. issue of ORCHIDS magazine .!
     
  5. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Looking great! Just for your info, most constant current drivers for LEDs can reduce the AC/DC conversion efficiency when you are heavily "dimming" it down.
     
  6. pcolman

    pcolman Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I don't think dimming will be an issue for these. Part of the reason I needed a separate area was that their light requirements meant most of my other plants would fry.