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Orchid case

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by pyrrhonota, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. pyrrhonota

    pyrrhonota Student

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    A few people have asked about my growing conditions so here goes. Hopefully it will show that it doesn't take much to get reasonable results for miniatures with moderate light requirements. My setup is very basic and has no automation other than timers for the light and heat pad. It started simply as a way to raise humidity and keep the cat out and makes no attempt at the wonderful naturalistic presentations of some of the others here.

    My main case is 36" long x 24" high x 18" deep made from salvaged plate glass. It is covered at the top by 4 sheets of glass, one of which overlaps the others. I can adjust the openings at the ends or the middle by changing the amount of overlap. There are two computer fans providing circulation. I generally have them turned up so that leaves and flowers are constantly moving. The floor is lined with plastic "egg crate" (sold as a light diffuser for fluorescent fixtures) so that potted plants are lifted off the bottom. When I water, the excess drains to the bottom of the tank where it slowly evaporates. I maintain humidity by balancing that evaporation with the amount of fresh air let in by the gaps in the cover. The case sits in a south facing bay window and gets decent sunlight (so much that I often have to use a shade cloth in summer) and I supplement this with four 36" T5-HO fluorescent tubes for a few hours a day in the morning and/or evening. Heating comes from the sun and lights and a seedling germination pad under the case when needed. Cooling is achieved by providing shade and opening windows.

    It's all very primitive and requires careful attention. The case is much more crowded than ideal and because of this removing and inspecting plants is quite a chore and often I skip photographing blooms. Some plants have also suffered because of reduced light or circulation from being overgrown by others or a pest infestation or disease hasn't been spotted early enough because the difficulty in checking makes it too tempting to procrastinate. I would love to have a larger space with better controls, but I don't have the resources for that right now. Some plants that can take the weather are kept outside under shade cloth or plastic sheet (for the winter rains) and some larger, less particular plants have been moved to windowsills.

    Summer temps probably fall into the warm-intermediate range with night lows in the low to mid 60's F and day highs around the mid to upper 80's. Winter is more like cool-intermediate with lows in the high 50's and highs in the low 70's. I try to keep the humidity at 75% or higher.

    A photo from a couple years ago.


    What happens when you leave plants in place too long.


    Some inside views.
    100_1906.jpg 100_2005.jpg 100_2207.jpg 100_3198.jpg 100_3200.jpg
     
    Andreja Schulz and Marni like this.
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great post! Thanks.
     
    Andreja Schulz likes this.
  3. orchidnut57

    orchidnut57 Member

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    Looks like an exciting adventure!
     
  4. Reyna

    Reyna Orchid Obsessed Supporting Member

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    That is a great growing space -- very clean, organized and full of orchids. What more could you hope for? :)
     
  5. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Wow!!! I'm jealous! Congrats!
     
  6. pyrrhonota

    pyrrhonota Student

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    Thanks! folks. I'm envious of all the fantastic enclosures and greenhouses shared by others on this forum, but I try to do what I can with the space I have.
     
  7. daisyduck61

    daisyduck61 Member

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    Lovely :)
     
  8. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Is that a Neobathiea between the Leptotes and Aergangis citrata?
     
  9. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    This thread is probably dead but what is the plant on the right in the second picture with the crazy root growth?
     
  10. carl

    carl Active Member

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    Looks like Dendrobium aggregatum (or whatever it's called this year).
     
  11. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Thanks
     
  12. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with Carl. However, being in a tank it might be a miniature in which case it may be D. lindleyi. Without scale they would look the same.