Is window positioning "law"?

catash701(7)March 4, 2014

I've read everywhere that a south facing window is ideal for orchids. I have a spiking phal and just moved - I only have north facing windows and I really want to see it bloom. Is it really case by case - it gets kinda bright but zero direct sun, or should I get a grow light?

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terpguy(7)

You'll need a grow light. North windows in our area just won't cut it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:13PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

You don't want a Phal in a South window. East or NE would work. If your North window is large and bright, it might be okay. You could put it out over the summer in a shady spot, let it get a temp drop and you should get it spiking before you move it back in.

It could work.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:26AM
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terpguy(7)

Not in the DMV, it won't.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:39AM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

The amount of light needed by Phals is a bit of mystery.
I did visit a "Phal glass-house" some years ago and it was pretty gloomy in there and one member of the local orchid society had a good deal of success with Phals near a large south facing window. (Southern Hemisphere)
But here is 33 South not something like 42 North and I do not know what difference that makes to light levels in winter.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 2:44AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

I don't know what DMV means (in NY it meant, The Department of Motor Vehicles), but I have flowered Phals in a large North window. I have also flowered Oncids. Depends on how bright the window is.

My north window has a ficus in front which grew there for 10 years. Granted, it is a tall window which let in a lot of light. However, that window had large trees outside cutting back on light. Yet I flowered an number of plants there.

Again, depends on how much light comes through the window. It can be done.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 12:03AM
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westoh Z6

Hey Jane,

Just to be 'feisty': There is lot of additional west light coming in through windows in that picture also. Catash701 stated she only has north windows...

I struggle to grow anything but some low light ivy in my north window, which is shaded by the neighbors house also.

I also think you can grow most orchids in south windows, just depends on far back you set them based on their light needs and/or use sheers or blinds if required.

Like I said, I'm feisty this morning :)

Bob

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 6:49AM
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catash701(7)

Thanks everyone! It is a big sliding glass door but there are more condos directly there so it's probably blocking a lot. What kind of grow light should I get?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 7:34AM
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terpguy(7)

DMV means Dc/Marylabf/Virginia. In our area it won't work, trust that.

Catash, you have many options. Jane (?) has a great example of using octopus lamps with typical compact fluorescent bulbs. Myself, I opt for industrial shelving with large 200W equivalent bulbs for higher light plants.

Just some examples among many.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 9:28AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Inexpensive octopus lamps with 60W CFL bulbs. Works well for Phals and other lower light plants.

Yes, Bob, you are feisty! But you're right. It was a very bright room.

Terp, thanks for the clarification!

Jane

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 9:47AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Bulbs

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 9:48AM
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catash701(7)

Thank you all so much! I will give that a shot and follow up in...a week? Is that enough time?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:06PM
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terpguy(7)

Here's the bulb I use, 150W equivalent, 280 lumens. Ipad really dimmed it so you can see the size.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 4:58PM
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terpguy(7)

One of the two selves I keep more sensitive plants on.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 5:01PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Nice set up. I used the same shop lamps with the bigger bulbs. Worked well. I had to use the smaller bulbs with the octopus floor lamps. They did a decent job for Phals and oncids.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:29PM
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Storm 7a

@ jane__ny
What type of octopus lamps are those? Brand/store? They look fantastic!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 3:43PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

I got some in Home Depot and Target. I just looked at their website and they only carry the colored plastic type. They are the same, I got the chrome one because I didn't like the colored. I don't see the chrome on their website anymore. Shop around, but they are inexpensive. I had about 10 of them!

Here is a link that might be useful: Octopus lamps

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:03PM
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catash701(7)

Here's my setup - 3 of the bulbs are 60w cfl bulbs. Is that too much, too little, too far away? Also don't mind the clutter, still unpacking

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:33PM
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terpguy(7)

Waaaaaaay too far away. The bulbs should be about a foot or less from bulbs.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:35PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Look how close the bulbs are to my plants. You need to move your lights right above the leaves. Raise the plants higher on a box or table to get the leaves right under the lights. They won't burn.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 12:23AM
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OrangeAugust

I have 4 phals and a dendrobium in my south facing garden window and they all flowered this year. The dendrobium flowered in the summer and my phals all started putting up spikes in Novmber-ish and they now have flowers and are still putting out more buds. They get A LOT of sun, because they're in a garden window. In case anyone doesn't know what that is (because I didn't when I moved into my house last year), it's not just a window flat on a wall... it juts outward to the outside of the house, and basically it's a shelf with windows on the tops and sides. It's on the south side of my house but it gets direct sun in late afternoon when the sun moves over to the west. Sometimes I think the plants get too much sun because the edges of the leaves start changing to dark purple, but when that happens I rearrange them so that it's closer to the front than all the way out in the window.
I think one key is that it gets pretty chilly in that window at night, and then really warm from the sun during the day.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:35AM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Also double check recommended wattage on the cfls. WhiteCat8

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:36PM
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catash701(7)

Sorry, I don't seem to be getting emails when there are replies. Here is what it looks like now - the new leaf has some weird red and the stem has some weird white. Any thoughts? Assuming I'm not burning it, I will move them closer to the light

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:59PM
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