Newbie found new love (Vanda & Catt), need help!
I'm pretty new to orchid growing so I'm hoping you could help me. I kept a few phals in the past, but couldn't get them to rebloom, mostly due to the lack of light and too much water. Later I had to let them go.
Two weekends ago I stopped by an orchid shop at my local farmers market to pick up something for my friend who just had a surgery and found that they carry a few Vandas. I was so excited and couldn't resist. The tag on the one I got says V. Pure's Wax 'Violet Blue'. I water and hang it under my covered porch (south facing) before I leave for work and move it inside at night as the seller suggested (except I mist it and then hang it inside the bathroom, hoping doing this would help with the humidity).
Then last weekend I dropped by the same orchid shop again and this time I saw a few Cattleyas and just love how lovely they smell. The seller said it's easier than the Vanda so again one went home with me. The name on the tag is BLC Goldenzelle 'Lemon Chiffon'. The seller said keep it inside and water once a week. Currently, I don't have a good set up yet so I put it on the window sill (north-facing).
Since I've failed in the past, I don't want to kill my new lovely orchids. I started reading and saw the threads about keeping Vanda in a vase which I want to try since it is getting cold outside. I think my main problem is lighting as my only south-facing window is under the cover behind the front porch (you can see from the pics).
Originally, I wanted to put a table/shelf inside the window and put both of my orchids there but I read that Vandas need a lot of light so I'm afraid that my Vanda might not get enough light. If I add some supplemental lighting here, I'm afraid it won't look good from the outside unless I find something that is really suitable. Another option I'm thinking is to put the shelf by another wall (no windows) but I need to find a good lighting solution that will provide enough light for both orchids and also make the whole set-up presentable as it is our living room.
So, my questions are...
1. Would the Vanda get enough light if I put it on a table inside the window (option 1)? To make the matter worse, the table needs to be another 6' in from the wall in order to be able to close the draps. More distance = weaker light. If I go with this one and need light, I'm leaning towards track light. If someone uses this kind of setup please kindly share a pic and tips?
2. If I go with the 2nd option, I will definitely need lighting suggestions. I saw threads about growing light (105-watt CFL?). Do they require special socket? Can I use them with some regular desk/floor lamp/track light? How many bulbs do I need? I don't like the look of the T5 or T8 in the living room. Ideally, I would like to get something that is energy efficient.
3. I would love to keep my new collection in the same place, can one of those options accommodate both the Vanda and the Catt?
4. I think I should still put my Vanda outside in the summer, I'm also wondering how low the temp it can handle? This week it has been in the 50s, is this too low?
5. I would like to get another Catt to put in my office at work. I noticed that my office ceiling has 3 fixtures with 2 T5 bulbs each (I googled the bulb specs, they are 28 watt, 3500K, 2900 lumens, CRI 82). They are a bit far from my desk so if I add a regular desk lamp with maybe CFL would it be enough?
- I saw somewhere about putting a stick to check the moisture in the pot (for the Catt), how do I know when to water it? Currently I just let the water run through it for a few mins (no dunking), is this enough? Is once a week enough?
Sorry for a long post and so many questions. I know the lighting is not an easy topic, but I'm hoping all the experts here could help me so I won't kill my orchids before I finish all the reading and figuring things out myself :)