The natural habitat of most orchid species in tropical latitudes. Sufficient light intensity, warmth, and high humidity are the determining conditions for the full development of all orchids. Naturally, humidity for phalaenopsis orchids when kept at home, it is necessary to recreate the appropriate microclimate.
Ideal humidity for all orchids
Almost all orchids for normal development require maintaining moisture indicators at a sufficiently high level:
|Orchid genus||Optimal humidity range,%||Critical minimum,%|
The figures given are average. Indicators for intrageneric species and hybrids can differ significantly. Therefore, the conditions of detention for each specific specimen should be clarified before purchasing an orchid.
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Humidity for phalaenopsis orchids in a city apartment
Air humidity in the room is determined by a special device a hygrometer or orchid moisture meter. Although without a sensor, it is clear that in winter, in a city apartment with central heating and plastic windows, the air is very dry. There is a direct dependence of the humidity indicator on the air temperature in the room:
|Indoor air temperature, ° C||Background moisture content,%||Humidity indicator after 4-5 hours of operation of the humidifier,%|
The desire to increase humidity by any means, if the room is hot, to put it mildly, is not productive. It is much more expedient to optimize the temperature by adjusting the heating system (if technically feasible) and organizing regular ventilation (having previously protected the plants from drafts). Alternatively, you can fence off the edge of the window sill from the dry hot air of the battery with a high side made of glass, plastic, or cellophane film. Plants in such an impromptu orchidarium should be placed so that the leaves do not touch the cold glass.
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Do phalaenopsis orchids need humidity?
Signs that the plant is uncomfortable due to too dry air:
- the tips of the leaf plates turn yellow and dry;
- buds fall off, barely blooming;
- the break between flowering phases is delayed;
- leaves turgor decreases;
- the plant withers, despite feeding and watering.
How do I raise the humidity in my orchid?
In the natural habitat of orchids, under the crowns of rainforest trees, the air humidity reaches 90% -100%. There is no need to adhere to such high rates in an ordinary apartment. Most of the orchid species and hybrids cultivated in home floriculture are perfectly adapted to indoor conditions with a humidity of 40 to 60%. The problem is that during the heating season, this figure may fall below 20%. There are several ways to increase indoor humidity.
- Purchase a humidifier or steam generator.
- Place the orchid in the florarium.
- Place an aquarium or decorative fountain in the immediate vicinity.
- Irrigate the area around the orchid regularly with a spray bottle.
- Hang wet towels on radiators.
- Place the pot in a pallet with damp filler (moss, expanded clay, pebbles).
You can put several orchids in a wide pallet at once, grouping them into a green composition.
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Major mistakes while maintaining humidity level for orchid
- Illiterate use of a greenhouse or orchidarium, built from improvised means. The main problem of such a device is excessive humidity in the absence of air circulation. The greenhouse effect causes rotting and mold formation. An ordinary fan, placed inside the fence, does not save the situation. In a confined space, air turbulences are created that cool the moist air, which is completely uncomfortable for an orchid. In addition, the fan itself must be protected from a humid environment in some way. Some craftsmen install 2 internal fans that supply and exhaust outside air. With this option, the humidity in a small volume of the florarium quickly becomes at room level, which negates all installation efforts.
- Frequent spraying of orchid leaves. If you overdo it with spraying and moisturizing, a young orchid can rot. In the drops of water that hit the growth point, in the leaf axils, between the scales covering the pseudobulbs, mold settles, putrefactive processes develop. In everything it is necessary to observe the measure. Spraying and wet leaves are not the same thing. The correct technology is to irrigate not the plant itself, but the space around it at a distance of at least 20 cm. The leaves should be covered with a fine water suspension, and not with large drops, in place of which sunburn or foci of bacterial rot may occur.
How to choose a humidifier for Orchids?
Air humidifiers are of several types:
- Steam. Steam is generated by the evaporation of heated water. By the way, an ordinary kettle boiling on the stove for 10-15 minutes creates about the same effect in the kitchen.
- Ultrasonic. Convert liquid to vapor using ultrasonic waves.
- Mechanical (cold action). Blow air through wet cartridges and filters using fans. Unlike steam units, these are low power devices (up to 60 W), but at the same time, they are able to optimize humidity over a large area (up to 150 m²).
The main criterion when choosing a humidifier should create a comfortable microclimate not only for plants but primarily for the residents themselves. When buying, you should pay attention to the presence of a hygrometer, timer, ionizer, control method (electronic or analog), the volume of the water container. High-quality devices are equipped with air humidity sensors and automatically turn off when the set value is exceeded. This is a very useful feature, as high humidity in the absence of ventilation creates a favorable environment for mold growth. And as you know, an allergic reaction to mold spores is one of the most severe.