Orchids are plants known for their exotic beauty. People are often fascinated with their colours, scents and shapes.
They are relatively easy to grow especially if nursery workers and gardeners have enough knowledge of taking care of them. Additionally, they should be provided with their essential needs such as air, water, humidity, and light to bloom.
One of the key factors that make orchids grow healthy is by providing them with good growing conditions. Most of them flourish in partially shaded areas. That’s why a shade house can be an ideal place for orchids.
For nursery workers and gardeners who are planning to purchase an orchid shade house, here are the 4 vital things to know. Read on here.
1. Understand the basic needs of orchids
Every orchid species has different needs to thrive and grow. They also have various air, water, humidity and light requirements. Fortunately, a good shade house can provide the best growing condition for orchids. In order to choose the best shade house/structure, it is vital to understand the basic needs of orchids.
To achieve better air circulation, select a shade house with a wide door. It is also advantageous to choose the one with sidewall and end-wall covering. This will provide a cool environment for the plants.
For epiphyte orchids like Phalaenopsis, a shade house with proper ventilation is needed. This is because this type of orchid absorbs nutrients and gets carbon dioxide directly from the air.
With good air circulation, excess water that was trapped during watering is easier to evaporate. Stagnant water should be removed from orchids. This is because this may serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
Shade houses with proper ventilation can provide these few benefits to orchids.
- tolerates intense light
- helps to prevent root rot and diseases
- dries excess moisture on their leaves
- keeps orchid cool during summer
A shade house with proper covering can reduce irrigation needed especially during summer. This also lowers leaf temperature and reduces water loss in plants.
Basically, the root’s colour helps determine whether an orchid needs to be watered in a shade house or not. Learn from this guide.
- Plump white roots – This colour indicates a healthy orchid. They are being watered properly.
- Shriveled grey roots – This root colour indicates that orchid needs plenty of water.
- Black and Spongy brown roots – These colours are signs of root rut. So skip from watering them.
Another important factor that contributes to orchids’ health is humidity. Tropical orchids like Dendrobium require 60-80% humidity level.
To provide plants with extra humidity in a shade house, covering the floor with gravel is a good method. Placing a water-filled pebble tray underneath plants can also be a great idea. Likewise, using a humidifier or misting the leaves with water can keep the high humidity level of the plants.
If orchids can’t get adequate light, expect them to have lush growth but no flowers. Hence, a shade house that gives sufficient light is a good choice.
To know if an orchid gets enough light in a shade house, check the colour of its leaves. For better understanding, use this colour guide below.
- Bright green leaves – This colour is an indication of a healthy plant.
- Red or yellowish-green leaves – This is a sign that the orchid gets too much light.
- Dark green leaves – This shows that the orchid gets sufficient light.
Additionally, some orchids may thrive with strong light. But they are still prone to burn when placed in direct sunlight. In this case, a shade house with a good shade cloth cover can be utilised.
2. Check the shade cloth density for various orchid species
Shade cloth helps protect plants from too much exposure to direct sunlight. They come in numerous shade densities. The percentage of shade cloth to be used usually depends on the type of orchids grown.
Certain orchid species only require 75-80% shade cloth density. This shade cloth percentage is ideal for orchids that need a little amount of exposure to sunlight. These may include Paphiopedilum or Lady Slipper, Oncidium and Phalaenopsis.
On the other hand, certain orchid varieties need more light to thrive and grow. Examples of these are Vandas, Cattleya, Oncidiums, Dendrobium and Paphs. These orchids require 30-50% shade cloth density.
3. Choose a metal frame for an orchid shade house
One of the most vital components of shade houses is their frame. The frame serves as support to the shade house. Thus, the frame material to be chosen must withstand harsh weather conditions.
Generally, a shade house with a metal frame lasts for years. Orchid growers can extend their longevity by applying an anti-rust treatment. This will give an added cost to growers. But it's all worthwhile since they can save a lot of money in the long run.
4. Consider the size of an orchid shade house
The size of an orchid shade house must be big enough to promote good air circulation, proper temperature and maintain a certain level of humidity.
To figure out the size of a shade house needed, consider the number and size of the orchids grown. This is to get the ideal shade house size that can give orchids enough space to grow and thrive.
Furthermore, orchid growers can maximise space in a shade house by following these few ideas:
- Utilise a multi-tiered table/bench. Growers can display their orchids properly on these benches. They can put orchids that require low light at the bottom while plants that need more light is suggested to be placed on the upper part of the table/bench.
- Another way to display orchids in shade houses is to hang them. Orchids with very long roots including Vandas can be hang using pots or baskets.
Growing orchids is easier when they are placed in shade houses. This is because growers can control the amount of light, temperature, humidity and air in it. These 4 vital factors in choosing an orchid shade house is a good guide for growers in giving their orchids a better place to thrive and bloom.
If you are in need of a high-quality orchid shade house, feel free to contact a reliable and trustworthy Nursery Equipment supplier in your local area. They can help you decide which shade house can give good growing condition to orchids.