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Orchids, like other exotic indoor plants, need to adhere to environmental parameters close to natural habitat conditions. One of the most important conditions is adequate lighting.
This article describes in detail what role lighting plays in the life of a plant, as well as how long the daylight hours should last and where it is better to put the plant so that it grows better.
The role of lighting in plant life
Light is the "fuel" for plants, from which, in the process of photosynthesis, the flower receives energy and nutrients. Glucose is synthesized from carbon dioxide and water with the participation of the green pigment chlorophyll, which in the light is converted into starch, fats and other nutrients with the release of oxygen.
In adverse conditions, including in the absence of sufficient lighting, the plant's metabolism switches to another type. The flower consumes oxygen, with the help of which the reaction of sequential oxidation of high-molecular organic compounds to carbon dioxide and water takes place, with the release of energy.
Is this plant light-loving or shade-loving?
Before purchasing a plant, you need to know whether it is light-loving and what it loves more - the sun or shade. This is discussed below.
Photosynthesis only occurs when there is enough light. For orchids, the illumination index varies from 10,000 to 30,000 lux. In its natural habitat, the orchid is an epiphyte, that is, it parasitizes on tree trunks.
Most orchids do not rise above 2 meters, so the optimal conditions for them are partial shade. Shade-loving varieties include:
Some types of orchids, such as dendrobium, cymbidium, cattleya, cellogyne, grow in open areas, so the lighting must be more intense for them to grow.
How long should a daylight last?
For the development of the peduncle, the plant needs at least 10-14 hours of daylight per day. In tropical latitudes, the duration of effective lighting is 12 hours per day. In European summer, daylight hours reach 16 hours, and in winter - only 2 hours.
The maximum illumination in summer reaches 100,000 lux, in winter - about 5,000 lux. Also, the intensity of light depends on the location of the windows in the apartment, the degree of distance between the plant and the window.
The illumination in the room is reduced by the dense building of the residential quarter, the presence of tall trees near the window, the location of the house in the lowland.
Where to put the flower at home: in the sun or in the shade?
When choosing a place for an orchid, the orientation of the window to the cardinal points plays an important role. The southern sill is suitable for placing a flower in winter - even without additional lighting, leaves grow well, peduncles appear. In summer, shading is necessary on the south side to prevent leaf burns.
With prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, reddish-brown spots with a dark center appear on the leaves facing the sun.
If the plant is not protected from burns in time, the leaves dry out and die off. The orchid is not suitable for placement on the north side. In winter, additional lighting will be required for the development of the peduncle.
- Western window - a suitable option, but in summer the sun's rays appear for several hours, and in winter they do not look through the window at all. It is better to place shade-loving orchid varieties on this side.
- East window - an optimal place for light-loving varieties, especially with long daylight hours. Here, the plant will not receive burns, since the sun in the morning hours does not yet warm in full force. In winter, the sun's rays quickly leave the east side.
Do you need to additionally highlight the flower or not?
When daylight is not enough, the orchid needs additional lighting with phyto lamps. For successful photosynthesis, chlorophyll molecules require a red and blue color spectrum. Blue color stimulates the development of leaf mass, red - promotes flowering.
- metal halide;
- mercury gas discharge;
- energy saving fluorescent lamps.
It is undesirable, but possible, to completely replace natural light with lamps.
How to arrange a shadow?
If there is a risk of overheating the flower, it is necessary to create shading. To do this, use a white curtain or a paper screen. The amount of light passing through this filter is sufficient for the development of peduncles, but will not allow the appearance of leaf burns.
What are the consequences of improper lighting?
Improper plant illumination is an excess of sunlight in summer and a lack of winter. The consequences of improper lighting can be detrimental to the orchid.
- With a lack of light, the plant does not develop a peduncle and spends all its strength on survival. The leaves become elongated, dull, the flowers turn pale.
- Being in direct sunlight, the leaves get burned and dry out.
Experienced growers say: "An orchid needs more light and less sun." In conditions of sufficient light, the orchid grows well and blooms for a long time. The optimal place for it can only be found empirically, observing the condition of the plant.
We suggest watching a video on what kind of lighting you need for orchids: