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Indoors, do you provide humidity and what is your system or set up?

myermike_1micha
November 26, 2018
last modified: November 26, 2018

I was wondering in any of us indoor growers who use light, windows, or in door heat provide some sort of humidity for their orchids?

Please, can you tell us what you do, maybe a few pictures of your ideas and how your orchids react?

What types of orchids do you provide humidity for?

And if you don't , please tell us what orchids you don't bother to provide humidity too and how they do for you?

Do you even provide humidity for any other plants you may have? Like gardenia or jasmine?

Pictures of your ideas would really be appreciated. I will show you some of my ideas if you show me yours.

I think this would help many folks here.

Thank you

Comments (41)

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    I have a few trays with raised mats but the C&S are on them so I can water quickly. My orchids could use more humidity though with the heat blasting all the time. Curious what others do too!

    myermike_1micha thanked nanzjade z5 MA
  • myermike_1micha

    Here is one of my ideas and something else I do. I use see through plastic totes as tall as I prefer depending on what orchids hate full direct sun so that sun is not so intense. I will cut away the front side that does not face the sun but that which faces the room where the fans are so that they can get air movement at the same time. I will them put a grate inside and either rise it higher or lower depending on how much water I want sitting at the bottom of them. So far they LOVE it and thrive even in winter dry conditions. Sort of a micro humid climate that makes a huge difference.

    I have Osmoglossum that specifically like lower light levels or they will burn along with certain other orchids right behind the plastic and taller orchids that love the bright sunlight higher set back that get full sunlight all winter.

    I can just carry the plastic totes plants and all to the sink and just shower them leaving the excess water to drain under them.

    I also have a second room, a much warmer one in which I use a humidier on most sunny days and shut it off when cooler cloudy days are upon us. It seems to keep my humidity levels on sunny days at 45 to 70 percent on sunny days and while off, because they are grouped together, about 50 percent.

    These too are in totes and or bottles and on shelves together. Many surrounded by moss and stones which are moist to keep local humidity pleasurable for them. In that room are my phals, cattaleya, Angraecum, and some dendrobium which thrive in warmer conditions. I can take pics when a get a few moments. In that room too I provide lots of air movement!

    Mike even a water fountain.

  • myermike_1micha

    Nancy, pictures of your orchids and your set up would be great!


  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Very good idea, Mike.I recognize those egg crate light panels from Home Depot. Ohh and look at those beautiful blooming Cristen Aureas variegatas! WOW!!

  • nanzjade z5 MA
    The Oncidiums...
  • myermike_1micha

    Nancy, I'll bet with a little more humidity they will just waft through out that whole room!! Very nice plants. Do you have any fragrance coming from those? Do you use a fan for movement and good air circulation? Do you mist the leaves or just water?

    Even made room for a Christmas cactus or two,,lol Love it

    Mike

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    You're right, they should be on a tray. Hardly any fragrance left, maybe a tad of sweet chocolate but very weak :( I have remembered to mist, about every other day, I bought spring water for them!I bring them one by one to the sink and wet the roots about once a week.

    HAAA! That whole silver rack is Christmas & Thanksgiving cacti except the few orchid squeezed in, lol!!!

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  • jane__ny

    Mike, I grew many varieties of orchids in my home when I lived in NY.

    It was tricky because I had a large contemporary type house with very high ceilings and the rooms were all open to each other.

    I tried to humidify the open area with little luck. During winter my readings were as low as 8-12% daily. With the heat blasting over winter, I grew all my orchids on humidity trays which really don't do much as all. Phal roots would dry out as would most of the plants growing in wood chips. I tried everything. But the area had the most light because of very large, floor to ceiling windows facing SW.

    They all grew well and flowered. What I found was if they remained hydrated and surface roots coated in damp sphagnum moss, it protected the exposed roots.

    I would tweek the environment when I didn't like what I was seeing, but mainly left them along. I grouped them tightly together. They give off their own humidity helping each plant.

    Certain orchids needed higher humidity and those grew in a small office in the house. It was not ideal because the window faced North. I grew those completely under lights and could maintain a decent humidity because the room was enclosed.

    I really learned not to worry so much about the humidity. Just keep the plants grouped together. Maybe give them a shower once in a while, especially when they start budding. Otherwise, They seem to get through the winter fine.

    Jane


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  • nanzjade z5 MA
    Mike, I added a tray and poured some water in to add humidity. It will make caring for them easier as won’t have to bring them to the sink. Their bulbs look wilted and flowers dry... man these are more tricky than my other plants! And I moved all the Oncidiums together on this tray, also I’ll move the small orchids here too.

    Jane, good idea of covering the exposed roots in sphagnum moss!!
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  • jane__ny

    I call it, my ‘winter coat.’

  • myermike_1micha

    Jane, first of all I was wondering how and where you have been? You have ALWAYS been appreciated by me in many ways here. You always have been kind and always willing to share to help others so thank you.

    I love the encouragement and a reason not to worry so much. I hope you liked my idea of using plastic totes. I think it will help with humidity a bit an dI surround them all with moss including the top like you suggested, but I mostly have them in totes too to clock out the direct light that comes through the window. It seems some of my Phals, osmoglossum, and certain ondidiums hate direct sun, even in winter. They seem to be thriving behind the vale of the muted see through plastic.

    Thanks again for your awesome idea. I actually go to the woods and local cemetery and pick up moss and layer it on my pots. It looks great in color and they seem to love it! So good to see you and please don't be a stranger))

    Nancy, looking good. Nice idea to group them together as Jane suggested. Hopefully this will make a huge difference. You should do what I do and use plastic totes, do the same set up as I. I can even spray water without getting anything wet and they love it. You could even use the plastic top to cover them leaving only the from surface to allow air movement.

    Mike))

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Hi Mike, I think your plastic tote works for you in diffusing bright light, but mine would need more light if I blocked it. Mine are at a East window in the sun room, there are also windows at West and North, overall the room mostly indirectly bright. I don't think I'd be able to cover them, with bloom spikes they're over 2 feet. Plus, I can wait til I see your new setup... I'll have a better idea if I want to change mine.

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  • John B

    Mike, I so appreciate your thinking on how to make your plants happy and comfortable. It’s the key to brilliant orchid growing as far as I’m concerned. Most of us have limitations of one kind or another. Even growers lucky enough to have a greenhouse have to rise to thinking like an orchid to achieve that balance which results in happy plants. Not everyone is willing to do that. I applaud your creative approach to creating nice micro-climates for your plants.

    Jane, what a great idea, your “winter coats.” I kind’ve got that when I recently repotted a Phal. schilleriana seedling – it fell and lost enough of its medium that it seemed a good opportunity to make it more comfortable. Found myself just mounding up the sphagnum slightly more than I would have.

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  • myermike_1micha

    John, I really appreciate your feed back! Thank you. I am always tried to mick the environment of living things enjoy since I was a kid. I once raised a Coquie frog that only survives in Puerto Rico for 6 years in captivity because it loved it's surroundings. I even give my birds and enjoyable place to live in which they sing like crazy. Then I won't even talk about the fish in my fish tank.Ha Live plants and darker water to relax them as if in their natural environment. So now, it's orchids. I know they love to grow with moss, hang from trees, grow in very airy mixes and love humidity and fresh moving air if it can be supplied, so I become creative in my sleep, wake up and follow through. I will take pics soon of what I have done))

    You are right, even the luxury of a greenhouse will not make you successful unless you now what to provide. I have killed a many in there too. So Even though I have one, I feel I can make a better environment in my home believe it or not for certain ones.

    Jane ,

    where are you? I thought for certain you would come back and see what we have said to you. I hope you are ok.)

    Nancy, you still have to provide humidity or at least they would fare better if you did. Flowers last longer, fragrance is stronger, leaves stay straight and less bug issues.

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Mike, I hear ya, working on increasing the humidity for the orchids and my own static electricity issues (sorry, kitty!), I got a humidifier in the mail today, it's much bigger than I expected, it should provide lots of moisture.

    Here's a link of what I got. (This white model was about $30 cheaper than the similar black models by Vornado)

    https://www.amazon.com/Vornado-ULTRA3-Gallon-Ultrasonic-Humidifier/dp/B071GM7Z28/ref=sr_1_8_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1543878402&sr=1-8&keywords=vornado&fbclid=IwAR1F_d7mGRtQ2add-j9rtfUpy1yfZ7z4lJO5DyTlu7shbTUHGfgr6j4w180

    I can't wait 'til chocolate lingers in the air again!!

    What heats your humid room? How is that one room alone so warm? Is it a heated humidifier? (I may get a 2nd one, heated style)

  • myermike_1micha

    You mean the sunny room upstairs?

    I keep that cut off from the thermostat which the other rooms tell is cool. So the heat from that from stays in there and keeps the thermostat working from the other rooms. The other rooms are cool in the 60's while that room in there can reach 75 on sunny days and 70 on cloudy days.

    At night it's still warm but cool and very comfortable.

    The ceiling fan keeps air moving and since there are so many plants in there, a water fountain and totes with water, most times I don't need a humidifier. The geometer always read 50 or above and if it gets too high I will crack the window to prevent any mold issues. So I maintain humidity at 40 to 70 all the time.

    I do crank my humidifier at night because it just feels good lol

    It is a cool mist fan no filter needed which is so easy to use.

    I am so happy for you. I am glad you finally got one. Your plants will fill the air again with the fragrance you love so much)

    Many of my orchids thanks me every day for caring enough to give them what they need to be comfortable and happy.

    A member here, I think Weston said that he learned his orchids love to be outside from spring to fall which gives them the strength to spike and that is what I do. I don't worry about sunlight that much although it helps because they get it most months except for the dead of winter.

    Mike

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Yes, Mike, you guessed right, the warm room upstairs. Thank you for the explanation of how you keep it so warm!

    I'm soaking the mineral cartridge for the humidifier now, I can start using it tomorrow afternoon. Can't wait!

    Thermostat is at 72 and I'm cold, wearing my hoodie too. I so miss the beach weather!! (

    I should get a humidity reader sometime too, I like the antique looking ones.

    I have misted the orchids, and added a few cups of water in its tray every few days.

    Nancy

  • myermike_1micha

    Nancy that is great and once you get your humidifier going that same temperature will feel a lot warmer trust me let me know how it goes !! And boy do I miss the beach too (

  • jane__ny

    I'm here!

    Love reading all the things you indoor growers are doing to get those winter blooms.

    Nancy, I used to buy inexpensive vaporizers and place them around my orchids in the large room. I had cool mist also but felt the vaporizers warmed the room and gave off more humidity with the steam. All help as do keeping the plants close together over winter.

    Mike, I also had a large (150 gal) saltwater aquarium in the living room. That was a lot of work but beautiful. I had live invertebrates, corals, sponges and beautiful fish. It helps humidify the room also.

    I was warned, many years ago to not use wild moss. The lesson came from a orchid judge who was a very respected orchid grower and a member of my Orchid Society in NY. He explained that wild moss can carry diseases which could harm the plants. As a result I never used my native moss.

    Since you have good results using it, I guess it is okay. I keep large bags of sphagnum to use.

    It sounds like you have everything under control and I wish you all a winter full of blooms!

    Jane


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  • James _J

    I know I’m jumping in late here but I finally remembered to take some pictures.


    This vase I picked up for 50 cents at a rummage sale. You can see the silhouette of where the pot is inside the vase and there’s about an inch of water at the bottom. It’s on a shelf above the heat so the humidity in the vase is very high


    Same set up here, you can see the condensation that forms on the window.

    I think this was a candle, I got 2 for a dollar

  • myermike_1micha

    Jane, there you are!)) It's good to see you are reading what we have to say and the comments directed towards you too for being here and helping. I thank you. Yeah, I was worried about that with the moss too but it seems to help my plants thrive. Everything is so green these days, and even the moss smells good. Kind of earthy! I too have a 50 gallon fresh water fish tank though and you are right, it does raise the humidity, just in the worn room.lol But I do have a water fountain in there that comes on at night and also helps me to sleep)

    James, I can see the water level. What a good idea for raising the humidity around the plant. Good work. I also use very LARGE glass dome vases and even stick orchids in those. They love that setting! I will take a picture of that. My Neofinetia falcata is doing great in that one. It has already grown another leaf in the past month and the roots stay so nice and green.

    Great set up there and yes I can see the moisture.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Mike

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Well a bit off topic, let me know if too far off.

    For a few hours the orchids and a few other plants got to enjoy the 60F temps and a good soaking from the downpours. Strange weather for December!!

    Mike, an update, love the humidifier and very happy I got it!

    Nancy

  • John B

    My warm mist humidifier is still working great. And the little mounted Phal parishii is doing well with its new spray-in-place backsplash. The latest development is this little “redneck greenhouse” arrangement. I used it for when I was away for a day or two; now it seems like a good idea generally speaking. I remove it overnight and pop it back on in the morning. Great fit! The plant is a slow grower! This spike is taking forever !!


  • dbarron

    My house stays at 50% humidity (more or less) year round without doing anything to change it. I think it's due to high indoor plant density, high area water table, high area humidity.

  • John B

    Wow, really? When my humidity gets that high I get condensation on my windows that drips down on my ledge. I knocked it back to 40-45% But even with 50%, I noticed that the mount was drying out and needed misting several times a day. Hopefully this is a little labor-saving.

  • dbarron

    In cold weather, yes, my windows do fog/frost up. However, the vent system seems to have been made for it and usually a vent is very close to window (inefficient heating, but keeps windows defrosted mostly).

  • myermike_1micha

    John, if the temperature in my plant room falls nice and cool, I will usually get that problem, but not when the fans are going and the room gets very warm by day. So at night I will lower the humidifier to almost nothing, or turn the heat way down and use none at all. I also keep a crack in the window allowing fresh air to come in just a bit. Lot's of fans does the trick. Just call me the kind of fans..lol

    I think I have about 9 fans blowing at any given time between my greenhouse, plant room and my bed room.lol

  • John B

    Great minds think alike. I've been doing just that. I love it in my room when it's 75 and 50% humidity and the fan is going. I'm part orchid myself. And at night I turn the heat way down and the humidifier off (most of the time). So far it hasn't gotten below 60. The mounted phal is in a gallon-size zip-lok bag now and it's very happy.

    myermike_1micha thanked John B
  • myermike_1micha

    John so do I.lol

    In there I have my favorite black recliner there and my flat screen T.v surrounded by my fragrant plants with a slight breeze. I call it a free trip to the tropics in winter.

    I'm so glad your mounted Phal is doing well. Have you ever considered sticking a portion of it into a nice big glass jar and filling the bottom of it with just a few rocks or stones, even topping off the stones with moss to hold in moisture? Wet the bottom while you spray the roots and plant and as the moisture rises out of that glass jar, your roots will stay hydrated much much longer. Trust me, it will be the best thing you ever did for your mounted plants. Get the bottle or jars at a thrift shop)

  • John B

    I daresay it would also be more attractive to look at! LIke a little mini terrarium.

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Mike, I went to Walmart for a couple of plastic totes and then HD for the raised grid paneling and an exact o-knife. I'm thinking of not cutting the side of the tote to help keep kitties away, think that would be okay?

  • myermike_1micha

    That should be just fine. As long as you have an over head fan or can somehow direct air movement towards them inside you will be just fine. Nice. Can’t wait to see )))))

    Many of mine are spiking like crazy. Take a look at the thread I started about growing in glass Bowls. Maybe the roots to some of yours would like that method ? Better than them drying out too often and dehydrating. Check out the You tube videos!!

    Mike.


  • myermike_1micha

    John , make that your New Years resolution to reward yourself and your plants ! Lol. Your funny

  • John B

    Sure. New Years Resolution 2019, #37.

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Hey Mike, back with pics buddy.

    I noticed some growth on a few Phals and the mini Vanda.

    Gave them a 20 minute soaking in water plus a small bit of fertilizer. Then rinsed the leaves off. Inspector #1 helping. Not to worry all good.


    Inspector #2... All good? She is so critical, always seems grumpy.

    Actually all 3 inspectors were present, the youngest was hiding under the longest leaves and waiting to sneak up on me, lol... it was too cute.


    New home ready... it has about an inch of water.


    Them making themselves at home... all cozy.

    I placed them in a southern facing room (several feet away from the windows) that has a fan going. I need to rearrange things so maybe another pic another time.

    -Nancy

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  • myermike_1micha

    Now, that's what I am talking about! Your cats are so cute.lol

    Also, it will be so easier to water. You can just carry the whole containers with your orchids in them and spray them down good and then put them back. Too, the water underneath will provide humidity as it rises. If you have a heat matt, place one of those totes on the top of it and out your most prized orchids in it and those that love humidity the most. The heat matt will warm the water and make it almost steamy.

    Your little starts and smaller potted one will thank you for it! They dry out so stinking fast! If you want to cut down on the hot sun hitting them which it will in about two weeks, just put a plastic film over the window of very thin sheer curtains. works like a charm. I have noticed that even now the south facing windows are getting a bit too warm when it's sunny even when it's cold out. This should help hydrate those bulbs. In fact, it's common to have them do that when changing their environment for a few months but by the time you can put them out, they will look so much better))

    As long as your room is warm, you have air movement, and your mix is drying fast, water very very often.

    Also, you will like the fact that you can spray away without getting your furniture wet or anywhere else becaue you will be spraying them inside those totes. The walls of those totes being wet wil help too. So convenient.

    Great job!!

    Mike

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Thank you, Mike. Great suggestions, you're like the plant whisperer. ;)

    -Nancy

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  • myermike_1micha

    Nancy, I hope your orchids are still doing nice these days. Just don't forget to soak them for a good 15 minutes to an hour in nice warm water to really hydrate the roots and by spring ythey will be really thanking you)

  • nanzjade z5 MA

    Thanks Mike, yup they got their warm water bath! I'll add a little fertilizer to the spray bottle next misting. You mist (& feed) the entire orchid, right? Basically, do the leaves absorb the fertilizer too, besides the roots?

  • myermike_1micha

    Hi Nancy!

    Becareful about feeding the leaves with fertilizer. If it's a very very weak solution I can't see any harm but I don't make it a habit. I don't mind spring them down with fish emulsion and organic seaweed though.

    When talking about orchid care, many people use the words “feeding” and “fertilizing” interchangeably. It’s a common assumption that orchid fertilizer “feeds” the plant; but rather than providing a meal, fertilizing orchids is more like giving it a vitamin pill . Like other plants, Phalaenopsis orchids and others use photosynthesis to create their own food from water, carbon dioxide and the sun’s energy.

    Orchid roots absorb water from rain and humidity in the air and carry it to the leaves. The plants leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air through pores called “stomata.” The pigment chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green color, absorbs the sun’s energy. Plants use that energy to break down the water molecules in their leaves into oxygen and hydrogen. Some of the oxygen is used by the plant but most is expelled into the air. The hydrogen combines with carbon dioxide in the plant’s cells to create sugar which is what actually feeds the plant.


    Fertilizer drenches applied to the root system are the most efficient way of supplying most mineral nutrients to your orchids but when plants are stressed, have root damage or nutrient deficiencies, foliar feeding can provide a quick fix. ... Plant leaves are specialized organs for capturing light and carbon dioxide.

  • nanzjade z5 MA
    Hey Mike! Ohh wow good to know, thanks for explaining!! I’ll use two spray bottles then, with and without fertilizer, the one with fertilizer for the roots. Until they can go outside at least.

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