Orchids Under Artificial Light
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Orchids can be grown without a garden or greenhouse in a special area of the home where extra artificial light can be provided together with enhanced humidity.
Sometimes orchids grown in this way are superior to those grown in a greenhouse as they can be provided with the same quality of light for 12 hours or more every day, as in the tropics, instead of having to survive short winter days.
Fluorescent tubes of the ‘warm white’ variety are the best source of light. They can be erected in banks of four or more over a growing area of trays containing gravel, Hortag, or charcoal on which the plants are set. The leaf surface of the plant needs to be kept 6-18in (15-45cm) below the lights (nearer will be too hot and further away not light enough). Sometimes a growing area is enclosed in a glass case, or in a recess, where it is much easier to maintain the best humidity levels for orchids. Specially designed plant cases, in modern or traditional style, can be very attractive pieces of furniture and very suitable for paphiopedilums, Phalaenopsis and other orchids with low light requirements.