Orchids forum: Lighting and airing for Zygo

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Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 18, 2016 8:57 PM CST
Hi, I am not even a beginner of growing orchid yet, but am expecting my first (Zygopetalum Bright Imagination 'Master Ian') from Ahtanum Orchid (WA). I hope I make no mistake to start this thread in violating some rule(s) in this forum. But if I do, please remove my post to whatever thread that fit my questions and asked help. Thanks.

First I learned that this orchid (zygo) need non-direct bright sunlight for about 16 hrs a day. I am concerned about the place it will reside (in dinning area, inside of south-facing window with trees outside blocking direct sunlight) may not be exposed to very bright and very long indirect sunlight. So I set up the dinning light with five of LED bulb (each replace 60W for 6.5W and give 500 lum brightness: total 300W for 33W, 2500 lum) and I think it will do fine. Now the question: How long and when the supplementary light will be needed every day? Certainly I don't expect to turn it on when I get up in the morning and turn off when go sleep at night? My thought is turning on before dusk and off when go sleep (~5 hrs). One thing bothering me is that turning off at late night and it become totally dark (only some dim night light from outside) could have the zygo under some kind of "lighting shock" (kind like thermal shock as a rapid change from very bright to total darkness)? Will that harm the orchid (and other plants)? Any idea or thought?

Second, it need good air circulation/movement. So I prepare a small air circulation fan that provide air flow directing from near above ground to vertically up (to ceiling). The question: which is the best direction of air flow to set for the orchid: mainly to the wall with angle or to the ceiling with/without angle? When will be the time to operate the fan? 24/7? or ???

Third, according to some growing guide for zygo the nighttime temp for best bloom is 60-65F (some even advise 55-60), does it mean heater need to be set below 65 in the winter? ... Sad

Again thanks for all advice/help.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Sep 19, 2016 3:24 PM CST

Moderator

Anyone growing Zygos, do you want to take this, please?
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Sep 19, 2016 3:48 PM CST
not in my wheel house!
sorry Fiat.
lindsey
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Sep 19, 2016 6:20 PM CST
I had a large one that thrived for several years outside on my N. facing, covered porch...then croaked. I'm still trying, but not very successful with them, so far, so I can't be of much help.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Sep 19, 2016 6:28 PM CST

Moderator

How about this link? We were talking in August about you getting a Zygopetalum, right? I am curious, why a Zygo?
http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/zygopetalum-orchid.html
And another
http://www.beautifulorchids.com/orchids/orchid_care_tips/ind...

Reading your description of your lighting makes me blink! Smiling If I may? I wouldn't overthink it. Ditto for the temperature. There is no spot in nature that accurate.
It would be lovely if you were to get a plant in bloom and you could just enjoy it?
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Sep 19, 2016 6:45 PM CST
I know less than everybody here about orchids but I do have a noid zygo and with little care or attention it has bloomed 3 times this year. Last time I had stuck it out in the border where it would get some irrigation while I was out of town and I am afraid I forgot about it. One day I found some purple blooms where I least expected them and it was the zygo surprising me again.

Ursula is correct, don't try and overthink it. Mine spent the winter in a sunny, east facing window and as soon as the weather warmed it went outside in very bright shade. I am not very good at fertilizing with any degree of regularity. I am sure if I did feed it more often it would flower even more often.

Good luck with yours.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 19, 2016 8:39 PM CST
It looks like ok in starting this thread...

Too bad, Carol. I have seen many of your beautiful orchid blooms in several forums here, but never thought that you could have one gone! AW I have learned lot from you.

Ursula, thanks for the links again. I think you and Alice (hi!) are all telling me to "ease up!" Guess that's what I need, I think? Whistling Because this is the first orchid for me to grow, pressure and anxiety are all on me now... you are succeeding in loosening me up! Thanks

Surprisingly, Ursula said: "It would be lovely if you were to get a plant in bloom and you could just enjoy it?" and actually the Orchid grower/vendor just informed me he had found one zygo I ordered was in bloom. And he shipped it to me today to arrive on wed! I am very nervous that the orchid in bloom could be damaged/harmed during the trip (from WA). Nothing can do buy wait now! I hope the orchid in bloom will be intact when arriving and I can "just enjoy it"! How lovely it is then! I am in the mode of overthinking again...
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Sep 19, 2016 9:00 PM CST
Hi Fiat,

I have a Zygo and, like Alice's, mine is neglected. I don't remember to fertilize. It gets watered because my watering system in on a timer. Mine sits in the very top of my greenhouse under shadecloth but still, at times, its blazingly bright in there. The summer temperatures are between 105 and 65, the winter temps between 80 and 50. It blooms twice a year.

I don't think they are real particular about care or it would have been dead a long time ago. The air cirulation is just moving air - the fan could be pointed anywhere and it would be fine. You don't have 20 plants crowded together in the window, just one. The air will move around your plant. A humidity tray is probably more important than the fan.

The sudden daytime to nighttime is not a problem for a plant. The bigger problem is the amount of uninterupped darkness. The length of the night and falling or raising temps is what initiates flower production.

Good luck with your new plant. Please send us a photo when it arrives.

I graduated from Stanislaus State University and then spent 10 years in Modesto before moving to Oakdale (and eventually to Reno). Love your Avatar photo. I had a Pineapple Guava in Oakdale.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Sep 19, 2016 10:01 PM CST
Good job, Daisey! Thumbs up Fiat, gardening is supposed to be fun! We all loose plants. No one here has a perfect record. You get an orchid, you research how to grow it, and enjoy the process...win or loose, just like any other plant. I don't know of any shows in your area, but you could check for orchid shows on line, or see if there is an orchid society near you. Have you checked the "really Great Info" at the top of this forum? There really is a lot of help in there. Unfortunately, Zygos don't get much attention unless you're growing them. Hilarious! I can tell you for sure that you won't keep a blooming one in the house for long. The fragrance is wonderful, but very strong.
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 20, 2016 12:44 AM CST
Thanks, Daisy for sharing your valuable experience/knowledge on zygo. Pretty much every thing I am setting up here for the zygo is within your guess except that the orchid will reside at the center of a round dinning table over a big humidity tray surrounded by other plants (AV, spider plant, garden mum, Amaryllis (winter)... and maybe another orchid later). Since the fan won't make a big deal, decided to set it straight up to the ceiling circling down air. Oh, you just reminded me about the bad flashing night light outside the window... will fix it to make its light steady. Will post a pic when it arrives.

Oh, Carol. Though I am a non-life (not study life-science) scientist, am very sensitive about nature life. I have done numerous scientific experiments in my life, but never on life object until I started growing plants 2 yrs ago. Not did I never fail any experiment, but failing life-experiment means losing life in my care -- how sad it is! (I am glad I am not a medical doctor) That is why every time before I get to grow a new plant, I have to study enough and make sure every thing under control with least possibility for failure -- life lost. But I know it's almost impossible for any grower not ever losing any plant. And yet, I still want to try not losing my plants... Any way, I checked the orchid society in town, called, left message, and nothing turned up... and your last statement (about fragrance) surprised me; I am not sure if I (want to) get what you implied.... Yeah, it's fun to grow plants and yet losing them are no fun at all (at least to me). But you do have a marvelous experience on plant growing and I envy you.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Sep 20, 2016 4:04 AM CST
Carol, my poor zygo has neither an identification or a fragrance. Blooms its little head off though.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Sep 20, 2016 8:07 AM CST
I guess some of the crosses have had the scent bred out of them. The one I had had I lovely scent, but a bit overpowering up close.
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 22, 2016 3:28 PM CST
It arrived! Pic.1: unpacked, Pic.2: in the spot, Pic.3: the bloom
Thumb of 2016-09-22/fiat/ffa5c8
Thumb of 2016-09-22/fiat/d18bf4
Thumb of 2016-09-22/fiat/018f5b

It looks fine to me except the disappointment that it came in a 4" pot instead of 6" advertised on their website... (I placed the orchid and pot in my metal 6x6" orchid pot) There is no scent and I wonder it's because the orchid has traveled two days in the dark, so... not happy yet?
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Sep 22, 2016 3:33 PM CST

Moderator

Some Orchid blooms need the warm sunshine to start putting out a scent. Hopefully yours will fall into that category!
Nice blooms! Thumbs up
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 22, 2016 3:56 PM CST
Thanks, Ursula. I hope same about the fragrance.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Sep 22, 2016 6:16 PM CST
Looks good, but I wouldn't be happy with a 4" when advertised as a 6" either. I would check my order carefully, then contact the seller.
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 22, 2016 7:17 PM CST
Yeah, already emailed complaint to the supplier... The answer: "The web site was wrong and needs to be updated. Sorry about it." The guy (a Ph.D. in plants science) just lost his wife (died) days ago... don't want to dig deeper as he charged me some discount price w/o his own awareness. Rolling my eyes.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Sep 22, 2016 7:26 PM CST
Nice color. I like it.

Jim
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 23, 2016 11:56 AM CST
Thanks, Jim. I did dig lot before deciding to purchase this one. It looks pretty much like those showing online (e.g., pic below) except the smaller plant/flower size.
Thumb of 2016-09-23/fiat/ef25ec

Good news: Can smell a light scent this morning! Think it'll come around and dispense more wonderful fragrance.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Sep 23, 2016 12:08 PM CST

Moderator

Looks like a good size flower to me, judging from the leafy background in your picture.

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