Orchids forum: Growing phals under strictly artificial light?

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Alexp08
Apr 20, 2017 7:54 AM CST
Does anyone grow their phals under artificial light only? I'm In an apartment with no Windows. Currently I'm growing everything under CFL but I'm curious as to if it is enough to rebloom my phals. Any advice would be appreciated, or giving me some starting points. Thanks
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Apr 20, 2017 6:18 PM CST

Moderator

Alex, I am sorry, but I guess nobody here grows under artificial light.
But, I would think you can surely bloom Phals that way. There are people who grow and bloom Orchids in basement and garages, totally unter artificial light.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Apr 20, 2017 6:22 PM CST
I'll bet Kathy @boojum could answer this one.

Jim
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
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Ursula
Apr 21, 2017 7:28 AM CST

Moderator

Perhaps some understanding has been gained?
The thread "5000k vs 6500k?" in Ask a Question forum
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Apr 21, 2017 9:26 AM CST
my thought that it would be a snap to grow Phals under lights...until they started spiking and the spikes got so tall that they would be in the lights and getting burnt.
lindsey
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Composter Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Apr 21, 2017 3:00 PM CST
I have a lot of phals. They all go outside for the summer but during the winter some go in my house and some go to my outside storage building that I converted to a 'grow room' it has no windows and is all artificial light. The ones in my grow room do much better than the ones in the house. I have some in the grow room that have been in bloom since January. The blooms in the house only lasted a month.

Edited to say. It is my understanding that phals need a couple of 50 degree nights to help them bloom. I don't have any facts to back that claim up. But I don't bring mine inside until the nights get in the 50s and they almost all bloom every year.
[Last edited by plantcollector - Apr 21, 2017 3:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Kathy
Western MA

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boojum
Apr 22, 2017 12:49 AM CST
Phals are grown as windowsill plants in my house but I'm sure they would grow fine under lights. The don't require tons of light though. The key would be to set the lights higher than normal grow lights and increasing how long they are on in spring since I typically set them closer to a window in spring to initiate spikes. Here is my schedule for all the orchids:

18 hr a day from May 1st to September. September 1st down to 14 hours, then December 1st 12 hr, then in March 1st 14 hr, April 1st 16 hrs and May 1st 18 hrs.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Apr 22, 2017 6:00 AM CST
I never grew orchids under lights but I grew plenty of other blooming plants under fluorescents and I know most plants do well with bright, full spectrum light if possible. While I have no knowledge of growing phals under lights, I do know I replaced all the CFL bulbs in my home because over time they dim and dim significantly. I generally had to replace them in less than a year because I was starting to squint. Plants would do the same, they need consistent bright light. I think, with the right bulb your phals should do very well but I would look into a regular or plant fluorescent or an LED bulb with full spectrum. I've seen the LED's for plants and they look funny, they have little red and blue lights mixed in with the whites, but they provide the most natural and bright light. You could control the intensity by how far you put the plants from the bulb. Prices have come way down too.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 26, 2017 9:39 AM CST
As far as the flower spikes getting up into the lights, Phals naturally cascade downwards so as long as you didn't stake the flower spikes up they wouldn't be a problem.

It's definitely worth a try, although Heath is right that the plants do require a little bit of chilling in order to initiate blooming. So if you can let your space get quite cool at night in the fall, that will help with your efforts to bloom them. Maybe put them down on the floor in the coolest spot in your apartment for a few weeks? Cold air settles, right?
Elaine

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