Growing Orchids at Home with LED Grow Lights
Prized for their beauty and variety, orchids are a favourite of many flower gardeners. With almost as many orchid types as there are mammal species, it can be difficult to choose which plants to cultivate. To make this easier, it might help you to know that the approximately 22 thousand species of orchid can be divided into two major categories: terrestrial and epiphytes. Terrestrial orchids are native to the ground, while epiphytes orchids are found in trees. Many home gardeners find that the tree-growing varieties are easier to cultivate.
Wild epiphytes orchids receive nutrients from the rain, rotting tree vegetation and sunlight filtered through the jungle canopy. To keep your domestic orchids happy, you will need to create an environment with 50% humidity or more. One way to accomplish this is to set the orchid pots above a tray of water. You can also lightly mist the plants with water if you also provide enough air circulation so the leaves and petals can dry.
Naturally, it is easier to create a controlled growing environment for orchids and other plants indoors, rather than outside. One of the most important components of any indoor garden is lighting. There are several types of grow lights on the market. Some commercial produce and flower farms are turning to LED grow lights as a more efficient light source for their crops.
Just as older types of light bulbs are being replaced with high efficiency bulbs in most homes, LED grow lights are increasing in popularity over incandescent or florescent grow lights. Incandescent grow lights tend to produce a lot of heat and to consume large amounts of energy. For this reason, the cost of lighting has been one of the biggest drawbacks to indoor gardening. Florescent bulbs burn cooler and are less likely to burn your plants, but they are still expensive to run. Florescent lights also usually require ballasts which must be periodically replaced.
LED grow lights, on the other hand, consume very low amounts of energy and have a very long bulb life. So, not only is your energy bill much lower with LED bulbs, but you have to replace them only rarely. LED grow lights produce intense light, but put off far less heat than incandescent bulbs. An LED grow light system is usually much simpler than a comparable incandescent or florescent gardening setup, as LED grow lights do not require ballasts or heat deflectors.
Since they are flowering plants with leaves, your orchids will need light mostly in the blue and red spectrums. Unlike other types of bulbs, LED grow bulbs emit light only in the spectrums needed for plant development. By eliminating wasted light spectrums, LED lights are both more effective and more energy efficient. When combined with proper hydration and nutrient levels, LED grow lights can help you create the ideal environment for growing beautiful, healthy orchids.
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