February 14, 2009

Orchid Light Requirements - Find The Right Light For Your Orchid

All plants need light to survive, the same way we need to eat food and breath. Without it any plant will die and orchids are no exception to this rule. The real issue is that different types of orchids (there are 1000's of them) require different amounts of light. Some orchids live in very warm sunny climates while others live in damp rain forests. The trick is to know what type of orchid you have and try to mimic the same orchid light requirements that they would receive in nature.

Not everyone is familiar with the type of orchid they have or its lighting requirements. The good news about this is that there are universal symptoms you can look out for that can tell you if your orchid is getting too much, or not enough light.

Too much light for your orchid may mean some of the following

  • The plants leaves may show brown and/or yellow burn patches on its leaves. The leaves of the orchid may also be rough and slightly raised.
  • Too much light for your orchid may mean the leaves feel warm to touch.
  • The orchids leaves may become red.
  • The leaves may bleach/become black/become red depending on your orchid type. Look out for all 3.

Not enough light for your orchid may mean

  • The leaves become dark green,
  • When the flowers bloom they are smaller than the previous bloom or,
  • There are hardly any blooms on the plant when it blooms,
  • The orchid begins to go limp and lacks life,

Generally you can use your own logic here, if the plant doesn't look healthy then chances are you are not providing the correct orchid light requirements.

Luckily for us, the solutions are simple. If your orchid seems to be getting too much light, leave it in a shady area for a little longer each day. If the orchid is not getting enough light, place it by the window for a little longer each day. I like to keep my orchids behind the blind, so that a little light can shine through during the day but it doesn't over do it. This does the trick just right for me.

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