[pleurothallid-l] High temperatures and low humidity

Ron Maunder pondeeza at enternet.co.nz
Fri Aug 1 21:42:12 EDT 2003

These are not great problems for us here in NZ. I realise there are 
not many places in the USA with climates like us.  I correspond with 
several growers around your country and though I've been over a 
couple of times its always around May so I've not experienced the 

Kathy and Katie, I wondered if growing in hydroponic tanks would help 
you in hot, dry weather?

I mentioned in my first posting that we grow some Masdevallias in 
hydroponic tanks with Disas.  They are in pots of 100% moss or 
mixtures and do very well being fed regularly.  See last posting.  In 
the winter months they are removed to sit on benches as they don't 
like cold wet feet and tend to drop a few leaves.  The tanks are on 
Continuous Flow - ie in circulating water all the time. We use this 
method so a small return tank of say 20 L or 4 gallons can be used 
under the bench/tank.  We could run them on Flood and Drain (or Ebb 
and Flow) with a time clock on the pumps but the benches are so large 
that a huge tank would be required under each bench.  We have one 
such as a comparison that has two 200 liter drums (2 x 45 gallons) on 
their sides interconnected.  For a small hobby collection either 
method would be possible.

You will probably respond that the water in the hydroponic tank and 
the reservoir will heat up quickly during high temperature periods. 
Agreed, but what about this idea?  I visited a hobby Disa guy in New 
York who had purchased a small chest type deep freezer.  He put his 
reservoir bucket of water with the pump in it in the freezer.  He put 
a timer on the freezer to turn it on and off every 30 minutes so the 
circulating water was chilled but not frozen!  It worked well.  Not 
sure what he did in the winter.  Probably turned the freezer off.

Square pots are used to fill the tank and stop the water being 
exposed to the light which promotes algae.  Empty areas have styrene 
foam board floating ontop of the water to keep it cool and keep the 
light out.  Live moss can be piled around the tops of the pots to 
give extra humidity.

Maybe this method can be modified for summer time high temperatures 
for your beloved Massies?  Depends how large you want to let your 
collection grow to and how determined you are to grow them! I'm sure 
a second hand freezer would be cheaper for you than for us!

Now I'll sit back and let the flak come in!



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