[pleurothallid-l] reply to Jeanne Schudel

Joorchids at aol.com Joorchids at aol.com
Sun Aug 24 18:33:54 EDT 2003


Hi Jeanne..Yes..I do remember you too...it has been many years since I was 
involved with the old PA....but never lost my interest in the small stuff.  
Carlo can attest to that.  I am located just south of Clearwater..out on the 
beaches.  Little place called Largo, right on the intercoastal.  The greenhouse is 
up on a ridge..one of the highest places around..which is good in that it gets 
alot of breeze but bad..because if there is a frost in the winter we get hit 
good!..The problem is not the winters, as I have heat in my greenhouses...but 
the summers where the temps go over 100degrees inside the greenhouse even with 
the roof coated with three coats of coolray paint.  I have 4 large fans and 2 
smaller fans going in the main greenhouse, So have plenty of airmovement, 
plus the west and east wall are totally open to outside air during the warm 
months, although covered with shade cloth. 

 I have a misting system that runs once a day..keeping humidity at constant 
90%.  I let it dry out considerably more in the cooler months.  My miniature 
orchids and all pleuro types grow on a vertical wall, that is 55 ft long by 5 
ft. high,  the back of this wall is 4 inches of foam rubber..and I have a 
constant water drip set up to keep this wall wet.  It is on the north side and 
coolest side of greenhouse.  Most of these orchids are on rafts or mounts.  The 
temperature in this area is usually about 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the rest 
of the greenhouse.  I also have the top of the bench on the north wall totally 
covered with carpet foam padding..which also retains moisture and gives off 
constant humidity.  This means that bulbophyllums grow like weeds.  Believe it 
or not..it is in the winter that we have a hard time maintaining proper 
humidity levels..because of the high elevation of the ridge..this area is always much 
dryer that surrounding communities.  Unless of course we have those wonderful 
Forida rainfalls.  (almost daily in the summer).  

So...what I need is pleurothallids that will tolerate cold down to 45 in 
winter..and hot up to 100 degrees in the summer.  Humidity levels about 75% in the 
winter and 90 % in the summer.  I am slowly learning what grows well for me 
here..but it is new experience since I have only been in Florida with orchids 
for three years now.  Some of the loses were due to moving plants through the 
mountains of Tenn. in a snow storm in an unheated truck..gurrrrrrr.   Paphs, 
Phrags, Catts. Laelias, all grow extremely well..and even the brachy paphs bloom 
and grow well.  So..maybe this explains what my growing conditions are 
like..and will help to show you what I might be able to contend with.  I sure would 
love to get more Pleuro's as I loved the little critters madly.  I know there 
are also supposed to be warm growing Masd. around but haven't heard much about 
actual success with them.  

I might be forced to start looking for another Florist's refrigerator..as 
that sure was the ticket.  I could grow and bloom anything in that.  it was set 
for high 75 daytime..and low 55 night, humidity of 80% with constant 
airmovement.  6 vertical grow lights, and three horizontal.  everything was grown on 
vertical racks in clay pots.  (Anyone need several thousand miniature clay 
pots..haha?).  

Happy orchid growing...!   Jodi

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