[pleurothallid-l] Re: breeze/wind & humidity/ rain

Goldorchid at aol.com Goldorchid at aol.com
Sun Oct 19 21:52:32 EDT 2003

Hello All,
      Lindas question about wind on the day before I speak on Jamaican 
orchids in Madison, Wisconsin & Lynns' answer from her Ecuadoran adventure prompted 
me to speak up as our Society meeting was today & our speaker stressed it 
again with a S.E.Asian bent.
      Most cultivated orchids grow in the Tropics & Semi-tropics where the 
climate is generalized as"hot & humid & rains alot, always" to someone like me 
from Minnesota. The fact is that their climate can vary seasonally, with 
moderation & 1 country is not any where near homogenus in their climates & 
microclimates, let alone evenly   ""! 
      Orchids are extremely diverse as are their habitats BUT, they seem to 
have alot in common.
      In Jamaica, the west end of the island is warmer & drier & closer to 
sea level with more "tolerant' orchids like Epidendrums ,Brassavolas & Oncidiums 
than the Eastern higher elevation end of the island that harbours the larger 
proportion of Pleuros. However they have things in common!
     The western lower side gets more frequent "showers/sprinkles" around 
sunset & common morning fogs/dews rising up the shallow valleys with high temps & 
"shore"breezes during the day.. The higher elevations mid-island get a little 
more rain certain times of year but are also subject to more fog & dew on a 
daily basis, again, with mild breezes & intermittent sprinkles at any time of 
day but, usually, afternoon. The Blue mountains on the East end of the island 
are considered cool/cold by Jamaicans- the night temps can get as low as 50 
degrees! The most dramatic thing I observed hunting pleuros. is that the day 
temps can be quite high with high humidity & slight breezes on one end of the 
island& produce a few Pleuros. & the temps are more moderate, the humidity higher &
 the winds stronger towards the other side of the island. 7000ft elevations 
can be windy damp & sunny every day- early AM & sunset being the moistest 
times.. The clouds building over the west end get stuck & drag & let loose on the 
east end/Blue Mtns. & really let loose on the eastern coastal towns where, 
coincidently few orchids grow.
      Directing most of the "wind" in your system to generate humidity that 
circulates in the growing area is much better than blowing fans directly on the 
plants,BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY is that there is always gentle movement around 
the plants that is fresh, moist & bouyant!!
      In a "closed system" it is hard to reach an even balance but it can be 
done. Knowing where your plants come from in nature more specifically than 
country can help you find the right microcosm for them & understanding their 
origins can help you "build" the right microclimate...
Good growing! More later...
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