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Thread: Got a Psychospsis and I want to grow it as an epiphyte

  1. #9

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    Masdevallia are definitely low-light (1500 foot-candles, or so) plants. I would agree that it's probably too much light that's causing the lack of flowering. Can you move it to a shaded area or mask it in some way?

    While a good number of them stink, a lot of bulbos smell just fine. As I said, just find out before you buy. They certainly have some of the weirdest flowers in orchiddom. I've had a couple but only got a total of one (scentless) flower. I just can't give them enough humidity...

    Have you looked at equitant oncidiums? The flowers can't really be called "weird" but they are huge for the plant size and give you a lot of bang for the buck.

    I've found a chart to help you come up with foot-candles for your enclosures - but you need a camera with a builtin light meter and adjustable f-stops. What you do is set the film speed to ASA 25 and shutter speed to 1/60. Place a matte sheet of white paper at the level of the leaves and move the camera close enough to fill the frame with the paper (be careful not to create a shadow). Adjust the f-stops until you get the correct exposure for a picture and check against this table:

    f2.8 200 foot-candles
    f4 370
    f5.6 750
    f8 1500
    f11 2800
    f16 5000

    Low-light orchids are in the 1000-1500 range, intermediate 1500-3000 and high 3000-4000. Over that, you're pretty much out of luck.
    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

    Ageing is not a problem, ageing is a privilege.

  2. #10
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    I don't have a camera which has an F stop - just a crummy Kodak DC with 2 megapixels and no zoom [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img]

    Do you use flourescents or just window light?

    It's strange, I got my begining with aquatic plantsso I'm always under the impression that I can never give a plant too much light but I guess it's possible!

    Thanks Merlin!

  3. #11

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    I use only fluorescents (although my wife grows Phals on a partially shaded southern windowsill). I've got a 4-tube fixture hanging over my growing table and 3 2-tube fixtures hanging under it. Most of my Phals and Paphs are growing 12 to 15" from the lights - at around 2000 foot-candles. My few remaining Masdevallia relatives are about 24" from the lights, which works out to around 1100 foot-candles. At this point my tubes need replacement, so the levels will probably go up around 10%. BTW, I use full-spectrum daylight tubes. They put out slightly less "good" light waves than do plant lights but they leave the colors appearing natural - a real plus when it comes to flowers (and photography).

    Is there any way you can get your hands on a light meter? Borrow or rent one from a photography store maybe? Orchids are very hardy plants but they're simply not going to flower well (or maybe not at all) if the light's not right.
    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

    Ageing is not a problem, ageing is a privilege.

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