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Dave-in-Virginia

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Hello all, I'll be retiring in a few months and dedicating more time to orchids, orchidariums and vivariums. I'm going to start with some "light boxes" which are just waterproof all white boxes with LED grow lights. I'm looking at the Spider Farmer or Mars grow light LEDs. The orchidarium light boxes are about 8' long, 5' high and 2.5' wide. I've got Paphs and Phrags coming in March/April which hopefully gives me enough time to build the orchidariums, put in misting/ventilation/lights and try to get a controller to automate things. I'm not a very technical person but I like what automated systems can do.

I've grown lots of plants in my life, my favorites have been lilies. I'm relatively handy and will build the orchidariums and vivariums myself. I think people like lots of pics of DIY builds which I am happy to provide. At this point I see slipper orchids in bloom rotating into the lower part of a large vivarium (low Paphs, the Phrags will be closer to the lights), and when blooms are spent the slippers will be rotated back into the orchidariums for recovery/rebloom. I anticipate several different climates in the recovery boxes. Some orchids need cooler nights to simulate seasons, some need drier conditions. That's why several orchidariums will be needed to supply one vivarium. I also think I'll put some high light Cattleya/Vanda types up high and some Phals in the middle. I'll have to see how the foot candles measure up in each box.

Please don't think the above specs mean that I know much about orchids. I don't. I'm pretty much a beginner and would like lots of advice. Growing indoors is relatively new to me, I've mostly been an outdoor flower grower. I have a greenhouse but have been disappointed with it. It gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. I have some 275 gallon totes in the greenhouse for rainwater collection. I don't want to house rare or wild plants, or anything that puts more collection pressure on an overstrained world.

I can take a deep breath now because I think I've run out of things to say! Thanks in advance for help and advice from friendly people.
 

Ray

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Welcome, Dave. I grew up in DC (and will always be a Redskins fan, no matter what they call ‘em!).

If you haven’t purchased your lights yet, take a look at horticulturalleds.com. The company is owned and operated by an orchid grower who has used a lot of spectrophotometer and PAR meter analysis to design the lights and has them manufactured to his specs. They seem to be a lot of “bang for the buck”, too.
 

gego

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Hello all, I'll be retiring in a few months and dedicating more time to orchids, orchidariums and vivariums. I'm going to start with some "light boxes" which are just waterproof all white boxes with LED grow lights. I'm looking at the Spider Farmer or Mars grow light LEDs. The orchidarium light boxes are about 8' long, 5' high and 2.5' wide. I've got Paphs and Phrags coming in March/April which hopefully gives me enough time to build the orchidariums, put in misting/ventilation/lights and try to get a controller to automate things. I'm not a very technical person but I like what automated systems can do.

I've grown lots of plants in my life, my favorites have been lilies. I'm relatively handy and will build the orchidariums and vivariums myself. I think people like lots of pics of DIY builds which I am happy to provide. At this point I see slipper orchids in bloom rotating into the lower part of a large vivarium (low Paphs, the Phrags will be closer to the lights), and when blooms are spent the slippers will be rotated back into the orchidariums for recovery/rebloom. I anticipate several different climates in the recovery boxes. Some orchids need cooler nights to simulate seasons, some need drier conditions. That's why several orchidariums will be needed to supply one vivarium. I also think I'll put some high light Cattleya/Vanda types up high and some Phals in the middle. I'll have to see how the foot candles measure up in each box.

Please don't think the above specs mean that I know much about orchids. I don't. I'm pretty much a beginner and would like lots of advice. Growing indoors is relatively new to me, I've mostly been an outdoor flower grower. I have a greenhouse but have been disappointed with it. It gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. I have some 275 gallon totes in the greenhouse for rainwater collection. I don't want to house rare or wild plants, or anything that puts more collection pressure on an overstrained world.

I can take a deep breath now because I think I've run out of things to say! Thanks in advance for help and advice from friendly people.
Welcome Dave. I'm here in Alexandria and will be retiring soon. I bring my plants indoor during the winter. I built an enclosed box like what you described. I use Spider Farmer and some HLG lights. I also add a few incandescent lights for additional lower Kelvin light source. I only use timers for automation. Watering is done manually. I have been doing this for 4 years now and still learning. Sunlight is still the best light.
Looking forward to see your set up.
 
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Hello all, I'll be retiring in a few months and dedicating more time to orchids, orchidariums and vivariums. I'm going to start with some "light boxes" which are just waterproof all white boxes with LED grow lights. I'm looking at the Spider Farmer or Mars grow light LEDs. The orchidarium light boxes are about 8' long, 5' high and 2.5' wide. I've got Paphs and Phrags coming in March/April which hopefully gives me enough time to build the orchidariums, put in misting/ventilation/lights and try to get a controller to automate things. I'm not a very technical person but I like what automated systems can do.

I've grown lots of plants in my life, my favorites have been lilies. I'm relatively handy and will build the orchidariums and vivariums myself. I think people like lots of pics of DIY builds which I am happy to provide. At this point I see slipper orchids in bloom rotating into the lower part of a large vivarium (low Paphs, the Phrags will be closer to the lights), and when blooms are spent the slippers will be rotated back into the orchidariums for recovery/rebloom. I anticipate several different climates in the recovery boxes. Some orchids need cooler nights to simulate seasons, some need drier conditions. That's why several orchidariums will be needed to supply one vivarium. I also think I'll put some high light Cattleya/Vanda types up high and some Phals in the middle. I'll have to see how the foot candles measure up in each box.

Please don't think the above specs mean that I know much about orchids. I don't. I'm pretty much a beginner and would like lots of advice. Growing indoors is relatively new to me, I've mostly been an outdoor flower grower. I have a greenhouse but have been disappointed with it. It gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. I have some 275 gallon totes in the greenhouse for rainwater collection. I don't want to house rare or wild plants, or anything that puts more collection pressure on an overstrained world.

I can take a deep breath now because I think I've run out of things to say! Thanks in advance for help and advice from friendly people.
Welcome! This is a great forum!!! Where in VA? I’m between Fredericksburg and Culpeper. Sounds like your new system will be pretty elaborate in design and function. With a greenhouse already, it seems like it would be easier to add evaporative cooling and some kind of heat (and maybe not too expensive) compared to what you want to do. Better growing conditions (at least better height for plants in spike) too. Just my off the cuff observation. There are people on this forum who have converted their basements into growing areas so they might be a resource. I’m thinking about Pete Miza (NCOS).
I took one basement room 9x12 and grow about 60 catts & 20 Paphs in there under automated LEDs with temp and humidity control. Also, about 15 Phrags on windowsills (they did not seem to like the 84 degree summer day temps in the grow room.). Anyway, just a thought, good luck with whatever you decide.
Oh, and the Virginia Orchid Society (VOS) Meetings are on the 3rd Sunday (1/15 this month) in Richmond at a Louis Ginter Botanic Garden. Their show is at Lewis Ginter March 3-5. The National Capital Orchid Society (NCOS) Meeting is on Monday, 1/23 this month at North Chevy Chase Christian Church. They are hosting the annual Paph Forum 1/21 at the church and their annual show Feb. 17-19 at Homestead Gardens in MD. The Paph Forum and two shows are things I never miss, we’ll worth the travel. I belong to both societies and really appreciate the great speakers and programs, although I only attend the VOS meetings in person. NCOS meetings, ZOOM because of the distance. Check out their websites. And Facebook pages. Hope to see you at one of the events. My name is Deborah Fox.
 
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LadySlipper

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Nice to have you here. Welcome!
I would love to see your DIY orchidariums when done.
Keep the updates coming, will you?
 

Dave-in-Virginia

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Welcome! This is a great forum!!! Where in VA? I’m between Fredericksburg and Culpeper. Sounds like your new system will be pretty elaborate in design and function. With a greenhouse already, it seems like it would be easier to add evaporative cooling and some kind of heat (and maybe not too expensive) compared to what you want to do. Better growing conditions (at least better height for plants in spike) too. Just my off the cuff observation. There are people on this forum who have converted their basements into growing areas so they might be a resource. I’m thinking about Pete Miza (NCOS).
I took one basement room 9x12 and grow about 60 catts & 20 Paphs in there under automated LEDs with temp and humidity control. Also, about 15 Phrags on windowsills (they did not seem to like the 84 degree summer day temps in the grow room.). Anyway, just a thought, good luck with whatever you decide.
Oh, and the Virginia Orchid Society (VOS) Meetings are on the 3rd Sunday (1/15 this month) in Richmond at a Louis Ginter Botanic Garden. Their show is at Lewis Ginter March 3-5. The National Capital Orchid Society (NCOS) Meeting is on Monday, 1/23 this month at North Chevy Chase Christian Church. They are hosting the annual Paph Forum 1/21 at the church and their annual show Feb. 17-19 at Homestead Gardens in MD. The Paph Forum and two shows are things I never miss, we’ll worth the travel. I belong to both societies and really appreciate the great speakers and programs, although I only attend the VOS meetings in person. NCOS meetings, ZOOM because of the distance. Check out their websites. And Facebook pages. Hope to see you at one of the events. My name is Deborah Fox.
Nice to make your acquaintance Deborah. Maybe you can share some of your 9x12 basement room observations. Hope to see you at a show.
 

Dave-in-Virginia

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Welcome Dave. I'm here in Alexandria and will be retiring soon. I bring my plants indoor during the winter. I built an enclosed box like what you described. I use Spider Farmer and some HLG lights. I also add a few incandescent lights for additional lower Kelvin light source. I only use timers for automation. Watering is done manually. I have been doing this for 4 years now and still learning. Sunlight is still the best light.
Looking forward to see your set up.
How big is your enclosed box? How many plants do you have in it? Thanks
 

Dave-in-Virginia

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Welcome, Dave. I grew up in DC (and will always be a Redskins fan, no matter what they call ‘em!).

If you haven’t purchased your lights yet, take a look at horticulturalleds.com. The company is owned and operated by an orchid grower who has used a lot of spectrophotometer and PAR meter analysis to design the lights and has them manufactured to his specs. They seem to be a lot of “bang for the buck”, too.
Thank you Ray. I searched for horticulturalleds.com but couldn't find anything. I've ordered two spider farmer lights but will need more lights anyway so I'll look into them.
 

gego

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How big is your enclosed box? How many plants do you have in it? Thanks
I think it's about 15×12 , 8 ft high. I have about 30 big paphs and 50 to 75 small ones, assorted paphs, vandas and phals. I can difinitely share my experiences to you. If you are in Fairfax Station, you are so close to me. I play tennis in one of the clubs there. PM me.
 

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