Hi from Spain!. My setup

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New Member
Nov 11, 2023
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Coruña. Spain

I have been in the orchids world for 2 years, with 2 clear objectives in mind .... to make my living room wonderful, and low maintenance, even if I can work a lot at times trying new automatic systems... :D. 90% of low-maintenance experiments have failed. ;D, but I have learned a lot about things that don't work.

My latest acquisition is a 10 liters Levoit humidifier, 5 hours a day = 10 litres a week. My main reason is to grow the roots when the flowering season is over, for which I will cut the flower stems as soon as they appear.

Usually I have more light bulbs, but with so many steams I had to remove some bulbs. They are in rock substrate (volcanic rock, carbon and very small marble stones which I soak in water every 1 or 2 weeks. I fertilise every two waterings. The orientation is north.

On the right I have 6 orchids experimenting on a tree trunk (cork) and sphagnum moses. Three times a day they receive 15 second spray of water. I spray fertiliser on leaves and roots. They seem to be doing well even though it is very new.

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It is a nice looking grow space. Welcome to the group!!
The only comment I have is that most orchids are not good “foliar feeders”. Getting moisture on the leaves might not prove to be a good idea.
It is a nice looking grow space. Welcome to the group!!
The only comment I have is that most orchids are not good “foliar feeders”. Getting moisture on the leaves might not prove to be a good idea.

Maybe I should explain that I am a farmer's son, and that shows in my mentality. My cats are my cats, but with my orchids ... I try to make them grow as fast as possible, but with the requirement that I don't work on maintenance because everything is "automated", and that everything is at the service of making the dining room beautiful. That is my challenge and what motivates me. Plants have fascinated me since I was a children, so the day I succeed I will find another challenge.

About your comment "most orchids are not good "foliar feeders", I do it for me, not for them. If I spray orchids in cork trunk 3 times a day with 15 seconds of water with an aquarium pump is to automate de process like in a industrial orchid factory. For 2 years I have kept potted orchids in stone, pine bark or whole unchipped coconut fibre, and sprayed them from above. I have never been able to get enough moisture to "wet" the roots (orchids grow ok, but the roots becoming more and more dehydrated), as the soil creates an insulation that would require an amount of water that I can't afford in the dining room. With moss I rot the roots of course. The obvious way out for further experimentation was... ok, them I will direct spray to the roots. And it seems to work very well. A 20L bottle of water will last for months!!!! Zero maintenance. Good!!!. I'm really looking forward to experimenting by putting a spray inside the rock, and wetting it a lot every 10 days (underneath they have an evaporation tray).

These are the videos that have most impressed, influenced, and opened my eyes.

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What Mercedes achieves with a simple garden hose (and something else...) is incredible.
youtube .com/watch?v=HJ_kVvJUXiE&list=PLLtXxBNqZWKVoGawzg2odMTUmg1V9Pf7-&index=6&t=3044s
One more thing ... The man who makes orchids grow like lettuces. From the SUPERmarket in very poor condition, to SUPERstars on Youtube, to my HOME... when I bought them to him. The growth he achieves is so fast that I had a hard time identifying each plant 3 months later. Incredible how he turns each little leaf into a giant leaf with another little leaf behind it in 3 months. I have them since 07/10/2023. What caught my attention when I visited him in the middle of a mountain in Galician was the incredible amount of light they had, a lot of humidity and very changeable temperatures between 5º and 30º. Now I am trying to replicate humidity and light before trying to automate anything.
youtube .com/watch?v=zgJNBmcisM4&list=PL3UfY8YCzei2ZCcC7oWtdkaY_lqONt5tn

Same 6 months before on how he do the watering
youtube .com/watch?v=KOnojAZ1_mY&list=PL3UfY8YCzei2ZCcC7oWtdkaY_lqONt5tn&index=5

The origin 1 & 2 in very poor condition
youtube .com/watch?v=lx8Xuv7oZHI
youtube .com/watch?v=YVSu5DBg0h8

I have a lot of experience trying things that don't work. hehe. If you have questions, I'm happy to help.
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Welcome from Alicante. I grow most of my orchids outside on a terrace all year. The Paphs and Phrags come indoors for just the few coldest months. If the night temperatures are forecast to drop below 1c, I cover with frost cloth. If less than 0c, I panic and bring most of them into the unheated guestroom until nights warm up again. I only have around 300 plants, so it doesn't take long to move them. Clearly, I'm selecting for temperature tolerance!
I like the logic here. The challenge is maintaining something reliable. Everyone I know that has automated systems gets a failure at some point, and often ends up losing plants. Really the only way I see to do it well is to build in some sort of redundancy, such as dual systems that alternate.

The biggest challenge I see is that you are trying to have plants adapt to what you can provide, rather than focusing on providing more closely what they need.