How much light/sun does my orchid need?
Orchids have a wide variety of light needs depending on their species. Understanding the appropriate amount of light for your orchid is essential to their health. Inadequate light is one of the major reasons that orchids do not bloom. Orchids require different light then normal house plants. They do not require the kind of bright direct sunshine that let’s say a tomato plant does.
Too little light can make their leaves turn a dark green color which is not good, their leaves should be a light to medium green color. The picture on the left shows a healthy orchid leaf. The one on the right shows an orchid with too little sun.
“High light” level orchids enjoy being outside in the summer (with dappled shade). This is the easiest way, to give them enough light to bloom. If you are keeping your “high light” orchids indoors, you may find that they will not bloom reliably without some sort of supplemental light unless they are in a very bright sun room or greenhouse. I have been told that fluorescent bulbs (with broad spectrum bulbs) work well with these types of orchids, as well as High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights…shown below. Remember, as stated in my previous post that in nature orchids get natural light cues, so you will need to keep them on a schedule as the days get longer and then get shorter.
“Low light” and “Medium light” orchids will not be happy far from a light source but are easy to grow in a filtered sunny widow. My Phalaenopsis orchids are low to medium light orchids and they do very well in my window seat (shown below).
Note on leaves:
Hope that helps,
Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures of your orchid.