Orchids under Glass

Growing Orchids successfully in the UK often means the need to some greenhouse space. As many of the most vivid and beautiful orchids require conditions we just do not have in the UK a well set up greenhouse can provide them.
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The key considerations are usually humidity and temperature, and by the addition of heating, lighting and humidity control you can provide the desired conditions for whatever orchid you wish to grow. Clearly there are other considerations such as the compost used (as we explored in this post previously) as well as the ph of water, but in a greenhouse it is easier to control these things.

Taking Dendrobiums as an example, they have pretty specific watering requirements This is one of the key elements that new growers of Dendrobiums often fail to adhere to, avoid all watering from mid November until February. If the atmosphere in your home is very dry or you keep them in a dry greenhouse then you can mist your plants once a months to avoid over drying them or give them a good single soak every 8 weeks.

The Nobile varieties of Dendrobiums must have a rest from water between November and February if you want to produce flowers. There is a fine balance between drying them out completely (killing them) and keeping them alive. This is due to their natural habitat in South East Asia where the winters are cool and the air fairly dry. This winter treatment is stopped in February as growth re starts and water should be applied sparingly until good roots are visibly growing from the new shoots, by June watering can given twice weekly and continued until November. This watering regime is due to the plants native environment where they would be subject to monsoon type downpours during the early to late summer with corresponding higher temperatures and humidity and cool dry winter conditions. Growing in a greenhouse allows this control over temperature and water that would otherwise be difficult to replicate. For example in a house you typically have central heating which dries the air.
Gabriel Ash Wooden Greenhouse

Due to their delicate nature orchids can easily be damaged in strong wind or rain, so the greenhouse provides the protection needed to ensure this can not happen. These two Gabriel Ash greenhouses provide an ideal solution for growing perfect orchids in your garden.

Not only protection from weather but also protection from pests as well. However it is worth noting that problems can spread rapidly in the enclosed environment of a greenhouse if you do not treat quickly when a pest is discovered. For example red spider mite will go right though a greenhouse in just a few days if you do not introduce pest control (either organic or chemical depending on your own preferences.

Lean To Greenhouse from Gabriel Ash
Space can be a consideration, not everyone has large gardens to have a free standing greenhouse. If you are limited then a good solution can be a lean to. As well as saving space these can have other benefits as well.

If you attach it to the side of your house then you can reduce the heat loss from the greenhouse in winter as the wall of your home will provide additional protection from the cold and poor weather. If you are able to have a connecting door from your house it also means you don't have to get cold yourself to check on your Orchids!

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