Orchid Polythene

Although a humidifex will greatly assist in keeping up the humidity, particularly during the summer months when the humidity is lost through the open ventilators, it is nevertheless no substitute for manual damping-down, which should also be done whenever possible. One humidifex such as illustrated would be sufficient for a To x 8 ft (3 x 2.5 m) greenhouse, or one room indoors.

It should be placed near the floor, below the plants, to allow the cool vapour to reach the plants standing above. Within a few weeks of introducing a humidifex into the greenhouse or home you should see a noticeable increase in aerial root activity on your orchids.

These days of high fuel costs the most expensive item required in determining an orchid collection in the northern hemisphere is the Ming. Prevention of heat loss is the aim of every grower, and insulation of the greenhouse will make a great saving on fuel.

In a mixed orchid collection such as housed by most amateur growers, plants of all sizes must be catered for and therefore every square inch of space is of some use in the greenhouse. Even the upright ends of the house, as we have discussed, can be covered with trellis or wire netting on which species growing on cork bark slabs can be suspended. Another way of making full use of this otherwise unoccupied space is to buy a quantity of square plastic guttering which makes excellent shelving for low plants in small flower pots.

It is much harder to add an extra layer to the inside of tour greenhouse after the building has been completed. Glass is a very heavy material and will double the weight on the roof.

Either north or south ends of the house are suitable, or the guttering can run the full length of the greenhouse at about eye level. Place two thin strips of wood or plastic in the base of the guttering, to raise the pots slightly from the floor and allow a clear run of the surplus water, thus preventing puddles resulting in the plants being saturated.

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