Orchid light: how much light do orchids need

Orchid light: how much light do orchids need



Talking about how much light orchids need is not easy and this is because some are satisfied with the penumbra, others need abundant but not direct light. Many orchids, during their evolution, have abandoned the earth to live in trees, in search of a greater amount of light. In absolute terms we can say that light is crucial for their growth but there are variations in quantity depending on the species.

How much light do orchids need? Unfortunately there is no single answer.The light intensity for orchid growth it is between 5,000 and 50,000 lux (1) with a great variability between species and species that we will see in detail in the individual monographic files. In any case, to give an indication of the main species found in our homes:

  • Phalaenopsis 8-12,000 lux;
  • Dendrobium is Odontoglossum 15-20,000 lux;
  • Cattleya 20-30,000 lux;
  • Cymbidium 30-45,000 lux;
  • Cambria 12,000 - 15,000 lux.

To meet these values, if there is not enough natural light in your home, you use common neon lamps placed parallel to the support surface during the winter and shading in the summer.

Generally speaking, we can say that almost all of themthey benefit greatly if during the hot season they are placed outside but not in direct sun. If you plan to do this, take care to make the plant adapt to the different environment. To do this, do not take it outside until the night temperature is below 15-16 ° C. For the first few days, keep it out during the day but bring it back in at night. For the first few days leave it in the shade and only gradually bring it to a greater amount of light.

Pay attention to the direct sun, especially that of midday and early afternoon which would risk burning the leaves.When autumn arrives, follow the same procedure that is to say, gradually get used to the new environment. Always remember that light is essential for all plants but in particular for orchids, in fact with low light they will grow stuntly and will not bloom as well as if the light is excessive, they will not bloom.

If the orchids are raised indoors, we find a location close to the oriented windows to the east or south-east, which allow you to have good light throughout the day. Windows facing south and south-west should be avoided, because they are too hot and not very bright.

If you can't tell if the location you find inside the house is bright enough for your orchid, a trick could be to photograph the corner where they are located, without the camera flash. If the photo is not clear, well, find another accommodation.

In any case, to find out exactly how much light your orchid needs, refer to the detail of the individual species.


(1) The lux (lx) is the unit of measurement for illuminance in the International System. One lux is equal to one lumen divided by one square meter. To give some examples: the light of the Sun on average varies between 32,000 lux and 100,000 lux; under the spotlight of television studios there are about 1,000 lux; in a bright office there are about 500 lux; the light of the Moon is equal to about 1 lux.

Video: Orchid houseplants suited for artificial light - Phalaenopsis, Oncidiums u0026 more under lights!