Air movement is your orchids’ friend. I am talking about the refreshing breeze on a tropical island, not the Florida hurricane or Indonesia Typhoon in the mid-summer. The air movement serves three primary purposes to ensure the health of your orchids.
- Gentle wind has cooling effect. Have you ever stood under the mid-day sun? It makes a tremendous difference when the sunshine is accompanied by the wind. In fact, if you go to some orchid nurseries in Hawaii, orchids are grown completely in the sun. The orchids have no sunburns because the wind cools down the plants, along with the daily rain showers and high humidity.
- Air circulation keeps the temperature more uniform. It prevents pockets of cold or hot air in one particular spot. This is especially important if you have a small growing area with many plants.
- Moving air prevents disease. Fungus and bacteria germinate and multiply on wet surfaces. In the water section, I mentioned that you should water your plants in the morning, so that the leaves are dry before the night falls. With a gentle breeze, your plants’ leaves will dry more quickly than without.
To promote air circulation, you should not overcrowd your growing area. I know it’s tempting to buy more orchids than you have space for (guess how I know that?!), but it doesn’t make sense to have a bunch of unhappy, sick plants! If the air in your growing area is stagnant, a small fan will help enormously! Just remember that moving air is good as long as it is not too hot, cold or dry. Don’t place your orchids right in front of an air conditioning or heater.