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Is it possible to grow orchids in apartments?
      The answer is yes! 
           As cities advance, spaces are getting smaller and more expensive, yet our passion for orchids continues.
      It's true that we'll have to put in a lot of effort so that everything works out in the end: a beautiful flowering!
      Let's go to some tips. 
1- Know well the species you are going to cultivate
      It has become easy to find information about each species, this will make you understand the requirements of that plant so that it grow well and flourish. 
         Para começar eu te recomendo tentar cultivate those that inhabit (or inhabited) the forests in your region. These plants are more likely to feel "at home" to grow. After mastering the cultivation of these, little by little, invest in species from other regions. Remember, the more different the climate of a species' habitat is from the climate in its region, the more difficult it tends to be to grow. 
2 - Choosing the place in your apartment
    One of the most important recommendations for growing orchids is to become a good observer.   Observe where sunlight enters inyour apartment, at what times, if the wind blows, if the wind is strong or weak, cold or hot(see also tips in the "General Care" item). 
      Prefer spaces with morning sun and also facing the point where warmer winds blow (usually towards the face north and east are best for growing orchids)
3 - Pay attention to the height of your apartment's floor
     In principle, it is possible to farm on all floors.  If your apartment is on a lower floor, it is possible that it will receive more shade from walls and neighboring buildings (observe the weather and time that it will be sunny), it must also have good ventilation. The higher your apartment, the greater the wind currents and also the greater the sunlight, generating a greater risk of dehydration and even burns in the plants. 
      If you choose to place the plants near a window or on a balcony, try to place those plants that require more sun in the first rows (outwards) and progressively place those that need less light in the innermost rows. 
Even so, it may be necessary to use a "windbreak" (glass, plastic...) if they are in areas such as a building by the sea where it tends to be very windy (but never close it completely, ventilation is always necessary (read more in the topic "General Care" A shading screen may also be necessary to filter the sun during the hottest hours of the day. 
4 – What is the biggest challenge for growing orchids in apartments?
      The biggest challenge of all is maintaining the relative humidity of the air. As I said in the topic “General Care”, the relative humidity of the air is a condition for the good cultivation of most species. Many of the diseases and pests that can affect an orchid come from a deficiency in this item.
      The interior of houses and apartments has many elements responsible for removing natural humidity from the air. Concrete flooring prevents soil moisture from rising and evaporating. Wall coverings, fabrics, furniture, books... At this point, you might be thinking of using an air humidifier that is easily found in pharmacies. It's certainly a good idea, but there are also other simpler and more economical ways. Basins with water (throw salt in the water to avoid becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes), fountains, aquariums and even leaving the floor periodically wet can help a lot in the development of the plants.
      Another alternative is to place pebbles in a tray and add water and then place the pots on top (do not leave water touch the vase)
5 – Direction of growth of orchids in apartments
     Orchids grow towards the light. This means that the orchids will probably tilt the new bulbs towards the light. The fronts will also direct their growth in the same direction.
      Orchids grow and position their leaves in an angle and direction that can capture the greatest amount of light possible. In practice, this means that, if you need to remove the vase from its place, try to place it in the same direction as it was previously (after the leaves mature they no longer change direction) ensuring that it has the maximum use of light, which it is a condition for it to carry out all photosynthesis and remain healthy.
         On the other hand, this also creates an opportunity to not have to replant the orchids as often. If your plant is about to leave the pot and your substrate is still in perfect condition, you can turn the pot halfway around (rotate) and you will notice that the next shoots will probably go back into the pot as they will try to continue growing in the direction of the greater luminosity (which is now in the opposite direction).
     But do not do this procedure all the time. It is a procedure to be done only when there is a need to change the direction of growth (remember that the old leaves are oriented in order to have the highest efficiency for absorbing light).
6 – Fertilizers and pesticides
      At first, the orchids in the apartment are in great need of fertilization and also often get sick and need treatment. Therefore, I also invite you to read the specific topics regarding fertilization and pests and diseases.
      But, unlike when we have an orchid house outside, we are talking about a cultivation in which the orchids will be in permanent contact with the residents.
    So we have to think about avoiding strong and unpleasant odors. Remember that when you paint the apartment, depending on the type of paint you use, you will be uncomfortable with the smell that will remain in the room for a few days. This will also be the case with the products passed on in your plants.
      Regarding fertilization, there are lines of fertilizers with organic components (castor cake, bone meal, bokashi and other organominerals ) and also completely chemical lines. I really like the organic line, but the problem is that this type of fertilizer needs to react with the substrate (a kind of decomposition) and this process will release gases that are often unpleasant. Some even smell like dead fish and I don't think you'll like that in your apartment. Then you will prefer chemical fertilizers.
      With the defenders the issue is even more difficult. Pesticides usually have a strong smell, but the worst thing is their toxicity. Many are related to the appearance of long-term problems, even cancer. In the defensive item, you will find some homemade recipes (even if they are less efficient) that can help in your cultivation. If you are not successful with problem control with homemade recipes, you may need to take the plants to some temporary place, away from everyone, where you can spray the pesticide and leave them there for a few weeks until the toxic elements dissipate a little. Home gardening products, available at garden stores, are also low-toxic and can be tried.
      The good news is that cultivation in apartments and balconies is that many pests are very difficult to appear. Most of the pests in this case are airborne (aphids, mealybugs, tripods, caterpillars, diabrotica) and manual cleaning and grooming for a small number of pots may be enough to keep the collection under control.
7 – Use of  artificial light for orchid cultivation
          Sometimes the luminosity that comes through doors and windows is not enough for the health of the orchids, in these cases you need to consider the possibility of using artificial lights.
        The lamps indicated are the fluorescent type and must be positioned side by side at a distance of 15 to 20 cm from each other.. There are special lamps for growing, but those are more expensive. Theoretically, the results of cultivation with special lamps are better, but the data are still conflicting. 
Place the plants about 40cm below the lamp and keep them lit for a period of 14 to 16 hours a day. 
Finally, observation of the color of the leaves prevails, as described in the item "General Care",   to conclude whether the brightness is sufficient or not. 
      The above description is for cultivation exclusively with artificial light, but artificial light can be used with fewer lamps in order to just complement the light that already enters through a window, for example.  Species that need high luminosity tend not to adapt well to the use of artificial light. 

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