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Why You Can Be Successful Growing Orchids Under Grow Lights

Happy woman taking care of orchids on her kitchen table

Have you ever considered growing orchids indoors but been put off by the thought of needing a greenhouse or sunny window to keep them happy? Well, think again! Growing orchids under light are becoming an increasingly popular way to enjoy these beautiful plants, even if you don’t have a lot of natural sunlight.

This article will explain some of the benefits of growing orchids indoors under fluorescent and LED lights and share tips on how to get started. So read on to find out why now is the time to add an orchid to your indoor garden!

The Benefits Of Growing Orchids Under Grow Lights

One of the most apparent benefits of growing orchids under artificial lights is that you can grow orchids just about anywhere in your home, regardless of whether there is a sunny window. Grow lights also provide a more controlled environment for your orchids, which can be beneficial if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions.

Another benefit of growing under lights is extending the growing season for your orchids, giving them the long, warm days they need to thrive.

Of course, one can grow orchids without the benefit of using grow lights. But there will be some tradeoffs. The main downside of not using grow lights to grow your orchids is that they will not thrive as well as if grown under lights. This is because they will not receive the same amount of natural sunlight, essential for their growth.

Additionally, without grow lights, you will need to rely exclusively on a sunny window, like an east facing window, to provide your orchids with the light intensity they need, which may not be possible in all homes.

Additionally, some orchids that require a lot of light to bloom include Cattleyas Cymbidiums, Vandas, and Ascocendas. If you are growing these types of orchids or many other varieties that require higher light intensities, it is essential to provide them with grow lights to thrive.

Orchids growing on a sunny windowsill
Many people successfully grow Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium orchids on a sunny windowsill. However, growing light-hungry orchids like Cattleyas, Cymbidium, Vandas, and others on this same windowsill may be insufficient for bringing those orchids to bloom.

How To Choose The Right Grow Light For Your Orchid

Now that you know some of the benefits of growing orchids under lights, you may be wondering what type of grow light is best for your orchid. The two most common types of grow lights are fluorescent lamps and LED lights.

LED lights are becoming increasingly popular for growing orchids because they are more energy-efficient and long-lasting than fluorescent grow lights. Unlike an incandescent light bulb, LED lights also emit very little heat, making them a safer option for your orchids. However, LED lights can be more expensive than fluorescent grow lights, so they may not be the best option for beginners.

No matter what type of grow light you choose, it is crucial to ensure that it provides the right amount of light intensity for your orchid. The amount of light your orchid needs will depend on the orchid you are growing.

For example, different orchids such as Cattleyas and Cymbidiums require a lot of light to bloom, so they need a grow light that provides at least 2000-3000 lumens. On the other hand, Phalaenopsis orchids are low-light orchids and will send up flower spikes with as little as 500 lumens, so an artificial light with this output would be sufficient.

When choosing an artificial light, it is also essential to consider the color temperature. Orchids grow best under lights with a color temperature of 5000-6000K. These lights provide the right balance of blue light and red light, which is essential for photosynthesis.

When considering the light spectrum, green light should not be overlooked. For some plants, such as orchids, providing red and blue light is essential because their reproductive cycles depend on them for success.

Confused woman image can't decide on which grow light to use for her orchids
It is challenging to decide which grow lights to use for your orchid collection. It pays to do your homework on the pros and cons of each type of light and technology used.

Setting Up Your Orchid’s Grow Light

Now that you know how to choose the right grow light for your orchid, it’s time to set it up. The first step is to select a location for your grow light. It is vital to make sure that the area you choose has enough space for your grow light and that it is close to an electrical outlet.

Once you have found the perfect location for your grow light, it’s time to set it up. If you are using fluorescent grow lights, you will need to purchase a grow light stand or hanger. These can be found at most home improvement stores. Once you have your grow light stand or hanger, follow the instructions to set it up.

Once your grow light is in place, it’s time to plug it in and turn it on. Make sure to set the timer so that the grow light turns off automatically after 12 hours. This will ensure that your orchid gets the right amount of light without being over-exposed.

The Best Grow Cart to use for Orchids

In our opinion, the best multi-shelf grow cart that we sell for orchids is by far the Flora Cart. Why are Flora Carts an ideal solution for your orchid collection? They grow orchids very well for the following reasons:

  • The Flora Cart is designed to provide 360-degree access to your orchids. This means that you can easily water, fertilize, and repot your orchids without moving the grow light.
  • The Flora Cart has a built-in grow light reflector. This reflector directs the grow light down onto your orchids, which means that your orchids will receive more light than if they grow light was placed on a table or shelf.
  • The Flora Cart comes with casters, making it easy to move around. You can easily roll the Flora Cart into another room if you need to.

The Flora Cart is an ideal solution for growing orchids under artificial light. If you are looking for a grow cart that is durable, easy to use, and comes with a grow light reflector, we highly recommend the Flora Cart.

You might be wondering which Flora Cart model is the best one, Model BA3-P4 or Model BA3-P4? The answer depends on the types of orchids you will be growing. Some orchids require much more light to thrive than others. If you are growing orchids that require less light, such as Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilums, then the 2-bulb fixtures of the BA3-P2 will be all that you need.

However, if you will be growing orchids with much higher light requirements, such as Cattleyas, Oncidiums, Vandas, and others, you should opt for the 4-bulb fixtures of Flora Cart model BA3-P4. If you do not know which cart to use, please refer to the section below, which are the ten best orchids to grow indoors.

Flora Cart Model BA3-P4

Model BA3P4

As you can see from the image above, the Flora Cart is an impressive stand with 74 inches. An extensive orchid collection can be accommodated with a length of 54 inches and a depth of 20 inches.

But what makes the Flora Cart our favorite grow stand for orchids over our other large carts is the ability to adjust each shelf’s height to suit your needs.

For example, suppose your orchid collection includes taller Cymbidium orchids and shorter orchid plants. In that case, you can dedicate one shelf to your Cymbidium collection while growing all of your Phalaenopsis or other smaller orchid plants on another shelf.

The key to accommodating all of these varied orchid plants is to adjust the aluminum frame by positioning the T brackets to the desired height interval.

Closeup view of Flora Carts T bracket

For example, the shelf with the taller Cymbidium orchids will look much more comprehensive than the shelf dedicated to your smaller orchids. Additionally, the fluorescent lights are hung conveniently on a slide rack system. This means that the light intensity can be adjusted quickly and easily for your orchids.

Keep in mind that you will not be able to change the shelf’s height once you place all of your orchids on the shelf. 

Customizing the space between each shelf takes place while assembling the Flora Cart, whereas adjusting the fluorescent fixtures up or down to increase or decrease the light intensity can be done with ease after your orchids are in place.

For a full feature list of Flora Cart BA4-P4 and it’s current price, please click here.

What Are The Ten Best Orchids To Grow Indoors?

1. Cattleya OrchidsCattleya flower with orange and yellow colors

The Cattleya orchid is one of the most popular and well-known types of orchid genera. They are easily recognizable by their large, showy flowers, which come in a wide range of colors.

Lighting Advice:

Growing Cattleya orchids under lights is a great way to achieve beautiful blooms. These orchids require a lot of light to bloom, so they need a grow light that provides a high intensity of at least 2000-3000 lumens. In our opinion, there is no such thing as too much light when it comes to growing high light orchids like Cattleyas

2. Dendrobium OrchidsDendrobium orchids om bloom

Dendrobium Orchid is a type of orchid plant known for its showy flowers. The Dendrobium genus includes about 1,200 species, making it one of the largest genera of flowering plants. The flowers of Dendrobium Orchids can be very fragrant, and they are often used in perfumes and aromatherapy.

Lighting Advice:

Dendrobium orchids are also great candidates for growing under lights. These orchids require high light to bloom, so they need a grow light that provides at least 2000-3000 lumens. One bright, full-spectrum LED light should have enough light intensity that these plants require.

3. Oncidium OrchidsYellow colored Oncidium orchid

Oncidium Orchids are native to Central and South America, and their name comes from the Greek word for tumor, onkos. Oncidiums are known for their fragrant flowers, which bloom in the fall or winter. The Oncidium Orchid is a popular choice for beginners because it is easy to care for and does not require much attention.

Oncidium orchids are another type of orchid that can be grown using direct sunlight, LED grow lights, and fluorescent bulbs. These orchids require a lot of light to bloom, so they need artificial lights that provide at least 2000-3000 lumens. Many LED lights on the market can provide enough light for this orchid species.

4. Phalaenopsis Orchids
Phalaenopsis "Moth Orchid" in bloom

Phalaenopsis orchids are a type of orchid that is native to Southeast Asia. They are also known as moth orchids and are one of the most popular types of orchids globally because of how easy it is for them to bloom indoors.

Phalaenopsis orchids are characterized by their large, showy flowers, white, pink, purple, or yellow. They are relatively easy to care for and can bloom for several months at a time. Phalaenopsis orchids are also known for their long-lasting flowers, which can stay fresh for two months.

Lighting Advice:

Moth orchids are great examples of indoor plants that require medium-light to thrive. Phalaenopsis orchids can bloom with as little as 500 lumens, so artificial lights with this output range would be sufficient, or an LED light with less light intensity, an incandescent light bulb, or fluorescent lights.

5. Epidendrum Orchids
Epidendrum Orchid in bloom

Epidendrum Orchid is a perennial plant that has many different species. It is found in tropical America, and its flowers are usually yellow or white. Epidendrum Orchid is a very easy plant to grow, and it does not require much care.

Epidendrums require high light to bloom, so they need a grow light that provides higher light intensities of at least 2000-3000 lumens. To ensure that your Epidendrum orchids are getting enough light, run your artificial lights for a duration of 12 to 16 hours a day.

6. Vanda OrchidsPink Vanda orchid in bloom

Vanda Orchids are a type of orchid known for their showy flowers. They have long, thin leaves, and their flowers can be any color but are typically shades of purple, blue, or white. Vanda Orchids are popular in the horticulture industry and are often used in hybridization to create new varieties of orchids.

Lighting Advice:

Vandas require high light to bloom, so they need a grow light that provides at least 2000-3000 lumens.

7. Paphiopedilum Orchids
Paphiopedilum in bloom

Paphiopedilum orchids are also known as lady’s slipper orchids and are characterized by their unique pouch-shaped blooms.

Paphiopedilum orchids are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and can be found in the wild in countries like India, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Paphiopedilum orchids are typically green or yellow and have a long flowering season.

Paphiopedilum orchids are relatively easy to care for and make an excellent addition to any indoor garden.

Lighting Advice:

Paphiopedilums can bloom with as little as 500 lumens, so a grow light with this output would be sufficient. These medium-light orchids respond well to small led grow lights but will also be perfectly happy with the natural light of a windowsill.

8. Miltoniopsis Orchid

Miltoniopsis roezlii orchid in bloom
Miltoniopsis roezlii

Miltoniopsis or Miltonia orchids, often called Pansy Orchids, are among the most popular groups of orchids. Miltoniopsis are intermediate growers and should be mounted on cork or tree fern with good air circulation.

Miltonia orchids come from Central and South America and prefer cool to warm conditions. Some Miltoniopsis have a sweet fragrance, while others are unscented. Miltoniopsis orchids come in white, green, yellow, pink, and red.

Lighting Advice:

Miltoniopsis orchids can produce flowers with as little as 500 lumens, so a grow light with this output would be sufficient.

9. Brassia Orchids
Brassia Orchid in bloom

Brassia orchids are characterized by their unique spider-like petals. They are native to tropical America, and their natural habitat is rainforests. Brassia orchids prefer warm, humid conditions and bright, indirect light. They are relatively easy to care for and make a great addition to any home or office.

Lighting Advice:

Brassia orchid’s lighting requirements are not that high. However, we would put them in the medium-light orchids category. They require an average of 2000-3000 foot candles. Brassia orchids do best in an east or west-facing window.

If you cannot provide this much light, you can supplement artificial lighting with a light duration of 12 to 16 hours a day. The Brassia Orchid does not like direct sunlight, so protect them from the hot afternoon sun.

10. Odontoglossum Orchids

Ondonoglossum Orchid
Odontoglossum bictoniense clarete

Odontoglossum Orchids are a type of orchid native to Central and South America. Odontoglossum Orchids are known for their large, showy flowers. The flowers of Odontoglossum Orchids can be white, pink, purple, or yellow.

To thrive, Odontoglossum Orchids require high humidity and bright but not vigorous light intensity. Odontoglossum Orchids are one of the most popular types of orchids among collectors.

Lighting Advice:

Odontoglossum Orchids do best in moderate to low light conditions or bright shade, putting them in low light orchids. However, Odontoglossum Orchids require high humidity to thrive. If you live in an area with low humidity, you will need to provide extra humidity for your Odontoglossum Orchid.


We hope you enjoyed this helpful information on how to be successful when growing orchids under lights. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll be happy to help you answer any questions you might have about our products before purchase.

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