5 Things that help orchids grow better in shade houses

Orchid is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated shade-loving plants. But they need different care to thrive and grow healthy. So for new orchids growers, it’s crucial to take some time to learn what they need and how to grow them well in shade houses.

Since orchids are shade-loving plants, the location where there is plenty of indirect sunlight like a shade house is an ideal place for them. Apart from providing the best shade house, giving them the essential needs that help them grow and bloom is also necessary. To understand how to grow these blooming plants, read this article below.

1. How to water orchids

How much water should be given to orchids in a shade house depends on the humidity level, climate and the potting medium used. Generally, the best time to water them is in the morning. This is to make them dry out by night time. In addition, watering them once a week during winter is enough. But when the weather turns dry, make it twice a week.

Orchids typically don’t need to be watered every day. Overwatering them might lead to root rot. This is a disease in plants that attack their roots. Primarily, it is caused by poor functioning of the root system, overwatering and poor drainage of the damp soil.

2. Choose the right potting medium

As mentioned above, how often orchids should be watered depends on the potting material used. They usually potted in either bark chips or sphagnum moss. These two types of potting materials work well for orchids but they both need different care.

Generally, a moss act like a sponge that helps orchid to take a long time to dry out. They’re perfect for species such as lady’s slipper and nun’s orchids. On the other hand, bark drains quickly and doesn’t hold too much water. Thus, they are the ideal choice for Cattleya and Phalaenopsis.

3. Consider the shade house location

When building (DIY) or assembling an orchid shade house, the location should take into serious consideration. This is because a well-located shade house can provide a consistent and better garden environment for orchids.

Apart from the site, the direction of the window face can make a difference in the light exposure of orchids. It’s crucial to know the amount of sun exposed to the orchids. Since certain species of orchids don’t need too much sunlight. For a better understanding of the different window face directions and how much light they provide to the orchids, please read on.

  • South-facing window – This window face offers more sun exposure. Hence, this is the ideal direction for orchids that require more sunlight.
  • East-facing window – East-facing window direction offers orchids with few hours of exposure to morning sunlight. They provide perfect sun exposure to orchids during summer, spring and fall. Except for those orchids species that require extreme light like Vandas.
  • West-facing window – This window face direction can give more afternoon light to orchids. Thus, they tend to provide orchids with a hotter environment than with the east-facing window. Additionally, a shade house with a west-facing window might result in orchid dry out because of too much heat.
  • North-facing window – The light from this window is not enough to make orchids grow healthy. But for plants that require low light like ferns, this is the ideal window for them.

4. Choose the right shade cloth colours for orchids

Whether orchids are placed in a greenhouse or in a shade house, installing shade cloth is crucial. They tend to grow taller and have bigger leaves when they’re placed in shade houses with shade cloths.
Different shade cloth colours provide various benefits to orchids. Below are their benefits.

  • Silver shade cloth – A shade cloth with silver colour is perfect to use for growing orchids. They just scatter the light and don’t alter its full spectrum. Their cooling ability makes them the ideal shade cloth for shade houses.
  • White shade cloth – This type of shade cloth alters the light spectrum. Aside from that, shade cloth with white colour reduces the quantity of light in shade houses.
  • Red shade cloth – Applying this shade cloth colour to a shade house promote early blooming for most orchids. On top of that, orchids under shade cloth with red colour usually have large leaves. Their stems are also thicker and taller than the typical ones.
  • Blue shade cloth – Basically, a shade cloth with blue colour scatters the light. But they usually generate the heat from the sun. Furthermore, orchids that were grown in such shade cloth produce more roots and large leaves.

5. Choose the ideal shade cloth percentage for orchids

For shade-loving plants like orchids, they typically need 75-80% shade cloth. This shade cloth percentage will definitely provide enough shades for them.

However, some factors affect the shade cloth percentage needed for orchids. Here are some of them.

  • Temperature in the location where the orchids grow

For areas with higher temperatures during summer, the ideal shade cloth percentage is about 75-85%. But for those areas with the winter season, only minimal shade is required.

  • Different orchid types

The amount of light needed for orchids differs according to their type. For instance, orchids like Paphiopedilums, Macodes, Bulbophyllum and Phalaenopsis require 30 to 60% of light for about 4 to 6 hours per day. Therefore, to achieve this light intensity requirement for these orchids, 75-80% shade cloth is needed.

For ther light-loving orchids such as Dendrobium, Cattleya and Oncidiums, they need 50% or less shade cloth depending on their location.


Proper care and a healthy environment are essential for the growth of shade-loving orchids. In order to grow them in shade houses better, it’s crucial to provide them with enough water and sunlight to make them thrive and be healthy. These 5 important aspects above can help to grow orchids in shade houses.

Orchids can be taken care of by using a high-quality shade structure like a Shade house. To help you find the ideal shade house for orchids, just contact a trustworthy shade house provider for more details and recommendations.

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