Growing orchids takes patience and precision as they can take a year and a half from tissue culture to being on store shelves. With such a long growing period, ensuring consistent light levels is key to growing healthy plants. Green Circle Growers started by growing bedding plants, chrysanthemums, and poinsettias and is now an impressive operation with 110 acres in production. Eleven years ago, Green Circle Growers began growing orchids and have now grown to 40 acres of orchids supplying retailers such as Home Depot, Costco and Walmart. They have been using P.L Light Systems luminaires for over 20 years and are consistently pleased with how their lighting systems have helped them achieve their growing goals.
Achieving the right light levels in orchid production can be challenging as they are shade plants, but still require consistent levels of light. By utilizing specifically timed lighting intensity in conjunction with shading Green Circle Growers have achieved a high level of consistency, quality and control in their growing operations.
Green Circle Growers have installed P.L. Light Systems’ 600W NXT-2 with Alpha reflector for lower greenhouse production and 1000W NXT-2 with Alpha reflector for the remaining greenhouses. Using the Alpha reflectors helps achieve a high level of uniformity over a wide range. With approximately 40 compartments (growing zones) each with its own unique set of temperatures, water and lighting requirements having the right quantity and quality of light is key. Orchids grown using supplemental lighting give the grower more control over development and help achieve healthier plants. Since growing a full-sized orchid can take 1 ½ years, pre-planning is required 2-3 years in advance. Lighting plays an important role in achieving a uniform product while meeting sales targets, ensuring all stages of plant growth are meeting their goals.
Marcel Boonekamp, Orchid Range Grower Manager of Green Circle Growers, expressed how they rely on P.L. Light Systems expertise, support and knowledge in making the right calls when it comes to horticultural lighting for their growing operations. Marcel came from the Netherlands four years ago to join Green Circle Growers and manages all aspects of the orchid operations.
Together P.L. Light Systems and Green Circle Growers have created a 10 year plan so they can be certain their lighting systems are up to date and are being maintained correctly. Creating long term plans and goals ensures the success of their lighting system so their business can run smoothly, and they can focus on what matters – growing great orchids.