Watering Orchids is a fun activity for me. As I gain experience with these stunning flowering plants, watering them gets simpler. You’ll notice that potted orchids are typically grown in bark chips or moss. This is in contrast to the potting soil used for growing other houseplants. It is your first indication that orchids have some unique hydration requirements.
To have a long-term relationship with my orchids, I avoid giving them too much or too little moisture. It would help if you also remembered this when caring for any plant.
Things to Consider Before Watering Orchids
Orchids require varying amounts of water, and you should water them at varying intervals depending on different conditions. Orchids of various kinds have varying requirements for how much water they need. Here are some things that affect how you water Orchids:
There are different species of Orchids. It is usually a good idea to grow a single type of orchid in your garden. This is to learn about the specific care requirements necessary for the plant to flourish. The amount of moisture that an orchid needs varies depending on its species. It would be best if you watered some once a week, while others don’t have that requirement. Therefore, starting with cultivating a single specie of orchid is strongly recommended. Once you understand species’ conditions for water, you can expand your collection.
- Type of Soil
An orchid requires a loose potting medium with good drainage and ventilation to thrive. Because your orchids are susceptible to root infections, the porting mix can’t be too dense, or it’ll hurt their growth. If the potting mix can retain moisture for an extended period, you probably do not need to water the plant as frequently. However, you will have to water the plant more often if it dries up quickly.
Orchids can only thrive in regions with moderate temperatures. The orchid plant will require significant water if the temperature is too high. However, the plant will require very little water if the temperature is too low. It is because a higher temperature results in quicker soil drying.
High humidity is essential for the survival of orchid plants, particularly epiphytic varieties. This is because their roots absorb water from the surrounding air. Your orchid will require less water if you grow it in an environment with higher relative humidity.
What is the Best Method for Watering Orchids?
Here, I will discuss two methods for watering your orchid and some crucial facts you need to know. Now, let’s speak about them:
- Stream Water Through the Sink
The routine watering of your plant can be done with this approach, the simplest method available. Bring your plant over to the sink, and run lukewarm water through the pot while it is there. Doing this will ensure that the potting medium is completely saturated with water. Make sure that everything is adequately moistened! It is crucial to note the temperature of the water. Therefore, you should avoid using too cold water because doing so can shock your plant.
Remember that they are tropical plants that thrive in warm environments. So, you must use lukewarm water rather than cold water while caring for them. You can stop once the water drains out through the drainage holes. This procedure may not be the best option if your plant is not too severely dehydrated and in poor condition.
I also prefer to give the entire plant a good soaking to remove any dust accumulating on the leaves. Also, it provides moisture to any aerial roots that may otherwise go unnoticed. It will not only discourage bugs but also assist in washing them away. When I finish, I invert the plant so it’s standing on its head and give it a light shake to release any water that may have accumulated in the plant’s crown.
Crown rot can develop on a plant if the air around the plant is stagnant. It could also be due to inadequate air circulation and water accumulation. I may take a big breath and blast out any water accumulation in the middle of the plant. I do this if it’s not convenient for me to turn the plant upside down! Whatever it is that helps you.
- Use Rain Water
I move my orchids outside when the weather gets warm in the spring and summer. I keep them in the shade for several months. Bringing your orchids outdoors has a lot of advantages. If you want to give your orchids or other houseplants the best water source, utilize rainwater. In addition, the presence of good air circulation is particularly favorable to the growth of plants.
The normal dip in temperature that occurs in the evening frequently stimulates more flowering. If the temperature drops below 55°F for an extended period, bring your plants inside (13C). They dislike being in temperatures that are below freezing. The majority of my orchids grow in transparent plastic pots with drainage holes. If your decorative pots do not have drainage holes, water will build up after heavy rain, and you will need to empty them before using them again.
How Do You Know When to Water your Orchid?
Moth orchids do not like it when they are allowed to become dry. If the potting medium your plant is growing has become entirely dry, you must water it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the plant will begin to suffer. One of their significant drawbacks is that moth orchids typically only produce one or two new leaves each year. As a result, if you do not pay close attention to how much water you give them, you may notice that their leaves begin to yellow and droop rather quickly.
Here are additional suggestions for irrigation are as follows:
- Put your finger in the bark mixture or the sphagnum moss, and feel around. If it feels wet, don’t water it. If the ground is only slightly damp, you should generally wait another day or two before making any decisions. I favor this approach the most.
- You have the option of using the pencil trick if you do not choose to do the finger test. Place the sharpened end of a pencil into the potting media at a depth of several centimeters. Give it a few minutes there; if it has darkened, there is adequate moisture. You can water it if it still looks the same color after you dip it.
- If the humidity in your home is low, the potting and roots will dry up more quickly. Hence, it would help if you kept a close eye on everything. Your pot will need more time to dry out entirely in an environment with higher relative humidity.
- If the orchid is growing in sphagnum moss, you should water it every time the top inch or two of the medium has become dry.
- It is acceptable, in my opinion, to utilize a watering plan for your orchid as long as it grows in a bark mix. I never employ a tight watering schedule when growing plants in soil or potting mix. However, adopting a once-a-week watering schedule for orchids growing in a bark mix would be safe.