How to Water Orchids
Author: Melanie Dearringer3 Comments
Orchids belong to one of the largest families of flowering plants with over 21,000 different species found in 880 genera. With such a large variety of plants, each having different watering requirements, what may dehydrate one plant may drown another. So how do you know when and how much to water your orchid in order to achieve optimal growth? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Every growing environment is unique. Temperature, air circulation, humidity, light levels, and potting medium all play a factor into watering requirements. Luckily, there are some generalizations when it comes to maintaining your orchid.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Orchids should be watered in the morning. This allows the sun to dry up any excess water that was not absorbed into the soil. Watering at night can encourage bacterial and fungal diseases due to stagnant moisture.
SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE
Too much water can cause root rot. Most orchids can tolerate a little under-watering better than a vast over-watering.
Most orchids should be watered more frequently when in warm temperatures and less often in cooler temperatures. Remember that plants placed in or near windows tend to be cooler or warmer then the general building temperature due to sunlight and drafts. You’ll also want to avoid placing your orchid near heating and air conditioning ducts.
Here is an easy to use guide that will help you better understand your orchid’s watering needs.
The American Orchid Society recommends placing the orchid into a sink when watering and allowing the water to flow freely from the drainage holes for approximately one minute. It is important to allow the plant to drain completely. This is also a fantastic way to inspect your plant and its potting medium. The water should pour through the medium rapidly. If not, your potting mix is too dense and should be replaced. If your potting mix is escaping from the drainage holes, it may be time to repot your plant.
What kind of orchids are you caring for?