How To Water Orchids
Despite the fact that orchids are one of the most beautiful , coveted indoor plants and perhaps the most sold, very few people know how to water an orchid correctly.
The maintenance of the orchids is very simple , but it requires to be quite cautious with essential aspects, such as lighting and irrigation.
An inadequate watering will inevitably end with the death of the orchid. Especially if we water more, since the orchids tolerate better a lack of irrigation than an excess of it.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Establish an orchid watering pattern
- 2 When you have to water the orchids
- 2.1 When watering orchids of the genus Phalaenopsis
- 2.2 When watering Dendrobium orchids
- 2.3 When watering Vanda orchids
- 3 How to water the orchids
Establish an orchid watering pattern
Water your orchids preferably in the morning: this way you will give the growing medium time to dry, it will take advantage of the morning’s highest metabolism of the plant and will avoid burns by the joint action of water and sun . Never exaggerate the amount of water in the irrigation (water until all the roots change from white to light green), some water in the periphery of the plant is not harmful as long as the place is not already very wet for your orchid. On days of intense heat you can water the orchids more frequently and reduce the temperaturewatering around the plant as previously indicated; Obviously, in rainy season suspend or minimize the risks. Irrigations should also be diminished gradually when a plant evidences to enter in rest, this becomes patent when its orchid does not present growth of new roots. The ideal is to buy orchids that match their seasons of growth and rest to the environmental determinants of their region (see the section ” Toleranceto the drought. “) Take into account that the orchids, according to the species, range from those that do not have a definite rest (that is, the spaces between irrigations only lengthen, and the rest can end in just weeks), to which they need marked rest (that is, the risks are suspended almost completely or completely and that their rest can be relatively long.) It is a primordial rule to respect the rest of an orchid so that it acts as a trigger for the next flowering. Remember that when watering your orchids, you must do it in a way that mimics nature (sprinklers or sprays) and gives the growing medium time to dry (not necessarily completely), to prevent the orchid from passing the night very wet; This is the most important reason why you should water your plants in the morning.
In most plants, whether indoor or outdoor, you can and should establish irrigation guidelines: every “x” days and so much water.
This way of watering plants, so rooted among us, does not work with all orchids.
Orchids are plants with a tropical origin , which in most cases live epiphytes on the branches of trees, on stones or on leaf litter, without reaching their roots are buried in the substrate.
They are used to obtaining the water they need from the humidity, through their leaves and their roots. It is those tropical humidity conditions that we must reproduce, as far as possible, inside the house.
When you have to water the orchids
To know when is the
“ideal” time to water, in most orchids we will have to use
In others, it is possible to establish irrigation guidelines, but with many peculiarities.
Let’s see when you have to water most orchid genera:
When watering orchids of the genus Phalaenopsis
The Phalaenopsis orchids respond perfectly to the method of observation and irrigation accordingly.
We can know that they need to be watered when their roots acquire a whitish tone , while if the roots have a greenish tone, they still have moisture and it is not necessary to water them.
When to water the Dendrobium orchids
The Dendrobium orchids are very particular in terms of irrigation, since the “when watering” has to do with its growth stage and the time of year in which we find ourselves.
When the Dendrobium is in full growth, it should be watered once a week (approximately), to reduce the risks when the autumn begins and in winter the risks are limited to the minimum, only when “by observation” the pseudobulbs (roots of the orchid) seems to reduce and begin to wilt.
When to water Vanda orchids
Vandas are undoubtedly one of the most spectacular genres of orchids , both for their size, their flowering, and the way in which they are exhibited, with the roots completely in the air, without any type of substrate.
As with the Phalaenopsis, the frequency of irrigation is determined by the roots and their color.
The difference is that since they do not have any type of substrate, in the hottest seasons they may need up to two daily waterings.
How to water the orchids
This is another very interesting point of watering the orchids . How should the orchids be irrigated correctly?
The water should always be at room temperature and preferably it should be a soft water, without dissolved salts.
If you do not want to irrigate with bottled mineral water, one trick is to boil the tap water and pass it through a carbon filter.
Another water that goes very well with orchids is rainwater, but we should never use distilled water.
The orchids that have their roots in pot, such as Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium, can be watered like the rest of the plants, with the precaution of not wetting the leaves and stems,only the substrate.
You can also use thewatering by immersion, especially if we detect that the orchids are very dehydrated.
In any case and after the irrigation, we have to make sure that the pot has drained all the excess water, and we should avoid that so typical in the indoor pots, place a saucer to collect that excess water.
If the roots are in constant contact with the water, they will end up rotting. We will notice if we notice that they take a brown tone … the problem is that the process is irreversible and if the root rots, it is possible that we completely lose our orchid.
The Vanda and the rest of the orchids in the basket should be watered by spraying their roots with water.
In any case, it is always better to irrigate less, than fall into a pattern of excessive irrigation.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.