How to water orchids: This may seem to be a simple question but when looked into there are some different considerations. Do I use tap water? I heard I can use ice cubes! If I use a spray bottle to increase the humidity of the orchid growing area does that count as watering? Do different types of orchid require different rates of watering?

Tap water: Using tap water is the most practical. Check with the local nurseries that sell orchids and see what their response is. These folks will know and keep themselves up to date on the water conditions. Also, call the local water authority and ask for information. This is a great way to be “in the know”. Watering with ice cube does stir a debate.

Ice cubes: On the blogs, some orchid folks say yes and some say you are nuts to do that. I take a middle of the road approach. There is a company that sells “ice cube orchids” and they say that this is all you need to do. Put two or three cubes on the plant each week and you are good to go. I believe on the other hand the plants still need a good drenching once a week. This will mimic the true natural habitat of the orchid. A rain forest is not a constant drip of water but a good old fashioned down pour once in a while.

Spray Bottle: Humidity is vital to the success of the orchid growing and blooming well. We can use a spray bottle to increase the moisture content of the air and give the orchids a nice imitation rain shower. Add thunder and lightning at your own risk. A rain forest is damp and the air is thick with moisture. So both the forest floor and the surrounding atmosphere are contributing to the humidity level. While humidity is vital just like light, fertilizer and pot drainage in and of itself it is not enough on its own to suffice the watering needs of the orchid plant.

Types of Orchids: Consider the different orchid species needs for watering. The sun tolerant orchid species, the oncidiums, love moisture so water with regularity at least every other day during the peak growing season. The growing season is during the fall. When you see the plant browning, give it ample water to make possible the intensification of bloom. Phalaenopsis or phal orchids on the other hand do not like dry periods. If there is an insufficient amount of water the orchid will die. Watering this orchid weekly is mandatory. You will be able to detect if you are getting proper amounts of water to the plant by observing the roots of the plant. The roots will turn white. Not a great thing to see. Also check out the plant media, if it is not moist this might mean you missed your watering routine or your house is changing in its humidity range from a change of season.

Just consider the above topics when watering orchids. A little diligence with this will pay big dividends for you and your plants. Happy orchids bring beautiful blooms.

Marty Lewis

Author's Bio: 

Marty Lewis has been an avid horticulturist for over 30 years. Working in greenhouses allowed Marty to witness firsthand the needs of growers. Marty has been nationally recognized in horticulture competition. This most recent book, Orchid Care Plus gives insight to orchid owners regarding absolutely everything they need to know about care for their Orchids. Marty would like to share an additional Article about Orchid Watering with you.