How to water orchids properly: How often, how much and what kind of water?
Orchids are very popular for their beautiful flowers. The proper dosage of water is crucial for growth and flowering. We shall explain how to water orchids properly and what you should consider when watering, dipping and spraying.
Table of Contents
- How often to water the orchids?
- How do you water orchids properly?
How often to water the orchids?
Orchids are tropical flowers. However, this does not necessarily mean that they need more and more frequent watering than other houseplants. It’s not just about the amount of water, it’s more about how to water properly.
In their native countries, many species of orchids grow on trees. They are used to tropical rains but can easily endure extended periods without water.
It is very difficult to replicate the climate conditions in the tropics (air currents, humidity and light conditions) in your home.
So how often you water your orchid depends mainly on the period (growth time in summer or flowering time in winter).
How often to water the orchids when they bloom and when they grow?
In the months between February and May, when the orchids form buds and during the flowering period, you need more water – watering twice a week is best.
In early summer (from June), when the growth phase begins, the exotic flowers also need regular watering – about three times a week.
The dormant phase begins in autumn and winter. Then you can water the flowers less often. It is completely sufficient if you water them every two weeks in the months between September and February. The flower can hardly use more water during this time so there is a risk of waterlogging. Or the flower continues to grow and then has little strength to form blossoms during the flowering period.
The best time to water orchids is early in the morning so that the roots, leaves and possibly the flowers can dry out during the day.
During the winter months, when the indoor humidity is too low, you can fill a spray bottle with lime-free water and mist the leaves and aerial roots every two days.
Common mistakes to avoid:
Water the orchids too often. Never leave the orchid in the water. It is much better to let the substrate dry completely.
Water the orchids at night: no matter what type and variety of orchids you have, the right time is always early in the morning. Always. This allows the excess water to evaporate during the day and the roots are less susceptible to fungi and diseases.
Ignore the houseplant’s signs: During the summer growing season, the leaves should be green, thick, and pointing upwards.
How do you water orchids properly?
There are basically five different ways of watering your orchid.
- You can water the orchid with a watering can like any other houseplant.
- You can also immerse the orchid in a water bath.
- You can put water in a spray bottle and spray the orchid with it.
Pour water or dip orchids: which is better?
Depending on the phase the flower is in, it needs between two and eight waterings a month. But how should you water: pour water from below or immerse it in the water? The immersion bath has proven to be the better alternative. This allows the roots to absorb the moisture better and faster. This is important because the orchid must be able to store enough water for the “dry period” that follows.
Before each immersion, check whether the pot is heavy or light. A light pot means that the water in the substrate has already evaporated and the orchid needs to be watered again. A heavy pot means she still has water reserves.
How to immerse the orchid in water: instructions
- First fill a clean container with lukewarm water. Depending on the season, you can add some liquid fertilizer for orchids to the water.
- Hold the pot at an angle and slowly immerse it in the water. You can also water the orchid from below.
- Leave the orchid in the bath until the roots turn grass green. This is an indication that they have stored enough water.
- The rule of thumb is: leave the flower in the immersion bath for 10 to 15 minutes if the humidity is high (i.e. from 60°) and temperatures between 10° and 20° Celsius. In low humidity and temperatures above 20° Celsius, let the flower dip for 30 minutes or more.
- Place the pot in the sink to allow excess water to drain.
Watering orchids with a shot glass: right or wrong?
The shot glass method has grown in popularity in recent years. Fill a shot glass with water and pour it over the edge of the pot. However, this amount of water is not enough for an orchid. It is best to leave the plant in the immersion bath for 15 minutes so that it can soak up water. If you don’t have time for it, you should simply water the flower from above, like a normal houseplant.
What type of water is suitable?
Orchids do not like calcareous water. Rainwater is best. Especially in summer it is not easy to find rainwater. In this case you can use lukewarm, decalcified tap water or condensed water from the dryer.
Distilled water alone is not suitable for watering orchids. However, you can fill a watering can with tap water and distilled water in a ratio of 1 to 1 and add some liquid fertilizer for orchids. Stir slowly until the fertilizer has dissolved in the water and then water the houseplant with it. You can also put the water in a bucket and put the plant in the bucket.