Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects to growing orchids is to find the perfect watering method for your specific plants.
Watering orchids can be a tricky process that more often than not can result in the loss of the orchids; however, with a bit of trial and error mixed with a steady amount of knowledge, you will soon be watering in the manner that best fits them!
An oft overlooked aspect of the watering orchids process is the type of pots that your orchids are grown in; orchids in their natural habitat are not grown in pots, for the most part they thrive while attached to a tree or rock surface in an incredibly humid environment. This type of environment provides them with the correct amount of moisture and circulating air that they need in order to survive.
If your orchids are kept in pots that do not allow for a sufficient amount of moisture retention or circulating air then you are setting yourself up for orchid disaster. Too much water surrounding your orchid’s roots can quickly foster an environment that is teeming with fungus and other bacterial infections; while too little water can quickly lead to the drying out and ultimate death of your orchids.
Try to locate a pot that is clear or opaque so that you can gauge the amount of moisture surrounding the roots at all times.
Know Your Orchids
It is generally assumed that plants should only be watered once their potting soil or other potting media is completely dried out. While this may be the case for several common houseplants, this is definitely not the case for orchids.
Your orchids should never be allowed to completely dry out; this goes completely against their optimal living requirements and is a sure-fire way of ensuring that you either have a very unhealthy orchid or run the risk of losing your orchid.
- It is important that you understand the water requirements of your specific orchid as some prefer a higher rate of humidity than others do.
- Understand that during the warmer spring and summer seasons your orchids will require more water than during the cooler wintery seasons.
- Your orchid’s container and the potting mix that you use inside of it can be a major determining factor in the amount of water that your orchid’s roots are exposed to as some specialised orchid mixes simply retain a higher level of water than most do.
It can be incredibly easy to over-water your orchids and leave them susceptible to fungus and other viral or bacterial infections so it is vital that you water them in a manner that will help to ensure their health and longevity.
- A Watering Tray
Suspending your orchids over a watering tray, which can be as simple as a large plastic or even foil pan, will allow the roots to absorb the exact amount of water that they need as the water evaporates.
There are many commercially available watering tray options, but for those budget-minded individuals any inverted object that can hold water will suffice for this method of watering orchids.
- Complete Root Flush
To help ensure that all of the roots of your orchid are damp, and to help remove excessive amounts of built-up salts caused by the fertilizing process, you should completely flush the roots of your orchids with fresh room-temperature water.
Ensure that any excess water drains off so that you can avoid root rot problems.
- Cool-Mist Humidifier
A simple trick that even the professionals use is to make use of a cool-mist humidifier near your orchids; this will not only increase the amount of humidity in the air around your orchids but it will also work towards providing a slight breeze for your orchids.
By paying careful attention to the way in which your orchids respond to your watering efforts you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of the methods that you are using. Watering orchids doesn’t have to be a nightmare; simply use a bit of common sense and watch how your orchids respond!