Phalaenopsis Watering

I’d like to address a rather pernicious rumor that I encounter on a far too regular basis: that an ice cube or two per week is sufficient water for an orchid. This rumor usually pertains to Phalaenopsis orchids, and according to one client is even printed on the tag’s growing instructions. In my opinion, this is TERRIBLE advice and should not be given out. In my mind, this would be similar to giving one or two ice cubes per week to someone dying of thirst. It seems to me that perhaps this myth is perpetuated by those who benefit most by having orchid plants become “throw away” plants.


Orchids are, indeed, like fine wine. They get better with age. More flowers, more spikes, and more growth, is what can be expected by a mature thriving orchid plant. If you want to get the best possible results from your orchids, it is imperative that a grower follows certain guidelines. The “ice cube” trick does not meet, in my opinion, even the most basic cultural practices for orchids. Please if you practice this method, or know someone who does, please correct the way they care for the plants.


Proper Watering: Depending on humidity levels, your watering schedule will vary. I recommend watering once the medium becomes 85% dry. In other words, when the plants have almost dried out is the proper time to water. For us, in our greenhouse, that means every 4 or 5 days. We water around the sides of the plant, never over the top for Phaleonopsis as it may cause crown rot, until water is streaming out the bottom of the pot.





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