As houseplants, orchids are quite different from other common houseplants because they mostly live in a potting medium made of bark instead of soil. Therefore, orchids require two separate ways to proper watering, which are when and how to water orchids. In that case, here is some knowledge you should know to maintain the orchid’s beauty.
Before jumping in the action of how to water orchids, it is best to know when the best time to water orchids because there are rules you should follow accordingly.
Water the Orchid Sparingly
What it means from watering the orchid sparingly is to water them only when it needs to be done. Orchid is a kind of plant that doesn’t need to be watered every day. In fact, over-watering it may cause the roots to rot and die eventually. Therefore, you should water orchid only when it begins to dry out. Moreover, watering orchid when it begins to dry impersonates the orchid’s natural environment.
Check the Climate before Watering
The level of humidity is an important factor that should be considered because it will affect the frequency of watering. Besides, the temperature of the air and the amount of sun take part as well. Therefore, you should consider the climate before starting to water the orchid. However, since these factors vary with the household and region, so there will be no rule for how often you should water the orchid.
Check Whether the Potting Mix Looks Dry
Another way to check whether your orchid needs to be watered is to check whether the potting mix looks dry. As mentioned early, orchid potting mix is made of the bark of moss instead of soil, so if it looks dusty or dry, then it is recommended to water the orchid. However, always keep in mind that looking at the potting mix can give you an accurate indication. So, you should follow the previous steps.
Check the Pot’s Weight
There is another way to check whether your orchid needs to be water which is by checking their pot’s weight. When it is time water the orchid, you will feel the pot is lighter when you lift it up. However, if it feels heavy, then it means there is still water in the pot. If you keep practicing, you will get a sense of how the pot feels whether it is heavy or light when the orchid needs water or when it still has moisture.
Test the Potting Mix with a Finger
Among the mentioned steps above, this is might be the best way to determine whether your orchid needs more water. Simply stick your pinky finger into the potting mix, but be careful not to disturb the orchids’ roots. If you don’t really feel any moisture or you feel just a little, then it’s time to water the orchid. If your pinky finger is moist right after you stick it in, give it more time.
Now, you should know the main part of how to water orchids, which is knowing how to water them correctly.
The Pot Should have Drainage Holes
The first step is to make sure that the pot has drainage holes. You cannot properly water an orchid if the pot doesn’t have drainage hole because water that sits in the pot will cause the roots to rot, therefore the pot with drainage holes is a requirement to allow the water to drain through the holes. If the orchid you bought came in an ornamental pot without holes, then immediately repotting the orchid in one with drainage holes.
Moreover, if you wish to keep the ornamental pot without drainage holes, you can use ice cube method to water the orchid. Simply put three medium ice cubes on top of the potting mix. Then, let the ice cubes melt into the potting mix. This method is not really recommended anyway for the long-term health of the orchid, but it works well if you wish to keep the orchid in its original pot.
Water the Orchid with a Faucet
The most effective and the easiest way to water your orchid is to water them under a faucet with room temperature water. Water the orchid under the stream of a cool water for a full minute to allow the water to seep through the potting mix and come out through the drainage holes. However, if you have a tool that allows the water to diffuse, then it will be way better rather than just running them in one stream of water.
There are several advanced tips on how to water the orchid. The first one is to not use softened or treated water with harsh chemicals. Secondly, make sure that the water pours rapidly through the pot. If the water gets stuck in the pot, then the potting mix is probably too dense. The last one is to check the pot’s weight to tell the difference when the orchid should be watered again.
Water the Orchids in the Morning or Afternoon
Another way on how to water your orchid is to water them in the morning or afternoon. By doing it that way, it will evaporate the excess water in the pot before it gets dark. The reason is that if water sits on the plant all night long, then it can leave the plant exposed to diseases or cause rotting to happen. Therefore, if you see excess water on the leaves, wipe it off immediately with a paper towel or empty the saucer if it is filled with water, so that no water pools near the orchid.
For the final thoughts, orchids are not meant to treat as same as other houseplants, such as when you are about to water them. Instead, you should take care of them properly with the correct watering rules. Therefore, the most important factors on orchid’s watering rule are when and how to water orchids correctly in order to preserve its beauty.