How much water do I need to give outdoor orchids a day, is the first question that comes to anyone’s mind whenever they put the orchids outside or read about the drawbacks of overwatering. You should not water your orchids daily as their roots hate to stay in the water.How Much Water Do I Need To Give Outdoor Orchids a Day

We recommend you pour around one-fourth cup of water only when the potting mix partially or fully dries out. But there is much more about outdoor watering, which you will learn in this guide.

How Much Water Should You Give Outdoor Orchids a Day?

You should water your orchid with a quarter cup of water or place three ice cubes a week, twice a week in summer and again a quarter cup once in winter. Avoid irrigating outdoor orchids every day; it creates environmental stress due to excessive water.

In addition to this, when it comes to how to water orchids indoors, the quantity is also the same, which is quarter of a cup This plant is sensitive to overwatering, which can slow down its growth. Therefore, decide when to water carefully and then give the right quantity, around four tablespoons or one-fourth cup.

You must also have a concern about how much water do you give an orchid a week, as this depends on when your orchids need water. Dryness near the orchid roots tells you to add water. You should check the potting medium before watering orchids by inserting a finger to sense. If your finger feels moisture, then wait for some days to get dry.

You can also stick the pencil one inch deep and wait ten seconds; after this, you can take it out and see whether it is wet. But the most accurate way to know about the moisture in the root zones is using a moisture detector instrument. Therefore, it is important that you remember that water your outdoor orchids only when their potting media dry out. It can happen once, or twice, a week.

Which Factors Influence How Much Water To Add To Outdoor Orchids?

The factors that influence the amount of water you should add to your outdoor orchids are the types of orchids you have, current seasons, and weather. In addition, potting mix and pot size also decide quantity. In most cases, you should water less when the roots are stressed or injured.

– Type of Orchids You Have

Moisture-loving orchids need more water than those that prefer dryness. When you take the example of Phalaenopsis orchids like their roots to stay partially moist, and this is why you can water them twice a week or every other day. But Cymbidiums like their roots to dry out before you water them. So, you should water them less frequently and in less quantities.Type of Orchids 1

You can know what your orchid plants prefer by searching about their watering requirements online. It will help you decide how much water to give them, which will also a determine how it grows.

– Current Phase of Orchid Plants

Orchids that are in their active growing phase need more water. It is because the internal processes speed up during the growing season, and water is a critical part of all these processes. Therefore, roots absorb moisture more during this time, so add more water.

Contrarily, the internal processes slow down when the orchids become dormant. Therefore, the roots ease up; you will see how this reducing the watering during the resting phase is recommended.

When it comes to Dendrobium orchids grow best from February to June. So, you should water it more than usual during these months. But dendrobium goes dormant in the winter and rests till the spring. You should water it less in these months.

Similarly, the age of orchids also impacts the watering quantity, so if they are still young orchids they need more water than adult ones because they focus on growth. So, how much water does a small orchid need? Add water in a quantity that you think is enough to moisten all roots.

– Weather Factors

Orchid watering is influenced a lot by environmental factors. If the temperature is high outside, add more water to orchids to counter heat stress. You should saturate the potting mix and mist the leaves in such a situation.Weather Factors for Orchid

Similarly, you must try to water more just when the outdoor humidity is below 40 percent, and this factor depends on where you live. It is because the evaporation rate increases when the air gets dry. In this low-humid situation, you may also have to spray the orchids daily.

Furthermore, skip watering when rain falls, as the orchids can sometimes stay hydrated for the whole week due to rain. So, these are the three main weather factors that impact the frequency and style of how you irrigate. In comparison, indoor orchids do not get affected by them and need consistent watering.

– Potting Mix You Have Used

You should take into account the potting mix’s requirements before watering. Those growing mixes with better water-holding properties need less water than those with poor. Sphagnum moss is usually the first choice as a potting mix for outdoor orchids. It has superb water retention capability.

For instance, how much water does an orchid need when grown in sphagnum moss? The liquid should make a two to three-inch layer right after you pour it on the potting mix. However, saturating the medium when growing dry orchids is not a good idea.

The bark is another popular choice for growing orchids. But it has inferior water absorption properties; now, you may think about how often should I water orchids in bark. In short, you should water the bark medium when it gets dry, which can happen once or twice a week.

Also, pour more water in it than the moss medium because it will drain most of it. We suggest you fill one-third of the normal-sized bucket and put the orchid in it. Let the roots soak in the water for 10 to 15 minutes, then take the pot out. That’s how to water orchids in bark correctly.

But if the medium you add has no drainage, you should add water in small amounts daily, and keeping this in mind, you should also be aware of how to water an orchid with no drainage. In such a manner, you can spray the orchid lightly every day to keep it hydrated, and if you notice water floating on the medium, tilt the pot to drain it.

– Size of the Pot

You can add little water in small pots; and try to water them as bottom-watering, or placing small quantity of ice cubes. But if you grow orchids in big containers, you should watch how much you pour, and for that you should follow the one-fourth cup or quarter cup recommendation in this case.

– The Watering Methods

How you add water also influences quantity and frequency. If you are pouring tap water, it can stay hydrated for a few days. But if you mist the orchids only, then you should re-do it after every other day. You cannot add more water during spraying, so you must be aware of this.Orchid Watering Methods

Using ice cubes is also a watering method. In this, you put two to three cubes in the potting mix. So, how often do you water an orchid with ice cubes? Once or twice a week because it sufficiently moistens the growing mix.

– Any Root Stress

If the roots of outdoor orchids face any stress, you should reduce the watering. The reason is that the injured or sick roots don’t absorb the water properly. As a result, overwatering can occur if you pour water, worsening the root condition. In this situation, keep doing orchid care and resume regular watering when they recover.

What Happens if You Add Outdoor Orchids Water Every Day?

If you add water to outdoor orchids daily, root rot and other fungal diseases might attack. The fungi like moisture, so they will be tempted to infest the wet potting mix. In addition, roots can get suffocated and die if the water stays near them for a long time.

– Root Rot and Other Fungal Diseases

Adding water every day invites fungus to attack because it loves moisture. It attacks roots, which impacts their performance. They start to rot with time, which is the reason that the fungal disease is called root rot. In addition, you may also see leaf spots, powdery mildew, and Fusarium wilt start to grow, as they are other common fungal diseases.Root Rot in Orchids

The fungus can also travel to stems and leaves. You may see spore growth on the flowers too. Furthermore, yellow to black spots are also common in any fungal disease. If it gets severe, the orchid can die as well.

– Root Suffocation

Pouring water daily also suffocates the roots. It is because the oxygen or air supply gets restricted. As a result, the root tissues will face oxidative stress, and their performance will decline.

If the roots stay submerged in water for days, their tissues can die. They will become soggy, mushy, and eventually wilt, and in short, when water your orchids when the potting mix dries out to ensure the roots stay healthy.


Add around one-fourth cup or four tablespoons of water when the potting mix dries. However, some factors can influence the quantity, which is:

  • The orchid will need more water than usual if it is actively growing. Watering your orchids day-to-day is not a good idea as their roots prefer to avoid excessive moisture.
  • You should also hydrate your orchids more in high temperatures and low humidity, so a quarter cup is a great choicee.
  • Water the medium less if it has excellent moisture-retention properties. But if you have added bark, you should water it more because of its drainage properties.
  • If roots get sick or injured, then water is less than recommended.

If you ignore these factors and add water daily, the roots can suffocate and get sick, so, remember always to hydrate your orchids smartly not excessively.

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