How to water dendrobium orchids is easy once you know the nitty gritty. If your dendrobiums look dull, one possibility is that you need to be watering them right. Our gardening team is here to assist you with precisely that.How to Water Dendrobium Orchids

In our article, we will take you through the essential steps in detail while giving you a few techniques, so you can water your dendrobiums how they should be.

How to Water Dendrobium Orchids in Simple Steps?

To water dendrobium orchids, check the soil’s moisture level before watering and the kind of potting soil, use the suitable potting soil, use the right pot, water early in the morning, experiment with watering techniques, do not overwater, mist them, water according to sunlight and humidity, and fertilize accordingly.

Dendrobiums have two groups that have different watering needs. The first group blooms through summer and spring and drops their leaves in winter, their dormant period. They need infrequent watering to survive in dormancy. On the other hand, the second type of this group is one that would comprises deciduous species that must not be watered at all in winter.

– Check the Water Retention of the Potting Soil

Knowing your dendrobium’s growing medium is necessary to know how much to water them, and the right way you would water them. For instance, if your dendrobiums grow in sphagnum moss, they can absorb more moisture than most growing mediums, twenty times more water than bark. In such a case, ensure the growing medium is dry before watering your beautiful plant.

– Check the Potting Media Before Watering

You must be detailed and make it a habit to monitor the potting media before you water your dendrobiums. Generally, people place their fingers in the growing medium, and if the top few inches feel dry, they water their dendrobiums, which is the right way to check the soil’s moisture level.

This technique applies to watering after propagating dendrobiums as well when you are watering your plant thee right way.Potting Mix Before Watering

Furthermore, moisture meters are readily available in the market that help you determine if the soil is moist or needs watering. Gently probe it four-fifths into the pot. You might feel resistance, but that’s alright. Remove it and try another spot in the soil. But for this, you must be cautious and do not force it, as it is a sensitive tool.

The meter takes 30 seconds to a minute to determine the soil’s moisture level. But if you do not see any reading after the given period, remove it and try a different location. The form of the readings varies with the model and brand. Few show readings as a numerical display, while some have a scale ranging from dry to wet.

– Ensure to Use Suitable Potting Soil

Choosing the right potting mix plays a vital role in watering your dendrobiums. Planting dendrobiums in regular garden soil harms the orchid’s roots, minimizes room for air circulation, and suffocates them.

Remember that you should ensure that the potting soil is porous and has good drainage so that water does not stay in a stagnant way. Commonly used permeable potting soils include peat moss, perlite, and fir bark.

– Use a Pot With Drainage Holes

If you do not already, please grow dendrobiums in pots with drainage holes. Pots without drainage holes accumulate water, making it harder for your dendrobiums to survive. Repotting dendrobium orchids is necessary when you buy them from a store, as ornamental pots do not have drainage holes.

Look for pots that are designed especially for dendrobiums; pots made from terracotta clay are the best pots for dendrobium orchids because they do not bring in any stress for the plant. Orchid Pot With Drainage Holes

– Irrigating Early in the Morning

Most orchid growers recommend and practice watering their dendrobiums early in the morning; this gives the water ample time to dry throughout the day. Water standing on the leaves and crown can cause root rot, so water them when the sun is not very warm yet, and as you do so, you can use your garden hosepipe or a watering can.

– Experiment With Different Watering Techniques

The optimal way to water your dendrobiums is to drench them in water weekly; it allows the potting medium to soak the needed water while draining the rest. The most intelligent place to do so is in your kitchen sink.Orchid Watering Techniques

What you can do is fill the sink with lukewarm water and let your dendrobium sit in it for 15 seconds. Take it out and let it rest near the sink for at least 15 minutes, so the excess water can drain out. This way, the roots absorb the needed moisture while keeping the crown, prone to immediate rot, dry.

Thoroughly clean and sterilize the orchid pot before adding the dendrobium back in. Instead, you can fill a tub with water and place your dendrobium in it; ensure the water does not touch the leaves and crown.

Watering the dendrobium under a faucet is similar to soaking your dendrobium in the kitchen sink. It involves placing your dendrobium in the sink, but instead of filling the sink with water, you run the entire pot under the faucet until the water starts draining from the drainage holes.

Dendrobiums prefer deep and thorough watering, so what better way than to water them with a watering can? Avoid watering them with tap water as it can cause mineral and salt buildup on the soil. Run your watering can over your dendrobium nobile two times a week when the weather is warm and dry, in summer, and once a week in the cooler months.

– Placing Some Ice

Watering with ice cubes is a quick way of watering your dendrobiums if you are having a laid-back day. Place three to four ice cubes on top of your dendrobium nobile. In addition, you may also aim to add one-fourth cup of frozen water, equivalent to three ice cubes, to the potting soil.

Ensure that the ice does not touch the dendrobium; it should only come in contact with the growing medium. Let the ice melt into the pot, and you must also wait for a week before repeating. Use this watering method as a temporary solution, as it is not optimal for the long-term health of your dendrobium.

It is a common mistake among orchid growers, especially beginners, to overwater their dendrobiums, thinking they will have more blooms, which is invalid. Yellow leaves are an indication that you have overwatered your dendrobium.

Overwatering can disturb the orchid’s roots as they do not like standing in water for long. Include the method of watering them using the ice-technique to help your dendrobiums bloom the best.

– Mist Them

If you prefer watering your dendrobiums daily, misting them would be fine. Remember, you must not rely solely on misting to fulfill your dendrobiums’ watering needs. It is an additional and optional part of a regular dendrobium orchid care routine. The technique is excellent for maintaining the humidity levels, preferred by your dendrobiums.

– Water According to the Sunlight Intensity

Dendrobium orchid light requirements determine the frequency of watering the dendrobiums. If your area experiences frequent droughts or heat waves, water your dendrobiums more to avoid dehydration; it also applies if you have mounted them.Watering Dendrobium Orchids

When growing dendrobium indoors, their placement determines their water needs. For instance, if your dendrobium is near a south-facing window, the dendrobium potting mix will dry out fast, meaning you must monitor it closely and water it.

At the same time, you may also consider how the plant that is placed near east-facing windows appreciates watering according to the current weather and season. Dendrobiums prefer sunlight, but now the direct sun, so you must locate them wisely.

Dendrobiums are epiphytes, meaning they have aerial roots that absorb moisture from the air. If your area is experiencing increased humidity levels, it would be best to cut on the watering as your plants is getting its watering needs to be fulfilled from the surrounding air.

– Fulfill The Water Needs and Add Liquid Fertilizer

Dendrobiums perform well with liquid fertilizers, specifically those rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Adjust your watering according to the quantity of the liquid fertilizer or vice versa.

For this, you must also dilute the fertilizer for dendrobium orchids to half its strength; mix it with equal water, so that it wouldn’t burn the plant. A grow-type would be best if you see a few dendrobium orchid new shoots.

You may also be mindful about what to do with dendrobium after flowering, because after the dendrobium has finished flowering, cut the flower stem right above the pseudobulb’s top leaf. Remember, you must continue caring for your dendrobiums after they have finished flowering as you did during their blooming period.


But before you leave and water your dendrobiums, let’s do a quick round-up of the key points, so you don’t miss out on any essential step:

  • Know your dendrobium orchid species before watering for the best outcome; not all species prefer watering in their dormancy.
  • Check the potting medium’s moisture level before watering your dendrobium; water it only when the medium is dry. Please use a moisture meter to check the moisture level if you don’t prefer using your fingers.
  • If you prefer watering your dendrobiums daily, you must mist them and not drench them; drenching them will suffocate the roots, and the leaves will start turning yellow.
  • The best time to water the dendrobiums is early morning so the water can evaporate quickly; watering at night does not guarantee complete evaporation, leaving your orchids suffering.
  • You can use rainwater or distilled water to water your dendrobiums, as tap water contains minerals and chlorine that can harm the roots.

Now that you know all the recommended tips and tricks, you can water your dendrobiums correctly, as you are now ready to water your dendrobium orchids correctly, using the information you just obtained from our article.

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