How to water phalaenopsis orchids is so simple that you do not need any help. If your phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, appear dull and dry, you need to water them right.
Our team of gardeners is here to help you with exactly that, so continue reading our article will detail the necessary steps so that you can water your phalaenopsis easily.
How to Water Phalaenopsis Orchids The Right Way?
To water phalaenopsis orchids the right way, you must ensure that they are thirsty, select an appropriate time for watering, water according to the weather, condition of the roots, and potting media, irrigate in the kitchen sink, place ice cubes and irrigate with rainwater, and mist regularly.
The first step to watering your phalaenopsis is knowing whether it needs it so that you wouldn’t go overboard and harm the roots and the overall health. There are two methods to tell if the potting medium is dry.
The first method is conventional, where you place your finger in the medium. A watering session is due if the top couple of inches feel dry; on the contrary, if they feel moist, it is better to wait until it dries.
You may also try another method, which is more modern and involves using a moisture meter. Many types of moisture meters available in the market tell you if the soil is dry or moist. A few models have a color-coded range that means if the ground is wet or dry, while a few have a display window exhibiting a numerical scale.
Stick the meter in the soil about one-fourth of the way. You may feel resistance, but do not worry; it is just the roots you hit. Remove the meter from the soil and try sticking it in another position until it reaches the desired depth, just do not force it, as you can damage the roots. It usually takes up to 30 seconds to show results.
– Examine the Condition of the Roots
Looking at the condition of the roots tells you how much to water your phalaenopsis or to water at all. The roots recovered with an absorbent layer called velamen. The color of velamen tells you if your orchid’s roots are thirsty or not.
Dry velamen is white or silvery and indicates that the roots are dry. Freshly watered roots have attractive green velamen.
Watering your phalaenopsis according to your area’s weather conditions and the time they are thriving is crucial. Suppose you live somewhere that experiences scorching heat throughout the day.
In that case, the watering sessions depend on your phalaenopsis orchid sunlight exposure—watering your phalaenopsis twice a week or when the soil dries, so make sure that you exeaminee the state and water accordingly because you cannot place the same amount in their growing stage as their dormant stage.
Similarly, watering orchids in winter is different. It would be best to water your phalaenopsis once a week. Orchids do not grow actively in winter and have fewer growing needs. But they would appreciate weekly watering. Water early in the morning, regardless of the weather.
Furthermore, increased humidity levels mean you have to water your orchids less. It is also closely related to the potting media you are using, so make sure to keep this in mind. Many orchid growers keep their orchid pots in a tray full of pebbles to increase or maintain the surrounding humidity.
– Water According to the Potting Media
The crucial step that makes your watering a success is the quality of potting media. Some mediums are well-draining, while some do not drain as well, which is more common if you are new to growing orchids and need to know which potting mix to use for your orchid.
Potting mediums like pink bark nuggets retain more moisture than charcoal or clay pellets; this is why checking the media is important, as you may consider avoiding watering if they are already moist.
You must wonder, ‘How often should I water orchids in bark?’ Water your orchid bark-potted orchids every four to 10 days, depending on how fast your phalaenopsis dries out. Simply, you can check the bark’s water content by lifting the pot; if it feels heavy, wait until the bark dries, and if it feels light, it is time for your phalaenopsis’s next watering session.
In addition to this, you should also remember that watering according to the potting media depends on the orchid species. Dancing-lady orchids, Cattleya orchids, or even when it comes to Dendrobium orchids, have different watering needs, so water orchids accordingly, as they like moisture, but in a sufficient way.
Hence, remember it as an orchid plant owner, and love to collect tips in your growing guide.
– Dip Your Phalaenopsis in the Kitchen Sink
Dipping phalaenopsis in the kitchen sink filled with water is a typical watering practice among many orchid growers. It ensures the soil is wet to the pot’s bottom, reaching the orchid roots. This is what you should do if you are in a hurry and the plant feels thirsty for water; together with this, you might have over-fertilized your orchid.
You can see the excessive fertilization from the presence of a white build-up on, and sometimes even in, the soil, which can harm the roots. If your phalaenopsis goes through something like this, place it in a sink and water it from a faucet until it starts flowing from the pot’s bottom. You will see more water oozing and carrying the accumulated salts and minerals with it, leaving your phalaenopsis healthy.
Fill your kitchen sink with water to submerge the whole plant. For this, you must ensure that the water is lukewarm, and now if you start to worry about how long to soak orchids in water, you must know that it is ideal that you leave your orchid in for up to 15 seconds, 20 seconds maximum.
Remember, the aim is to make the soil moist and not soggy or dripping wet; place the orchid on the kitchen counter for a few minutes, so the excess water comes from the drainage holes. Your orchid may appear dry initially, but you must trust the process; it is moist all through.
– Irrigate With Three Ice Cubes
You may now wonder if phalaenopsis orchid watering with ice cubes is a good idea, and considering it, you should know that it can be the right tactic, in summer. Hence, you should aim to water orchids with ice cubes that produce the same long-lasting blooms you expect from using any good-quality water source.
What you should do is take three cubes comprising about one-fourth of a cup and water your orchid to keep it hydrated for a whole week. Pour the water over the soil without touching the orchid leaves.
When you are going to be adding some ice, you should know that there is a suitable time for watering your plant; you cannot water them any time of the day. This is a phalaenopsis orchid care for beginners and even for enthusiasts.
Most orchid experts recommend watering the orchids in the early hours, so the water has plenty of time to evaporate and not cause other orchid problems, as you are placing the ice cubes. The evaporation rate is less at night, meaning the water will remain on the orchid leaves and crown; this can lead to root rot, so please be very careful.
– Water Them Using Some Rainwater
Place a clean container outside when it rains to collect water for your plant. You can also place your watering can for a more thorough session. Some gardeners may say that using rainwater is unsafe, which is invalid. It can be a good choice as long as it is free from chemicals that other forms of water might have.
You can water your phalaenopsis from the top or bottom when watering from a watering can. Watering your plants from the can allows water to reach the soil evenly and thoroughly, which your orchids will love. When watering from the top, you can also try to water the orchid’s base. But if you prefer watering from the bottom, ensure you have balanced potting soil.
– Mist Regularly
If you prefer watering your plants daily, you can mist your plants regularly. Fill a spray or mist bottle with water and mist your orchid, but remember, do not spray the leaves. This method also works if your phalaenopsis orchid repotting time is near.
For this, you should refrain from watering from the tap, as it contains high chlorine levels and minerals, and the harsh chemicals can build up in the roots. Such contaminants can build up around the roots of your orchid, making it hard for them to breathe, leading to your orchid’s death.
However, there are a few exclusions if your area does not have hard water; you can use the water from the taps if no other watering option is available.
You are now ready to water your phalaenopsis orchid correctly, using the information you obtained from our guide, so let’s sum up the main points, so you do not miss any essential steps while watering:
- Please ensure that your plant needs watering before watering them. Check the soil’s moisture level.
- Please water your orchid early in the morning as it gives the water time to evaporate. Watering at night is not beneficial; take it as a plant care tip.
- Water your phalaenopsis according to the weather; water it frequently if it is too hot. Once a week in winter is sufficient.
- The optimal way to water your plant is by drenching it in water in your kitchen sink but only for up to 15 seconds. This method ensures that the potting soil is evenly moist and let it drain properly.
- Prefer rainwater over any other form of water while watering your phalaenopsis orchid as it is free from harsh chemicals.
Now that you have the recommended tips and tricks, you can water your plant orchid how it should be, so grab your phalaenopsis and get watering!
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