How Often to Water Orchids or Help Me, My Roots Are Rotting

If your plants could talk they would tell you how often to water them.  But they can only show you the results of your efforts in taking care of them.  So we must be observant.  Orchids live best by cycles.  Regular orchid watering and routine feeding will produce the best bloom results.  We do not need to be professional greenhouse horticulturists to have beautiful orchid plants at home.  We must learn to develop good and consistent habits for our prize plants to succeed.  When, how much, and how often are the traits we will focus upon in this article.

Watering orchids can be very simple.  Caring for indoor orchids and our outdoor orchids is actually very similar.  Timing or when to water is much the same.  The plants in the wild will get tropical downpours and periods of time for drying out.  In the house or outside it is the same, you must supply the lighting and thunder on your own.  The timing of the day is somewhat up to you.  The most important factor is that the leaves and foliage can dry prior to nightfall.  So, if watering outside, leave time for drying to happen before nightfall.  Inside, watering with a long spout can accomplish this without over watering.  Misting plants is also great for added humidity.  It would be recommended to allow time for the plants to dry prior to night time.

How much to water orchids is a justifiable question?  This is also a simple explanation.  The amount depends upon the potting medium the orchid is in.  Rough large bark pieces with little water retention, drench the pot and allow for complete drainage.  If the potting medium is denser, water to thoroughly soak the medium but not so much that the orchid will be setting in water.  Having orchids roots set in water is a bad thing.  The roots will start a process of rotting in a very little time.  Just make sure the pots provide adequate drainage for your plants.

 How often do I need to water my orchids is a good question.  This is a fair guideline, weekly, with a disclaimer or two.  Orchids thrive when watered and allowed to dry out.  Not bone dry but the top medium is dry.  If this takes place in less time than a week then the frequency will need to be increased.  Just the opposite if the medium is still a little damp.  Pot size does matter the larger pot may need less watering and the smaller more to keep them in a correct state of moisture. 

Watering, just like the other components to an orchid’s health, will help you allow your plants to shine.  Proper watering is just one of a few steps to happy and healthy orchids.

Marty Lewis

Marty Lewis has been an avid horticulturist for over 30 years. Working in greenhouses allowed Marty to witness firsthand the needs of growers. Marty has been nationally recognized in horticulture competition. This most recent book, Orchid Care Plus gives insight to orchid owners regarding absolutely everything they need to know about care for their Orchids. Marty would like to share an additional Article about Orchid Watering with you.  

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