Tips on how to Water Orchids
Knowing how to water orchids may seem fairly easy but they do require a little different procedure than watering other household plants. One of the quickest and easiest ways to kill an orchid is to over water it. Watering orchids is one of the critical keys to the success to orchid culture.
There are many variables in how to water orchids and knowing the factors that affect how often you water orchids will help you grow and keep your orchids healthy.
Some of these factors are the growing environment they are in, the type of pot you use , the type of potting material, the age of the potting material, the temperature, the amount of ventilation, whether they are dormant or growing, and the type of orchid you have.
Orchids can be grown in plastic or clay pots. In clay pots the potting media will dry much faster than in plastic pots. With clay pots the potting material dries out much more evenly because the pots are porous so they breathe, which allows the water to evaporate through the walls of the pot. Whereas with plastic pots the media dries from the top down.
The top one inch may look and fill dry but may be damp down lower in the pot. The thing to remember when you water orchids and you use plastic pots you'll want to water less than you would if clay pots are used.
Potting media varies considerably in how much water they can retain. Sphagnum moss is a highly absorbent media and will stay wet much longer than bark. If your using a potting media that is highly absorbent you'll want to water less often than if you use a less absorbent material.
The age of the potting material has an effect on how much water it will retain. New or fresh potting media will require more frequent watering for the first few weeks. The older the media gets and after several waterings the water will be retained longer.
The environment also has an effect on how much water orchids may need. If the humidity is low the potting material will dry much faster. The drier the air the faster moisture is absorbed from the potting media and the plant.
Take into consideration the temperature and ventilation will have an effect on how much to water orchids also. The warmer the temperature and the more ventilation your orchids get the higher the evaporation rate will be.
In cooler temperatures when you water orchids use less water and provide them with a gentle air movement because will keep the air fresh without drying out the plant and media to quickly.
With certain species of orchids, when they are going through a dormant period, they require and should be given very little water.
Water orchids a little more when they are in an active growth state like spring or summer. During the warmer months they will require more water.
When you water orchids remember cattleyas orchids like to dry out between waterings and paphiopedilums, phalaenopsis, and miltonias like to be damp most of all time. Dependent on where your orchids naturally grow will determine on the water requirements for that type of orchid.
When you water orchids consider all the factors that were mentioned and the type of orcihd you have you'll have to decide on how much and when to water your orchids.
Another consideration to remember when you water orchids you want to use water that is at room temperature and water in the morning. If you use cold water when you water orchids, over time this may cause damage to your plants due to shock.
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