Secrets of Proper Watering of Orchids

Secrets of Proper Watering of Orchids

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You have purchased the first orchid in your life and are ready to create paradise living conditions for it.

That is, water abundantly, fertilize, blow off dust particles, etc.

The impulse is generally correct, but in order for the plant to feel well, it is necessary to reproduce the conditions of its natural habitat as accurately as possible.

The desire to "pamper" the flower with constantly moist soil can destroy the orchid. With excessive watering, its roots rot.

Water the orchids only after the substrate has dried. Moderate drying of the roots is more natural for them than living in conditions of constant high humidity.

Instructions like "water once a week" for the orchid owner are purely advisory.

The drying time of the substrate in the pot depends on a number of factors: the mass of the earthy coma, the temperature in the room, the light, the season, the size of the plant, etc.

The watering regime for each orchid is selected individually and only experimentally. In order not to suffer, figuring out whether the earth is dry enough, pay attention to the state of the orchid: the need for watering is signaled by visible signs of wilting of the bulb or the lower leaves of the plant.

For a plant, water is not only a means of supplying food and a medium for metabolic processes. Water partly serves as a support function and protects the plants from overheating.

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Water for watering orchids

In their natural environment, orchids receive water in the form of precipitation. Rainwater is very soft and contains almost no mineral impurities. Therefore, your favorite plant needs soft, at least moderately hard water.

You can find information on the water hardness in your area on the Internet. Ideally, if you manage to find out not only the content, but also the nature of hardness salts - the method of water softening depends on this.

You can roughly determine the degree of hardness by the rate of scale formation in the kettle. You can take the experience of aquarists as a basis and use special tests such as the "Sera gH Test" or "Sera kH Test".

For watering orchids, water with a hardness of no higher than 10 degrees is suitable. Please note that there are tests for total water hardness and carbonate hardness.

Some tests for total hardness are insensitive to carbonates, so both will have to be determined.

Water preparation for orchids can be carried out in the following ways:

  • collection of rainwater;
  • settling tap water;
  • boiling;
  • dilution with distilled water;
  • filtration;
  • chemical softening.

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater is the most natural food for orchids, but the chemical composition of tropical rain water is very different from the poisonous "cocktail" that pours on the heads of the inhabitants of megacities.

If you have a vacation home, you can collect water for orchids there.

The place and utensils for collecting water must be clean, the collected water is stored in a cool dark place to prevent the development of bacteria, protozoa and fungi.

This method is the cheapest, but if you are unable to collect relatively clean rainwater, it is better to skip it.

Boiling water

The bicarbonate (aka temporary) hardness of water is neutralized relatively easily. To do this, it is enough to boil the water.

In this case, excess calcium and magnesium will precipitate and the water will become softer. Boiling water removes not only salts, but also gases dissolved in the water, therefore, before watering, the water must be saturated with oxygen by pouring it from a container into a container or vigorously shaking it in a bottle.

This technique is recommended as a must for any method of preparing water for irrigation. Another way to restore the normal gas composition is to let the water settle for several days.

Chemical softening

Excess calcium salts can also be removed chemically.

In flower and chemical stores, oxalic acid is available for sale.

1/8 teaspoon of crystalline acid is dissolved in five liters of tap water and left for a day.

After settling, the water is carefully drained, being careful not to shake up the sediment formed at the bottom. Elimination of carbonate hardness helps to obtain water with the required acidity.

Watering orchids requires water with a slightly acidic reaction, Ph 5. The acidity is determined using a universal indicator paper.

You can also use litmus paper, but the shades of the universal indicator in different acidity ranges are much easier to distinguish than in the case of litmus.

If the Ph value is more than five, the water must be acidified. For example, drip lemon juice into it. Another effective method of water acidification is sedimentation with the addition of high-moor peat.

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Dilution with distilled water

Distilled water is completely free of dissolved salts and is not suitable for watering orchids. It is used to dilute settled tap water until the desired softness is obtained.

At first, you will have to tinker with the tests, selecting the necessary proportions, but then all the necessary actions will be performed according to the standard scheme.

Applying household filters

Modern filters well purify tap water from heavy metals, hardness salts, organic impurities.

This is the most effective way to eliminate sulfate hardness in water.

Water sedimentation

Even if ideally soft water flows from your tap with a Ph close to 5, it must be defended for several days.

During this time, harmful impurities introduced for disinfection will evaporate from the water.

Orchids are tropical plants, so the water for irrigation needs to be heated to about 35 degrees or slightly higher.

Watering methods for orchids

There are several ways to water orchids:

  • spraying;
  • using a watering can;
  • immersion;
  • have a hot shower.


This method is used to water orchids planted in soil blocks.

It is better to spray the plants in the morning. Spraying from a spray bottle is not suitable for watering orchids in pots.


For watering by immersion, the pot with the plant is simply immersed in water.

For a 12 x 12 cm pot, 30 seconds is enough. After that, the pot is taken out and the water is allowed to drain.

This method is only used for watering healthy plants.

If the substrate is affected by mold or the plant is in the active flowering phase, immersion watering should be abandoned so as not to destroy the orchid.

Watering from a watering can

When watering from a watering can, it is important that water does not enter the leaf sinuses.

The plant is watered in a thin stream until water flows from below.

After that, you need to wait a few minutes until all excess water has drained out.

Watering is repeated three to four times. Excess water is poured out of the pan. Watering is recommended to coincide with the first half of the day.

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Hot shower

The most controversial watering method. Hot showers argue that it most closely mimics a tropical rain shower, washing away pests and dust from the plant.

It is believed that this watering stimulates foliage growth and active flowering. Opponents attribute this to a natural response to stress and warn that overuse of hot showers can kill the plant. But not immediately, but after a few months or years.

The water for the shower should have a temperature of 35-40 degrees, as for regular watering. The pot with the plant is placed in a bath and watered from a watering can.

If the water in your area is soft enough, the plant can be doused directly from the shower at medium power. Watering is carried out in several stages, the water should begin to flow from the bottom, as with ordinary watering from a watering can.

After that, the flower is left to drain excess water. After about an hour, the plant needs to be wiped off, that is, water removed from the axils of the leaves and the core.

If whitish salt stains remain on the leaves of the flower, they must be carefully wiped off with a soft cloth moistened with diluted lemon juice.

Watch the video: Qu0026A - Watering Orchids at the sink, or soaking them? (May 2022).