Watering Orchids Correctly
Although orchids have quickly become a favorite among houseplants there is a lot of confusion about watering orchids.
Like any other plant, orchids require the correct growing conditions in order to thrive.
But since the way they grow is so different from most other plants, it is important to learn the correct way of watering orchids.
A critical part of caring for orchids is learning to give your orchid the right amount of water. Since the amount of water required for your orchid can vary between different species of orchids, it is important to research your particular plant.
it is helpful to understand orchids in general and where they come from. Watering orchids successfully will try to emulate they way they are watered in their natural environment.
Orchid plants are typically found in tropical areas of the globe. The areas where many orchid plants are found receive a tremendous amount of rain.
It can also be very humid in their native habitats. This leads many to assume orchids need a lot of water and they end up keeping their orchids way too wet.
If one looks at how they grow naturally, one will quickly realize that orchids grow in very shallow mediums, which drain very quickly. The high humidity is a source of moisture for them and also greatly slows evaporation. Also the roots are able to store and gradually release water to the plants in many species.
Watering Orchids – Common Mistakes
One of the most common mistakes people make when caring for their orchids is over watering. Many orchid growers think that because the growing media looks dry the plant needs to be watered. This may be true for regular house plants but it is not true when it comes to orchids. Although the potting bark may appear dry, the bark itself holds moisture.
Another critical factor often overlooked and closely related to watering orchids is providing high humidity. In fact, the ideal humidity level for most orchid plants is 80%. Considering that a room that is kept at 80% humidity would be extremely uncomfortable for most human beings, you need to find other strategies in order to keep your orchids happy and healthy.
Sadly many people will not attempt to grow orchids because they mistakenly believe that you need a greenhouse to grow them. That’s really too bad because it is not necessary to have a greenhouse and they are missing out on growing some amazingly beautiful plants.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to raise the humidity for your orchids without having to live in a greenhouse! You can provide them with a constant high humidity by using a tray or a deep saucer and some pebbles. Place the pebbles into the saucer or tray. Set your orchid pot on top of the pebbles. Then add water to the pebbles making sure that the water never touches the actual orchid pot. This will enable you to create a micro climate with high humidity for your orchid. Problem solved!
A good general rule of thumb for watering orchids is to water your plant once a week or once every other week, sparingly. When growing an orchid plant in your home, let the potting bark dry out completely before watering them again. Some species of orchids grow on the trunks and branches of trees. In their native habitats it is normal for their roots to dry out before being given water again.
Orchid plants also need to be fertilized but sparingly as well. You can buy orchid fertilizer at most garden shops within your area. Water your plants before you fertilize them. Also it’s a good idea to use all fertilizers at half strength until you have a chance to gauge your plants reaction to them. More is generally not better when it comes to caring for orchids. By creating a good routine for watering and fertilizing your orchid you will be able to enjoy these exotic plants for a long time.
Orchids will thrive in your home environment if they are given the proper care including the right amount of potting bark, the right amount of water, the proper amount of sunlight and if they are fertilized occasionally.
Although generally easy to grow, they can also sometimes be a bit temperamental. Watering orchids is more of an art than an exact science. But in time you will develop an intuitive feel for what your plants needs are. So don’t worry because it will come. By understanding how to care for them properly, watering orchids properly and following the basics, orchids are not that complicated and you can grow these exotic and amazing plants with great results.