Watering Orchids

The following are rules for water control, which may help to guide you towards better orchid culture:

Water your orchids when growth is active and vigorous, and water copiously. Then wait until they need water before watering again.

If growth slows up or stops when it should be vigorous, look for root trouble instead of going into an overwatering programme.

Water mostly on bright, sunny days. If it is dark and cloudy, postpone watering.

Don’t use water with a high mineral content, as the plant can’t tolerate large quantities of dissolved material in water.

It is easy to overwater when the humidity is high.

Ventilation is important to promote evaporation and cooling at the leaf surfaces.

Most orchids require a rest period after blooming. Withhold water until the plant gives you the signal to start watering again by starting new root growth, and then don’t water until there are enough roots to use the water.

If honey appears on your plant, take it as a sign that things are well.

Keep your plants clean. Dirt and dust clog the pores through which water evaporates.

It is possible to starve your plant by watering it too sparingly, although most orchids are lost through over watering rather than underwatering. When your plant shows the need for water by growing new roots, water it but – be careful.

Remember, the humidity is always higher at night than in the daytime, so don’t water in the evening.

Wrinkled pseudobulbs may indicate either over or under watering.

When you have your orchid doing well on a regular watering schedule – don’t change it.

Orchids like regular habits. Study your green house, especially with regard to ventilation. It may have in it a great range of conditions which affect watering and other factors. Find for each orchid its own spot in the house and leave it there.

Provide ample water when flowers are forming.

Protect your plants against extremes of temperature by controlling water and humidity.

Don’t expect your plants to change their habits to suit your convenience. They have already made the rules for the game. You must be governed by them and fit your programme to their requirements.

This item was found in a very old paper issued by Red Comb House in Brisbane (no date but I think it was in the 1940’s) but the information is still relevant.

These notes have been used at our Cultural and New Grower’s Meetings. They are from various sources and we thank the authors. All articles are supplied in good faith and the Bribie Island Orchid Society and its members will not be held responsible for any loss or damage.

These two articles are from Bribie Island Orchid Societies’ website…

One of the best orchid culture notes website around.