Good watering practices are essential for healthy orchids. Unfortunately, there’s no single formula for how often to water. Instead, growers must account for many interrelated factors. Knowing what kind of orchid you have provides a basic schedule. Then, consider growing conditions which demand additional water:

  • When orchids are actively growing, emerging leaves, roots, and flowers need regular hydration.
  • High temps, above 85°F (29°C,) dry plants faster. For cool growers, days above 75°F (24°C) demand more water.
  • Plants in full sun or exposed conditions can lose moisture rapidly.
  • Longer days of spring and summer mean that plants are working longer hours to photosynthesize.
  • Extra water helps orchids to cope with low humidity. In hot, arid weather, it’s good to splash water on leaves and roots.
  • Orchids need moving air, but strong air movement dries plants quickly. Windy days or powerful fans can desiccate orchids.
  • Plants in small pots dry out faster, and may wither on warm or windy days.
  • Plants in clay pots dry faster than those in plastic or ceramic. Clay is porous, and water quickly evaporates through the sides of the pot.

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5 Comments on “Watering”

  1. Claude R Says:

    Thank you..really informative!!

  2. nancy Says:

    good point about small pots drying out faster than big one. I have a collection of minis that can turn to dust on a hot day if I’m not careful. Thanks for the helpful info 🙂

  3. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Spring Orchid Checklist Says:

    […] Cymbidiums, Paphs, Masdevallias, and Miltonias need daily watering, but for others, there’s no single formula for how often to water. […]

  4. Mara Dempsey Says:

    Thanks for the helpful advice.

  5. VadialiArrace Says:

    Thank you for such great comments, and it helped alot. The tag in my phal said to place 3 ice cubes in it every week, but it shrank instread of growing. I started to water more and it perked right up! Now if I can only get it to bloom…