Hold the Ice

I’ve already blogged about my objections to watering orchids with ice cubes. It doesn’t take a degree in botany to see that tropical plants, especially warm growers like the Phal in the first photo below, don’t like cold temps. But there’s another, less obvious reason why ice isn’t right for orchids — ice cubes don’t provide enough water. When watering an orchid, you should pour in enough so that it flows out the holes at the bottom of the pot. This flushes out the pot, washing away any stale water or excess fertilizer. Even when orchids rest during winter dormancy, and only need occasional drenching, they still need enough water to run through the pot. Each ice cube only contains a couple spoons of liquid (remember that part of an ice cube is air.) That’s insufficient, even for the Zygo in the middle photo or the Masdevallia in the final picture. They’re cool growers, but they need a good soaking, and even they don’t like being frozen. Keep your orchids out of the deep freeze, and save the ice cubes for your drink.

Phalaenopsis hybrid flowerZygopetalum hybridMasdevallia species

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4 Comments on “Hold the Ice”

  1. nancy Says:

    Well said! Thanks for the info.

  2. Kevin55104 Says:

    Great pictures!

  3. alejandro ramos Says:

    Earlier I thought differently, I thank you for the information.

  4. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Watering Question Says:

    [...] If a formula says “once every 3 weeks,” or “3 ice cubes per week,” take that as a starting point. Then, you need to pay attention to your plants. [...]