Orchids are so pretty and decorative, but these delicate flowers require attention to fully blossom. Watering is essential to prevent the roots from drying out or rotting. It is necessary to know when, how, and how often to give it a water supply in order to keep your orchids healthy and able to grow beautiful flowers that enchant your senses; a white orchid in a living room or bathroom infuses an appreciable decorative touch and a lot of freshness.
What are orchids?
Beautiful, very delicate flowers, and enchanting fragrant… these are orchids. This flower has always fascinated, since the dawn of time or almost. We appreciate its flowers of various shapes, its colors, and the many existing species. Whether in the garden or planted in pots indoor, the orchid is a superb and very decorative plant.
The orchid could be considered a true survivor; it grows anywhere, especially in the most unexpected places. They are found in the tropics of course, but also in the permafrost of the tundra and sometimes even underground. It is certainly in this capacity that is due to the fascination that it exerts on man since always.
The seeds of the orchid escape from the plant, and carried by the wind, they can go very far sometimes. But before this phenomenon takes place, it has a relationship called symbiotic relationship with a specific fungus. It is he who stores minerals and water for his personal needs, but also to ensure the growth of shoots on the orchid. The plant then shares back the sugars from photosynthesis with this fungus.
Some orchids species
Some of these plants have large folded leaves and flowers that evoke a little wax in the material and last a long time, as is the case with Lycaste. Its name is taken from that of the Greek nymph. Moreover, legend has it that this flower was dedicated to the daughter of Priam, the last king of Troy.
Some of the best known orchid species include:
- The phalaenopsis orchid: It is the first most offered potted plant and is thus nicknamed the queen of plants. It usually blooms twice a year and can last between 1 and 6 months.
- Oncidium: It shines every year, and has the advantage of withstanding fairly cool temperatures.
- The hoof of Venus: It can give up to one flower per month for 12 to 24 months.
Necessary tools to water Orchids
To effectively maintain and water your orchid, you need some equipment:
A plant mister is an indispensable accessory when growing orchids. It has several functions; like watering the plant and misting the outer roots. When purchasing a plant mister you should better choose a powerful enough mister and opt for an adjustable spray.
You put fertilizer in the water every two weeks or so to obtain an abundant flowering.
A gardener’s bucket
this allows you to soak the plant completely to water it, then take care to let the water drain before putting it back in its decorative pot.
When to water the orchid?
The watering of an orchid must be done at the right frequency and at the right time so that it lives as long as possible. This varies during the flowering period and beyond:
During the flowering period:
You water your plant on average once a week.
Check before watering that the substrate is very dry, to put your finger at 2 cm depth. Always let the orchid soil dry between waterings.
Another method is to weigh the pot, if it seems abnormally light, it probably needs water.
If your plant is in a transparent plastic pot, look at the roots. As long as they are green and shiny, do not water, however, as soon as they become grey and dull.
Outside the flowering period
When the orchid has fallen, it is essential to space the waterings. Generally, it is advisable to do it once every two weeks.
Our advice: In case of doubt, avoid watering your plant rather than watering it once too much.
How to water the orchid?
Before explaining how to water your orchid, be aware that it is best to use water that is not very calcareous:
- Bottled water that would not contain more than 10 mg of calcium per litre, spring water is particularly recommended.
- Osmosis water
- Rainwater that you will have taken care to harvest in a perfectly clean container.
- Water from your filter carafe.
Our advice: If you can use tap water from time to time, you should completely ban demineralized or softened water. Indeed, it contains negative ions, very bad for all plants.
The right watering technique
Start by completely immersing your plant in a bucket of water.
Since the heart of the orchid should not be in contact with the water, in any case it is best to avoid it, it is easier to bathe it in order to water it from the bottom. You will do so, preferably in the morning:
Immerse your plant in a water basin that reaches three-quarters of the pot. The water will be at room temperature. Let your jar soak for about ten minutes until no air bubbles escape.
Our little tip: every 15 days, except in winter, add a special orchid fertilizer or otherwise a classic fertilizer. In this case, dilute the two to three more than indicated on the package leaflet. Fertilizing this plant ensures longevity and good growth. Nitrogen helps the development of the leaves, while potassium favors the shoots that will give flowers later. Don’t hold your hand too heavy for fertilizer.
Drain your orchid properly; the roots of the orchid should never be in contact with standing water, they would eventually rot.
To avoid this:
- Drain your pot thoroughly once the bath is finished.
- Wait a few moments before putting it back in its pot holder or cup, making sure that no more water comes out.
These waterings are part of the maintenance of orchids offering an abundant and regular flowering and above all it allows it to bloom as soon as possible and often more quickly.
How to water Orchids while on vacation?
If you leave for about two weeks, your orchid should not suffer. Gather them in a room where you have taken care to close some shutters in order to avoid the space being too hot, but make sure that they still have a contribution of light.
Before you leave, take a bath with all your orchids and place them in a pot-holder whose bottom will be well covered with clay balls and water.
Normally, your orchid should always be as beautiful when you return!
Why you should spray orchids regularly?
In addition to regular watering, it is necessary to spray the orchid which particularly appreciates this care. This delicate flower does not like excess water, but on the other hand, it likes humid environments. Especially in summer or when the air is dry due to heating, it is best to spray rainwater or spring water on its leaves and exposed roots. The rest of the time, it is not necessarily indispensable and even not recommended. What you can do, however, is place the pot on a bed of clay and water, but it should not be bathed in.
To spray your plant:
- Use water that is not calcareous as for watering, otherwise, your leaves will be tarnished by white traces left by the limestone when it dries.
- Just burn the leaves and the apparent roots, but never the flowers and the heart of your plant.
- Do this operation preferably in the morning, three times a week when the atmosphere is very dry, in winter with heating or in summer when high temperatures settle.
Mistakes to avoid
The cultivation of orchids remains relatively simple provided to avoid some mistakes. Among the most frequent, we make a list of those that must absolutely be banned to obtain healthy plants.
Do not water too often and excessively
Even if this plant has its origins in tropical countries, the watering must be balanced and moderate. Otherwise, your orchid may die from rotting roots.
Do not abuse using a fertilizer specially designed for orchids
It is best to opt for this fertilizer which is precisely dosed. Do not abuse it and respect the dosages indicated to avoid that the excess does not kill your pretty plant. If she does not die, she will suffer and will not give a flower in the year.
Do not expose your orchids to frost
Even if some species tolerate very low temperatures, frost is their worst enemy. Keep your orchids away from bay windows and windows when it is very cold outside.
Do not expose it directly to the sunlight
If the orchid doesn’t like the gel, it’s the same for the sun. She hates being placed directly in contact with the sun’s rays, even if she enjoys the heat. In this case, the leaves begin to wilt, then it is the roots and you will only have your eyes to cry.
Do not spray the leaves when it is hot
To keep beautiful green and shiny leaves, it is recommended to spray them regularly, every two or three days when the air is very dry.
Do not neglect to choose the substrate
Opt for a substrate dedicated to the orchid and avoid gorging it with water. It must be perfectly aerated in order to support your plant.
Do not forget to aerate the plant
The orchid in pot and grown indoors needs to be aerated regularly and as often as possible. In summer, don’t hesitate to take it out from time to time and in winter, ventilate your room well. Let some air circulate.
Do not neglect to choose the right pot of your plant
Pot or vase? The question often comes up. If you like vase orchids, be careful to choose it very deep so that the roots do not bathe in water after watering. The choice of the pot is simpler, the orchids enjoy in the transparent plastic pots that you will then put in a nice pot cover, highlighting the plant.
Do not prune your orchid without minimum knowledge
After flowering, if the plant is healthy, it can bloom very quickly from the end of the stem, its base, or one of the nodes located on the stem. The most effective, once the flowers are wilted is to cut the stem just below the first flower to 2 cm above the next knot that can then bloom after 6 or 7 weeks. If the stem looks dry and wilted at the top, but the rest is green, cut it from the 3rd knot from below, always 2 cm above. If your plant has bloomed a lot, it may be that the whole stem is dried; in this case, cut it at the base of the leaves, anyway, it will not leave.