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What are the Best Methods for Watering Orchids?

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke

Orchids are a variety of plant that produces flowers with three sections. They are available in a range of colors, especially purple, pink and white. The plant is native to wet, tropical areas, but can be cultivated in any area if exposed to adequate light and is properly watered. The best watering methods for orchids vary depending on the type and location.

Too much water can make orchid roots rot, since the excess moisture breeds bacteria. Orchids can generally withstand a slight lack of watering better than over-watering. The plants typically require watering about once every seven days.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Regardless of the watering method that is used, a gardener should ensure the soil is not retaining excess moisture. He or she can check for excess water by inserting a pencil or finger directly into the soil surrounding the plant. If any moisture is detected, watering should be postponed.

Watering orchids should generally be done in the morning, rather than in the evening. This allows the water time to absorb into the soil as well as the extra moisture to dry up. If orchids are watered at night, the water may soak the roots because there is no sun to evaporate the leftover water.

One of the best methods for watering orchids is by using a kitchen sink. This method typically works best for potted orchids because they can easily be transported. The pot can be placed into the sink with tepid water running for approximately 15 seconds, then left for at least 20 minutes so the water can absorb into the soil and drain out the pot’s drainage holes. Any water that splashes onto the leaves should be wiped off to prevent leaf discoloration. The orchids can then be placed back in their original location.

Outdoor orchids can be watered with a watering can for maximum control. The optimal time for watering orchids outdoors is on warm, sunny days because it’s more likely the orchid won’t absorb too much water. One of the simplest, most effective ways to water an outdoor orchid plant is to position a watering can right above the surrounding soil and use a watering can to sprinkle water straight down onto the plant until the soil is moistened without being soaked.

For a natural method for watering orchids, easily transportable potted orchids can be placed directly outside during a rainy day and left uncovered all night. The day after, the pot can be placed in a covered area, such as a porch, that will protect it from more rain. It is then left to absorb the rainwater. Rainwater is one of the best forms of water for orchids because it mimics their natural, tropical habitat.

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Discussion Comments


One of the most important factors in keeping orchids would be the right amount of water.


I like this a lot because it is a very simple outline to watering orchids. I have been using techniques like these for nearly 15 years and they have worked for me like a charm. Great post!

I have just created a site with all the information you want to know about watering orchids. My method for the Phalaenopsis is very simple like yours and has worked for me for 15 years.


The soil for most orchids, particularly the more common ones, has to get completely dry before the plant is watered again.

A little daily mist can benefit the plant too.

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