‘Tried and tested’ Houseplant expert’s unusual watering method for an orchid to thrive

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Orchids are relatively easy indoor houseplants to look after so long as you don’t water them the wrong way. Too much or too little moisture can lead to an array of issues. With so many different watering methods, Love Orchid’s expert Malcolm has revealed his preferred option. 

Unlike some houseplants, orchids don’t need to be kept moist all of the time. 

If an orchid is too moist, its roots can rot. 

Most orchid plants only need a splash of water every seven to 10 days to thrive. 

And there are several ways in which you can water an orchid. 

Malcolm spoke about the ice cube method and whether it works. 

He said: “It really does. Not everyone agrees with using ice to water orchids but here at Love Orchids it’s been tried and tested for years. 

“Ice is the perfect watering method for people who often forget to water their orchid, with just a couple of ice cubes needed once a week. 

“It has also been scientifically proven that ice doesn’t damage the roots or affect the orchid in any negative way.” 

The ice cube method is perfect for any orchids which can’t be removed from their decorative pot or container. 

There is another way to water an orchid, and Love Orchids explained “the best way to do so is to dunk the whole pot into a sink or bowl of water”. 

“If you have time, leave the pot submerged for a few minutes – this will allow the root system to absorb all the water it needs. 

“Alternatively, run the pot under a tap for around 20 seconds, allowing water to drain through the bottom. 

“You’re fine to use tap water, even if you live in an area with very hard water – Phalaenopsis orchids are extremely versatile and will adapt to any water source,” they added. 

“Don’t leave the roots standing in water for long periods, as they will most likely rot.” 

Misting is another way to water an orchid, but there are certain “do’s and don’ts”. 

Love Orchid explained: “You should mist your leaves when they are wrinkly to re-hydrate if the plant has dried out. 

“You can also mist when roots are suffering to dry bark out to encourage root growth but maintaining plant’s turgidity. 

“Mist the plant during hot spells and if humidity is getting low. 

“Restrained misting can be used as a watering method if cannot do the dunk and drain method. 

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“When misting don’t let water pool in crown or leaf axils as can cause rot. 

“Don’t mist late in the day as leaves must be dry at evenings and night, causing rot then if wet, mist mornings only. 

“Don’t mist in winter as usually not needed unless in very low humidity, high temp. room. 

“Don’t mist flowers as can cause botrytis spotting rot.” 

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