Phalaenopsis Orchids are believed to be the most popular kind of orchids. People commonly refer to the them as the “Moth Orchids”. Taking good care of them is very important, same as knowing the dos and don’ts when dealing with them.
They are not your typical houseplants you water in whatever way you feel like. For Phalaenopsis orchids, you have to be deliberate when watering them. You can’t afford to overwater them. Underwatering your orchid is a manageable situation unlike overwatering which is more dangerous to the health of the plant because it is not able to absorb the water.
Overwatering is believed to be the number one reason most Phalaenopsis orchids get into trouble. These orchids, being epiphytic plants, naturally cling to trees in their natural tropical environment. They have fleshy, thick roots that help them go to the air to absorb moisture. Overwatering can endanger these roots which underlines the importance of knowing how to water Phalaenopsis orchids properly.
Keeping the room temperature in mind when watering your Phalaenopsis orchid can also be helpful. When you have cooler temperature, you should know it’s time to cut down on watering it. When you have warmer temperatures, then it’s most probably the right time to water it more. This means summer and winter determine your watering routine. This is an important factor to note if you want to keep your orchid happy and healthy.
Watering Your Phalaenopsis Orchids Correctly
Just like every other houseplants’ owners, first-time owners of Phalaenopsis orchids tend to be overzealous about the watering of their new plant. However, overwatering is capable of preventing your orchids from draining properly, making the plants soggy and causing harm to their roots. Learning how to water Phalaenopsis orchids in the correct way is important. They are not made to endure submersion, so excess water is harmful to their health. Sometimes, root damage may be not be reversible and can cause the failure of orchids, or in the worst case scenario, death.
Generally, Phalaenopsis orchids are watered once a week but it’s also important to feel the substrate with your finger before watering your plant. If wet, don’t water it till it’s dry. Also, lifting the pot up to check the weight can be helpful in knowing if there’s a need to water your orchid or not. If it’s lighter, you will know you have to water the plant. If heavy, you need to hold off on watering it because water still remains in the pot.
Because Phalaenopsis orchids don’t have water-storing organs, don’t let them dry completely before watering them. Let water run till it gets out of the pot through the holes in it. Getting water on your leaves or between them can cause them to rot, a situation which can cause plant death. It’s better to water from the side and not from the top to prevent water getting on the leaves. As time goes on, you’ll understand the pot more; how heavy it feels when your orchid requires water and its heaviness when there’s still moisture inside. After you might have watered your orchid, check pot’s weight. This will help you know the right time to water the plant again when pot is lighter.
The pot with moisture may look different. An orchid in clay pot will have a darker look when it is still wet. If it has a light look, it might require watering. Don’t use chemically treated or softened water to water your orchid. Water should be able to pour swiftly through your pot. If water is getting trapped in it, your potting mix might be extremely dense. After watering, check back in few minutes to empty saucer so there’s no water sitting around close to the orchid.
Ensure the pot you’re housing your Phalaenopsis orchid in comes with drainage holes. Your orchid can’t be properly watered if there are no holes available for water to drain through. We’ve emphasized the importance of water not staying in your pot, so it is important for water to effectively drain through drainage holes. If your orchid comes in a pot that has no holes, endeavor to repot in a pot with enough drainage holes in its bottom.
Try to water your orchid in the morning. Watering your plant at night lets water stagnate on Phalaenopsis’ growing tips. It attracts fungal and bacterial infections. Ensure your orchid stays dry through the night.
Orchids tend to tell you when they need something different from you and you have to be attentive to such clues. You should know how they respond to different climates in order to change your watering routine to suit them.
Factors That Affect Watering
Knowing how to water Phalaenopsis orchids in a proper way is extremely important; it could make them thrive or destroy them. At the heart of watering your plant correctly is understanding the factors that affect it. We will discuss below some factors you have to consider when drawing a watering routine for your orchid.
When the weather is hot or dry, your orchids may need watering twice in a week or you may need to increase your room’s humidity. You can measure the room’s humidity with a hygrometer, a device you can pick up in a store. You may need more humidity in the room and acquiring a humidity tray is a way to get that. These trays can also be bought in a store. Ensure the water on your tray doesn’t touch the orchid pot’s bottom because much exposure to water can make the roots deteriorate. Once water evaporates from your tray, there will be the needed humid climate in the potting medium.
Misting your orchids is another way to increase humidity. Spray bottle can be employed for this process. Considering the fact water evaporates partially quickly, your orchids will need to be misted daily, or several times daily, depending on the dryness of your climate. The level of humidity around you should help you develop a watering routine that is specific to your climate.
The amount of water retained by potting media differ. If your medium retains much water, then you don’t need frequent watering. If it doesn’t retain much water, then you might need to water your orchid more frequently. Whether your potting medium is with holes or without them is also of great importance. You can plant Phalaenopsis orchids in several materials like sphagnum peat, charcoal, tree fern, sphagnum moss, diatomite, perlite, fir bark, or a mixture of all these materials.
Coarse-cut materials can be used in promoting suitable root aeration, nutrient and water retention and also root drainage. Choice of medium is very important to note when learning how to water Phalaenopsis orchids.
Your Phalaenopsis orchid likes some free air, around the leaves and roots. However, greater airflow can make them dry quicker which will require increased watering. You must be attentive to your growing area to know when the airflow is much and you need to give more water.
Learning how to water Phalaenopsis orchids is quite easy when you are very interested in it. We’ve discussed several steps and factors to consider if you want a blooming orchid in your home. This kind of orchid is cheap and easy to maintain once you take its peculiarities into consideration.