How often should I water my orchids?

Water orchids when they need water, it is as simple. So, how do we know when they need water? There is no magic formula as it can vary from growing area to the growing area. It is said more orchids are killed by either over-watering or under-watering than any other reason. Majority of the orchids that we grow are epiphytes, meaning that they grow naturally on trees with their roots exposed to air and light.

Every time you water, soak the potting medium thoroughly. When to water your orchids depends on a few factors, but generally, the orchids should be watered just when the potting medium begins to dry out. Let us look at the factors to consider:

  1. Type of orchid: Orchids with pseudo bulb/storage like Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums etc. should be allowed to dry out between watering but Orchids without pseudo bulb/storage like Phalaenopsis, Vandas, Paphiopedilums etc. should be watered when the medium begins to dry out.

2. Pot Size and Potting Medium: For example, Pine Bark may dry sooner compared to Coconut Husk as the property of water retention is lower in pine bark, so the chances of overwatering also are lesser in this case and in-turn reducing the risk of diseases in the medium. Larger the pot the more moisture it retains which means it needs more time to dry out, especially in the center of the pot which is difficult to measure or judge. So it is preferable to use smaller pots to avoid root rot with higher water retention in larger pots.

3. Weather Conditions: Warmer the days the water evaporates faster from the pot and colder the days, it takes time to dry out. In short, there is no thumb rule for watering, your touch & feel will slowly help you master the art of watering your Kids! Sorry, orchids.

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