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Guide to Watering Orchids

 

Because of their beautiful and fragrant blossoms, orchids have quickly become a favorite house plant among many home gardeners all over the world. To properly care for your growing orchids, you need to understand the right conditions that make them thrive. One of the most essential things you need to know is how to water your orchids correctly.

Although watering orchids is not really complicated,they should not be treated like your typical house plant. To better understand what to do, first thing you need to know is where orchids come from and the environment they love.

Most of the orchids in the world were originally found in tropical locations, and these places are typically quite humid and get a lot of rain. This is why orchids thrive in thier ideal humidity level of 80%. For your orchids to thrive in your home, you need to somehow create a similar micro environment to what they are used to.

A good way to do this is to keep your plants humidified by providing them a continuous water supply. One way you can do this  easily and inexpensivly is to buy a deep saucer and a few pebbles. Put the pebbles in the saucer and place your orchid pot on top of the pebbles. Pour water onto the pebbles, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the orchid pot. This helps to simulate a humid, tropical environment for your orchids that  they'll love.

A good indicater in determining whether it is time to water your orchids or not, is to look at their roots. A thin membrane cover called velamen surround the orchid roots. This membrane absorbs lots of water quickly and encourages the exchange of salts and minerals. The velamen serves a good guide in watering orchids—when it is white or silvery, this means it is dry, and when it is green or mottled, it is freshly watered.

Remember though that it is better to underwater your orchids rather than to overwater them. over watering is a common mistake made by many people that results in decay of the roots, making the flowers wilt. Normally, orchid plants only need to be watered once a week or even once every other week.

Always make sure that your orchid pot has good drainage. Never allow your orchids to stand in water. It's good idea to ensure that your plant dries in between waterings. Also, do not water at night. Watering orchids at night can cause stagnant water that becomes a medium for fungal and bacterial diseases to develop.

There are also some other factors that affect the frequency of watering orchids. Your potting media is one—different types of pots and potting media retain different amounts of water. Your orchid species may also have special watering requirements. So make sure to read up on the orchid species you’re growing.

Another factor is air circulation. Orchids enjoy fresh air, but this tends to cause them to dry our quicker, so make sure to increase watering accordingly.

Simply, the best indicators of when it's time to water your orchids are the plants themselves. Never ignore the cues that your plants are showing. A healthy plant will always look healthy.


 

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