How to Properly Water Orchids for Healthy Growth

Watering orchids is one of the important actions in caring for these plants. Without sufficient watering, orchids cannot grow healthily and prosperously. However, watering orchids must be done carefully, as they can easily die if over or under-watered.

Here are the steps on how to properly water orchids for healthy growth:

1. Choose the right container
Before watering orchids, make sure that the container used is large enough to hold the water needed by the plant roots. Use a deep and wide container, such as a basin or bucket, and make sure that it has drainage holes at the bottom to drain excess water. 

2. Prepare the water
The water used to water orchids should be clean and free of dirt or harmful chemicals. Use rainwater or distilled water, if possible. Do not use tap water that contains chlorine or fluoride, as it can damage plant roots.

3. Check the moisture level of the growing medium
Before watering orchids, check the moisture level of the growing medium by pinching a little bit of the growing medium with your fingers. If the growing medium feels dry, then the orchids need water. However, if the growing medium feels moist or wet, wait a few days before watering the orchids.

4. Water slowly
When watering orchids, make sure to do it slowly and evenly. Water the entire surface of the growing medium, but do not water too much so that the growing medium is flooded. Water until the water flows out through the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.

5. Avoid watering the leaves
When watering orchids, avoid watering the leaves or flowers directly. Too much water on the leaves or flowers can cause damage or disease to the plants. Instead, water the growing medium and let the plant roots absorb water slowly.

6. Do not water too often
Orchids should not be watered too often. This can cause plant roots to rot or lack oxygen. Water orchids every 5-7 days, or according to the moisture needs of the growing medium and the surrounding environment.

7. Consider the environmental conditions
In addition to the moisture of the growing medium, environmental conditions also need to be considered when watering orchids. If the environment is very humid, such as in tropical areas, then orchids may not need to be watered too often. However, if the environment is very dry or windy, then orchids may need to be watered more often.

Here are some additional tips that can help you take care of your orchids properly:
  • Use the right fertilizer for the type of orchid you have, and use it regularly according to the instructions.
  • Place the orchid in a spot that receives enough light, but not directly in the sunlight.
  • Keep the area around the orchid clean, and avoid piling up dry leaves or other organic matter around the container. This can cause fungi or bacteria that are harmful to the plant.
  • Maintain the room temperature within the appropriate range for the type of orchid you have.
  • Most orchids require high humidity to grow well. If the humidity in your room is low, you can use a humidifier or spray water on the orchid's leaves and roots periodically.
  • Check the orchid's roots regularly to make sure there are no roots that are rotting or too wet. If rotting or overly wet roots are found, immediately cut the affected parts and replace the orchid planting media.
  • Make sure the container where your orchid is planted has good drainage holes to ensure that water does not accumulate in the pot and cause problems such as root rot or fungal growth.
  • Avoid watering the orchid at night as this can increase the risk of fungal and bacterial growth on the plant. Ideally, watering the orchid should be done in the morning or afternoon.
  • Make sure to use clean and uncontaminated water. If possible, use rainwater or reverse osmosis water which is cleaner.
  • Some types of orchids require a resting period in winter to grow well in summer. So, make sure to give the plant enough rest by reducing the amount of water and fertilizer given.
  • Check for signs of water deficiency or excess in your orchid plant. If the plant looks dry and wilted, it may indicate water deficiency. If the leaves look rotten or the plant looks overwatered, it could be a sign of excess water. Adjust the frequency of watering your orchid based on the signs visible on the plant.

By following the steps above, carefully and accurately watering your orchids, your orchid plants can grow healthy and lush. Remember that each type of orchid can have different water requirements. Some types of orchids require higher humidity than others, and some types of orchids need time to dry before being watered again.