How to Water Orchids? | A Detailed Guide

Watering orchids is an important factor to consider when growing plants since it is the leading cause of plant death for any of its species. This is why you should know how and when to water orchids so that they bloom successfully.

A good rule of thumb is to water orchids when the potting medium is completely dried out or has just dried—depending on the species. Water every 4 to 5 days during the spring and summer seasons and once a week only during the fall and winter seasons.

To know more about watering orchids, how much they need, when and how often to water, and other relevant information, read this article further!

Do Orchids Need Water?

Do Orchids Need Water

Orchids need water, especially during their active growth period when the orchid’s roots and shoots develop into pseudobulbs and leaves. Not only does it need water, but it also needs to receive high relative humidity. Watering frequency is usually the most difficult and delicate operation to time and master when growing orchids. 

When to Water Orchids?

When to Water Orchids

Water every 4 to 5 days. Increase frequency if their environment is on the warmer side. Allow its medium to dry out completely (for species with pseudobulbs such as Cattleya) between waterings or water as soon as its medium dries (for species with no water-storing organs such as Phalaenopsis).

How Much Water Does an Orchid Need?

A good rule of thumb is to water thoroughly until the water flows out of the orchid’s container. This is why orchids should be planted in containers with drainage holes to allow excess water to flow and promote ventilation.

How Long Can Orchids Go Without Water?

Orchids can go 2 to 3 weeks without water. They can even survive up to 5 weeks as long as they are placed in a humid environment.

How Often to Water Orchids?

How Often to Water Orchids

Water your orchids every 4 to 5 days, more frequently if planted in a warmer environment or less frequently if otherwise.

How Often to Water Orchids in Winter?

In the winter season, orchids will need less water since they will be entering a slow phase of their growth period. As such, water your orchids every 10 days.

How Often to Water Orchids in Moss?

Orchids planted in sphagnum moss should be watered once every 7 to 10 days. Make sure the moss dries out first before watering again.

How Often to Water Orchids in Bark?

Since orchid bark generally retains less water than other potting media, watering once a week is sufficient for the orchids during the spring and summer seasons, while once every 7 to 10 days during the fall and winter seasons will work.

How Often to Water Orchids in Pot?

Every 4 to 5 days is adequate for orchids planted in pots and other containers. In the winter, water only once a week.

Signs of an Over-Watered or Under-Watered Orchid

Both overwatering and under-watering can cause plant death for most orchid species since they generally have a low tolerance for too much moisture. Signs of overwatered orchids are mushy roots and shriveled leaves, while under-watered orchids will look “papery,” have shriveled roots and dropped leaves, and/or wilt. 

What Is the Best Water to Use for Orchids?

Filtered, distilled, or bottled water is the best option to use for orchids. Rainwater is also a good choice since that is what they’re naturally adapted to. Avoid tap water since it has low pH levels and mineral content, which can harm the orchid plants.

Why Water Quality Matters to Your Orchid?

Poor quality water can cause stunted growth, root injury, and nutrient deficiency. It can even result in plant death since it can interfere with the orchid plants’ nutrient and water uptake ability. 

What Is the Best Way to Water an Orchid?

The best way of watering orchid plants is to simply let the water flow freely into the plant until excess water begins draining out of the container’s holes. For orchids that do not need a rooting medium to grow, you can soak them in a water bowl. 

How to Water Orchids in Bark?

When watering orchids planted in bark, the pieces must be well-saturated. To do so, place the pot of the orchid plant into a large bowl that’s big and deep enough to reach the bark line. Pour water into the bark and let it fill the bowl up until the opening of the pot. 

Afterward, let it soak 10 to 15 minutes before lifting the orchid pot out of the water. Let excess water flow out of the pot’s drainage holes, then place the orchid plant back in its location. 

How to Water Orchids in Moss?

Simply lift the container of the orchid. Then, place it under a faucet, and let water flow freely through the plant until excess water flows out of the drainage holes.

How to Water Orchids With Ice Cubes?

Place three ice cubes on the orchid’s rooting medium, then let them melt. This way, you wouldn’t risk overwatering since there generally isn’t enough excess water that drains out. However, you may under-water the plant. Add fewer or more ice cubes depending on their size and the temperature, humidity, and light levels of the orchids. 

How to Water Orchids in a Pot?

You can water thoroughly until excess water drains out of the pot’s holes or lift the orchid, then soak it in a water bowl. It depends on the species!

Common Mistakes in Watering Orchids

Common Mistakes in Watering Orchids

Overwatering and under-watering are the most common mistakes when watering orchids. This is the leading cause of plant death in most orchid species, so you must exercise great care when watering your plants.

Related: Indoor Orchid Care | How to Plant and Care for These Unique Flowers? 

List of Sources

Guide to Orchid Care and Repotting –

Tips on Caring for Orchids –

Taking Care of Your Phalaenopsis Orchid –

Growing Orchids Indoors –