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Orchids – Watering


Watering = the main killer of orchids

Most orchids like to be moist but not sitting in water.

Please remember that what works for us, your neighbour or anyone else may need adjusting to your growing conditions.

How often you water your orchids will depend on your medium, growing conditions and many other factors. 

Note: all orchid pots should have holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. Orchids do not like sitting in water and must be able to drain out. Most orchids do not like to be sitting in a saucer of water, for this reason.


Our suggested procedure:

Dig your finger into your pots and see if it is moist, wet, dry and feel the weight of your pots to get an idea of this as well. Alternatively, you can put a skewer into your pot and wait a bit, and then pull the skewer out and see how wet it is to know whether you need to water it or not and get a better idea of when your orchid needs watering and when it does not. It is also important to keep the following things in mind and get to know your:

  1. CONDITIONS: where are your orchids located? What are the growing conditions of your orchid house or general location?
  2. TEMPERATURE: is it hot or dry, or both? Is your plant on the back of a neighbour’s tin wall that the sun hits? Is it often cold and wet?
  3. WIND: It is good to have most types of orchids sheltered from the wind. A slight breeze is okay and will normally help reduce fungus, but remember breezes can be really cold at night. Is the location that your plants in windy or is there often a breeze that comes through there - if so, is this resulting in your orchids unknowingly becoming wet and cold at night? Wind can also dry out pots quicker in the heat of summer. However, good air movement is essential. Are your pots drying out from the wind?
  4. SUN/SHADE: are your orchids in full shade, afternoon or morning sun?
  5. RAIN: If you get over 5-10mm of rain, this is counted as a watering. Do not continuously water your plants when there is rain around as this may result in over watering. Orchids that are undercover or are not receiving this rain will still need their regular watering.

It is harder to kill orchids from under watering and much easier to kill orchids from overwatering.


Happy Growing!