How to Water Orchids with Ice Cubes

Watering Orchids Ice Cubes

Phalaenopsis orchids are popular house plants known for their beautiful flowers. They are among the easiest orchids to grow indoors.

However, there is a common problem many plant growers face: overwatering.

Overwatering is a problem for many plants and orchids are no exception. Providing too much water can make the roots sit in water for too long, which can make them rot.

This leads to further problems and it can be dangerous for the plant.

Watering with ice cubes is a good method to provide just enough water for your orchid's needs. Most Phalaenopsis orchids need about 3 ice cubes per week to receive the optimal amount of water.

Watering With Ice Cubes

It may seem like an unorthodox method, but it's actually very simple. One of the advantages is that you'll always be sure that your orchids are receiving just the right amount of water.

The first question you may ask is "how big the ice cubes should be"? There doesn't seem to be a standard size for ice cubes so there is no precise answer to it. An ice cube ideal for the orchids is the one that melts down to about 1/4 cup of water. The exact size or the shape of such a cube is not relevant.

The biggest advantage to using ice cubes is that they melt slowly. It means they release water in a slow drip. You don't want to use anything that will melt too quickly - using regular ice cubes will give the orchids a constant source of water as the ice cubes melt.

Another thing you may worry about is the temperature. Ice cubes produce cold water, so some people may be reluctant to use them for their orchids. Generally speaking, cold water is not bad for your plants. However, if your orchids are used only to lukewarm or room temperature water you should be careful before introducing ice cubes. Start by slowly offering them colder water until they are used to receiving cold water. After this, you can start watering them with ice cubes.

Another thing to keep in mind is what to do if you have more than one orchid in a pot. Are 3 ice cubes enough in this case? If you have multiple stems coming from the same plant then 3 ice cubes are enough. However, if you have more than one plant in the pot each of them should receive its own serving of 3 ice cubes. Make sure to position ice cubes in such a way so each plant receives 3 ice cubes.

Photo credit: Sander van Zoest

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