‘Most important’ tip to remember when watering orchids

Orchids: Importance of drainage discussed by plant expert

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An orchid can add instant colour and interest to a room with their vibrant colours and delicate blooms. Despite their appearance, orchids are actually relatively easy to care for as they don’t need watering as often as other houseplants.

However, learning the best way to keep an orchid happy and healthy could see the plant last for years to come.

With this in mind, Eileen, a plant expert at The Home Depot has shared the “most important thing” to remember when watering orchids.

Eileen said orchids need to be repotted every year to to give them fresh nutrients and keep them healthy.

She added: “Another quick point is as you water every week or so your plant will enjoy the water but the water will start to degrade and decompose the potting medium over time.

“The potting medium will actually form into a soil and that will constrict the roots and cause it to absorb too much water which will lead to root rot.”

Eileen recommended watering orchids thoroughly but ensuring they drain so they don’t end up standing in water.

She said: “The most important thing is to make sure it’s fully drained.

“I’m going to go ahead and pull out the pot. If there’s a lot of water coming out and a lot of water in the beautiful pot I like to make sure that it drains thoroughly.

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“The whole point of the exercise is to make sure that the medium gets wet.

“It’s moistened and it will give the appropriate amount of water and nutrients to the roots this way you can’t overwater.”

Many experts suggest using lukewarm water to water orchids because using cold water can shock them.

Water the plant’s potting media for around 15 seconds so it’s wet and then allow the plant to drain for around 15 minutes.

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The plant can be left to drain in either the sink or on a draining board so it doesn’t end up sat in water.

Alternatively, orchids can be left to sit in water for around 15 minutes to soak up water and then left to drain for another 15 minutes.

Some experts suggest keeping orchids on top of a tray filled with water to ensure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pots.

As the water evaporates from the pebbles, the air around the pot will humidify around the plant.

An orchid should never go longer than two to three weeks without water or they might start dying.

The roots of an orchid will be able to determine whether an orchid needs water or has been overwatered.

Green roots indicate a healthy, happy water getting the correct amount of water.

Soggy, brown or black roots indicate an orchid that has been overwatered and might have root rot.

Grey or white roots show that an orchid needs more water and is thirsty.

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