Orchids with their elegant beauty of their blooms and the wide selection of species, size and color, is no surprise they are the most loved houseplants of all. Orchid watering is not any different from watering other typical household plants. They too need a proper growing and caring environment in order to prosper. Watering your orchid with the correct quantity of water is essential for a proper growing environment. The quantity of water required by each species of orchid varies; therefore it is necessary to inquire for information on the watering requirements of the particular specie you are interested in. A good base in general in understanding orchid watering necessities is first of all to know their origins and type.
Origins and Humidity
The majority of epiphytic orchids have origins from the tropics. The tropical regions of the world acquire immense quantities of rainfall. The high temperatures combined with the enormous rainfall create the extreme humid circumstances of their origins. Humidity at values of 80% is perfect for the majority of orchids. However this level of humidity indoors would be intensely unpleasant for the majority of human beings. A realistic approach in maintaining orchids in good condition is required. Such a method of keeping the humidity at desirable level for orchids is by supplying water in a deep tray or saucer. Place pebbles in the saucer or tray making sure the pebbles are not completely submerged in the water, and then place the orchid pot on the pebbles. You can also purchase a humidity tray which is for just this purpose. In this way you can acquire the desirable humidity around the orchids without creating an undesirable atmosphere for humans.
Most terrestrial orchids originate from temperate regions of the world. They prefer cool temperatures with moderate humidity and kept in moist media.
Watering According to Type
When watering an orchid people tend to over water it. This is a huge mistake because it may look dry when it is not. Bark may look dry when in actual fact may contain moisture. The best approach is by watering your orchid once a week or once every second week, less frequently. Sometimes it is good practice to water the potting mixture immediately after it has completely dried out if the orchid is an epiphytes with moisture storage such as dendrobium. Orchids capable of growing water retention organs similar to dendrobium are known as epiphytes-sympodial orchids. However say it is an epiphytic orchid without the ability to store moisture, for example the phalaenopsis then watering must be made just before it dries out completely. Epiphytic orchids such as the phalaenopsis that do not grow water retention organs are known as epiphytes-monopodial orchids. Epiphytes grow naturally on trees and on rocks this is an airy environment making it natural for their roots to dry out before watering. Terrestrial orchids can also exhibit either type of growth, monopodial or sympodial with the majority exhibiting sympodial characteristics. When the potting composition is nearly dry or completely dry depending on the root system of the plant, a good, thorough flush of the pot with abundant of water should be given. This should be done in short watering intervals than one long burst of water.
So the key issue when it comes to orchid watering practice is not to over water them. The watering procedure depends on the type of growth pattern of your orchid. How often and when you will water your orchid will largely depend on the growth pattern of your orchid, that is does it have a monopodial or a sympodial growth pattern.