Essential Tips on How to Water Orchids: From Dry to Thriving

How to Water Orchids
How to Water Orchids

Essential Tips on How to Water Orchids: From Dry to Thriving

Orchids are celebrated for their delicate charm and exotic appeal. These elegant flowering plants, often associated with tropical paradises, can thrive as indoor houseplants when correctly cared for.

However, one of the most common challenges for orchid enthusiasts is providing the correct amount of water to their orchids, particularly when potted in an orchid potting mix.

To ensure your orchids flourish and captivate you with their splendid blooms, it’s crucial to master the art of watering orchid roots. In this guide, We will help you learn how to water orchids and equip you with the knowledge needed to keep your orchids thriving.

Let’s go!

How to Water Orchids in Moss

How to Water Orchids in Moss
How to Water Orchids in Moss

Moss is a popular medium for growing orchid plants. When watering orchids potted in moss, including sphagnum moss, it’s crucial to follow these steps:

  1. Check Moisture Levels: Before watering, feel the moss with your fingertips. If it feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water.
  2. Soak Thoroughly: Place the orchid in a sink or container and drench the moss thoroughly with lukewarm water. Allow excess water to drain.
  3. Avoid Soggy Roots: Never let your orchid sit in standing water, which can lead to root rot. Ensure the pot has good drainage.

How to Water Orchids In Bark

How to Water Orchids In Bark
How to Water Orchids In Bark

Orchids planted in a commercial orchid bark mixture demand a slightly different care routine:

  1. Keep an Eye on the Bark: Orchid in bark dries out faster than moss. Simply insert your finger about an inch into the medium to gauge its moisture level. Water it when it feels dry.
  2. Water with Precision: Water your orchid thoroughly using tap water, ensuring water flows through the pot. Don’t forget to empty the saucer beneath the pot to prevent root rot.

How to Water Orchids in Perlite

How to Water Orchids in Perlite
How to Water Orchids in Perlite

Orchids in perlite need careful attention. Perlite dries out faster than bark or moss, so you must water more frequently.

  1. Water When Needed: Perlite retains less moisture, so check it regularly. When the top layer feels dry, it’s the best time to water.
  2. Use a Fine Stream: Water the orchid gently with a fine stream to prevent disturbing the perlite particles.
  3. Frequency: Perlite retains less water, so water orchids in perlite every 5-7 days.
  4. Root Health: Check the roots periodically to ensure they are healthy.

How to Water Orchids in Gravel, Rocks, Charcoal or Clay Pellets

Orchids in Charcoals
Orchids in Charcoals

Water orchids correctly in these well-draining mediums: gravel, rocks, charcoal, or clay pellets, by following these steps:

  1. Select a Well-Draining Pot: Choose a pot that facilitates drainage.
  2. Water Until Draining: Water the orchid until you see water draining from the pot.
  3. Watering Schedule: Orchids in these mediums typically need watering every 7-10 days.
  4. Root Check: Regularly inspect the roots for any signs of rot or dehydration.

How to Water Orchids in Tree Fern Fiber

Tree Fern Fiber For Orchids
Tree Fern Fiber For Orchids

Tree fern fiber, known for its moisture-retaining capabilities due to its resemblance to the orchid’s natural habitat, requires a specific watering approach:

  1. Pot Selection: Choose a container with adequate drainage.
  2. Soak and Drain: Submerge the pot in water and allow it to drain thoroughly.
  3. Watering Frequency: Orchids in tree fern fiber can be watered every 10-14 days but adjust based on your orchid’s specific needs.
  4. Root Health: Keep a close eye on root health to ensure they thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should you water an orchid?

The frequency at which you should water your orchids is influenced by various factors, such as the type of orchid, the potting mix you use, and the conditions in their surroundings.

It’s essential to follow these orchid watering tips: regularly assess the moisture level of the potting medium and only water your orchids when they feel dry to the touch. Additionally, consider the choice of orchid pots to help manage their watering needs effectively.

What About Watering Orchids in Winter?

During the winter months, orchids typically need less water because of the lower humidity and reduced growth. It’s important to adapt your watering schedule and ensure the orchid’s roots are not consistently kept in a humid environment.

Should you water orchids with ice cubes?

Using ice cubes to water indoor orchids is considered one of the common orchid watering mistakes. Orchids are tropical plants, and exposing them to ice can harm their delicate roots. To achieve the best results, it’s advisable to use lukewarm water instead.


Becoming a successful orchid grower involves mastering the art of how to water orchids, a crucial step in nurturing these best plants. Whether your orchid is potted in moss, bark, perlite, or any other medium, diligent care is essential to maintain its vitality and showcase its stunning blooms.

With patience and the proper orchid care, you can transform your once dry and lackluster orchids into thriving and resplendent beauties!