How to ensure mini phaelenopsis have sufficient water.
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  #1  
Old 08-21-2019, 08:30 AM
Goosegirl Goosegirl is offline
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How to ensure mini phaelenopsis have sufficient water.
Default How to ensure mini phaelenopsis have sufficient water.

I have four which are in orchid compost and I only water when their pots feel light in weight. When I put them under the cold tap, the water seems to go straight through their pots and the compost doesn't seem to retain any. Should I put a little saucer under them before I put them back in their ceramic pots so they have some of the residual water to take up if necessary, and would you put a bit of water into their ceramic pots below their pot base to supply some humidity?
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:05 PM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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How to ensure mini phaelenopsis have sufficient water. Female
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FWIW, this is how I do it, and I'm not saying it's the only way, but it's what works for me, and mine seem happy. First, I do not use cold tap water. I fill watering cans and let them set out for at least a few hours to come to room temperature. I then take the plant to the sink and pour water from the watering can over the potting medium, for a long enough time that I feel everything inside the pot has gotten wet. Yes, it drains out the bottom pretty fast. For my smaller plants that are in three-inch pots, I may pour for a count of six or eight, for my five-inch pots, a count of ten or twelve. You get the picture. I don't measure how much water I use, but I want to feel like it was enough to wet it well.

Most of mine are in clear plastic pots which set in a clear plastic saucer, so the saucer will hold any additional water that runs out after I'm done at the sink. I don't hold the plant over the sink until it totally stops dripping, just until it stops flowing steadily. I actually want a little water in that saucer for moisture, and I may even give the saucer a couple sprays with a spray bottle to make sure it's wet. I never want a plant sitting in water, though. The saucers I use have little depressions to hold the water away from the actual bottom of the pot, and I make sure there's not so much water that it overflows those little depressions.

If you are putting your orchid pot into a ceramic cache pot that has no holes, be very careful about letting water collect inside those. I would be inclined to simply water more frequently rather than let them set in water inside a pot with no holes. If I want to supply a little moisture in between waterings, I will mist the aerial roots and the top of the medium with a spray bottle.

P.S. Just to clarify, I do not use sphagnum moss. My orchids are potted in chunky bark only (Orchiata). Somebody else will have to chime in with watering advice for orchids in sphagnum.
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Last edited by Mountaineer370; 08-21-2019 at 05:08 PM..
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:24 PM
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Water that runs through the pot is ideal - it pulls air into the root zone while it's hydrating the roots. And it's really moist air, not "wet" that they want. That moving water also flushes out excess fertilizer buildup and other crud that might accumulate in the pot.
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:10 AM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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How to ensure mini phaelenopsis have sufficient water. Female
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I soak most of my indoor Phalaenopsis. I grow them in bark in clear slotted pots inside a cache pot or sleeve. Once a week or so, I water until the cache pot is full, let it sit for at least five minutes, then dump the water out of the cache pot and let any excess water drain out of the orchid pot before replacing it. I let water run through the pots I have outside. I havenít noticed any difference in plant health.

Phalaenopsis donít like to sit in even a bit of water. If things are drying out too fast, increase watering frequency or try the soaking method and see if they retain moisture longer.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:33 AM
Swimmingorchids Swimmingorchids is offline
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How to ensure mini phaelenopsis have sufficient water. Male
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i would advise rain water over tap water.

letting it warm up to room temp will shock plants less.

adding a weak amount of fertilizer on every feed is beneficial - compared to overfeeding and then flushing the plant afterwards - or not feeding at all

adjusting the water ph to something the plants will like (hardest part for most hobbyists)

watering is fine - even better is dunking the whole pot into a bucket of water - this pushes all stale air out of the pot - then sucks fresh air back in as you lift it out.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:02 AM
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Dunking is bad news unless you have fresh water for each pot. You don't want to share water between plants - that's a really good way to spread diseases. Unless city water is really bad, Phals are not particularly fussy about water quality. pH not all that important for Phals. Water so that it runs through the pot - that pulls air into the root zone. With just a few plants, one can just hold them under the tap. If you want to finish with rain water, fine but probably not necessary. Dilute (1/4-1/2 strength) once a week (once weekly, weakly) is plenty - In general orchids don't need or want a lot of fertilizer, being epiphytes depending on what drips from the canopy in the way of detritus dissolved in the rain water. It is far worse to fertilize too much - which can kill plants - than too little. Swimmingorchids, before you advise, you need more experience to figure out what is important and what is less important. A trip to a place where orchids grow naturally would give you lots of insight.
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