How dry to you let your orchids get before watering?
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:00 AM
Dante1709 Dante1709 is offline
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How dry to you let your orchids get before watering? Male

I let my Oncidiums get dry at the surface, but a little moist below the surface. I let the bark on top lighten up all the way,if you can understand.

I find that allowing some plants to get a smidge drier isn't necessarily bad. The dryness encourages the roots to start spreading and searching for the humidity. That being said, it's important to make sure they don't dry out completely! I give my orchids some spraying on the surface of the media to make sure the top roots don't dry off.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:02 PM
Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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How dry to you let your orchids get before watering? Female

I water my phal twice a week. I've tried doing less but it stops growing. It's likely not completely dry when I water, but pretty close as it's in coarse bark.

My pleurothallis does not go dry ever. It's in a clear container so I can see all of the moss. Once the top half or so of moss gets dry I water again. It likes to be wet.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:27 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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How dry to you let your orchids get before watering? Female

It really depends on the plant, the medium and your conditions. I water my phals and cattleyas every 7 to 10 days. My oncidiums and paphs get watered twice weekly. My two mounted plants get water daily, the Dracula gets misted every evening just before lights out.

Some like more or less water, depending on where they came from.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:26 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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How dry to you let your orchids get before watering? Male

As far as I can discern, there is not a single orchid on the earth that NEEDS to be dry between waterings. In nature, many of them stay saturated for months on end, and high-altitude plants stay constantly enveloped by-, and dripping from dew.

The recommendation to allow drying is related to the medium, not the plant. A plant in nature has its roots exposed to the air, so there is no potential of suffocation. "Domesticated", in a pot of medium, surface tension can hold water in the voids between the medium particles, stifling air flow and gas exchange, suffocating and killing the roots. If that water evaporates before that happens, then the plant's gas exchange processes can recover before the damage is done.

The "ice cube" methodology was a marketing ploy by a nursery using sphagnum moss as a potting medium. Tightly compressed sphagnum is fine in a commercial greenhouse, where airiness, solar flux, and an overall well-controlled environment exists; in a home, it can become soppy in short order. By using ice cubes that slowly melt, the moss is moistened, not drenched and saturated, preventing - or at least delaying - the root loss potential. However, as has been said, ice is a terrible thing to expose to a plant that would never see below 70F in nature. A few quick "spritzes" of room temperature water from a sprayer is far better.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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bark, dry, medium, oncidiums, phals, orchids, watering

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