How to watering orchids with ice cubes correctly? Here are the findings from the research and information on how to properly hydrate your orchids using this unexpected method. It can be tricky to provide your houseplants with the appropriate amount of moisture, and it can be particularly difficult if the houseplant is an orchid that has a fragile appearance.
You might be tempted to water your orchids excessively in an effort to maintain their beautiful, butterfly-like blossoms. However, one of the most frequent causes of indoor orchid death is an excess of moisture. You may have heard that using ice cubes to water your orchids is one way to prevent overwatering. But does this really function? And won’t these tropical flora be harmed by the cold?
Why Ice Cubes Are Effective for Orchids
Since plants from tropical climates often don’t thrive in freezing conditions, the idea of watering orchids with ice cubes may seem contradictory. However, the Just Add Ice Orchids business discovered that adding ice cubes to orchid water does not hurt the plants and really makes caring for them a little simpler.
Can I water my orchid with ice cubes? is a question that researchers at The Ohio State University and the University of Georgia have conducted investigations to clearly answer. They conducted an experiment in which they contrasted moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) that received weekly irrigation from three ice cubes to a control group that received weekly irrigation from the same amount of water. Ice cubes are a reliable and secure method of watering orchids, as evidenced by the identical outcomes for the overall health of the plants in both groups of orchids. Although only moth orchids were used in the research, other varieties of orchids can also be watered with ice.
According to Marcel Boonekamp, director of growing for Precisely Add Ice, “the toughest issue for orchid plant parents is ensuring that orchids get just the proper quantity of water, without over or underwatering.” The three-ice-cube watering technique was created by Boonekamp and his team to provide gardeners with a precise and incredibly easy way to hydrate orchids.
Watering Orchids with Ice Cubes
Simply sprinkle three ice cubes on top of the orchid medium (often bark chips or sphagnum moss), taking care to avoid touch with the leaves or roots protruding out of the container. This works just as well as thoroughly watering your orchid and letting the extra water drain away. The roots and medium will absorb the water as the ice cubes melt. (After watering ice cubes, there typically isn’t any more water seeping out.) Your plant won’t be harmed by the cold because the ice melts very rapidly. The scientists discovered that when the cubes melted, the temperature of the bark media only decreased slightly, not significantly enough to injure the roots.
The Ice Cube Technique
A merchant of orchids once proposed the concept that beginner growers may prevent overwatering by using just a few ice cubes each week. According to the theory, because the ice melts gradually, the orchid has plenty of time to take in all the water. This contrasts with more conventional watering techniques when plants are moistened briefly and then allowed to drain.
The suggested dosage is about three cubes per plant. But what ice cube size is taken into account here? The best generalization is that the amount of ice used should be equivalent to roughly 14 cups of water when melted because this would be challenging to get perfect everywhere.
Each orchid in a pot needs this much ice if there are multiple plants within. The potting material should be placed on top of the cubes. The melting ice will seep through the plant’s roots and be absorbed as it does so. The lack of water accumulating in the pot is a result of the slow absorption, which is fantastic.
Note: Avoid placing ice cubes on the orchid’s leaves. Leaf rot can be caused by pools of water. The tissue of the leaves may be harmed by the ice’s cold. Additionally, it may cause leaf rot.
Should You Water Your Indoor Plants with Snow?
Of course, factors like room temperature, light, humidity, and the type of growing medium might affect how much water your orchids require (moss holds onto moisture longer than bark chips). According to university studies, you should start with three ice cubes each week and monitor your plant to see whether this amount of water is adequate. It’s simple to determine just by looking at the roots. According to Boonekamp, “roots that are vivid green are properly hydrated, but roots that are silvery need moisture.” The leaves are another clue. Plants that aren’t getting enough water have drooping, wrinkly, dull-green leaves.
Even while using ice cubes makes it impossible to overwater orchids, it’s a good idea to check the medium first before adding your three cubes. Prick the bark or moss with your finger about an inch down. Do not water if you detect moisture just yet. Check again in a few days.
Ice for Different Indoor Plants?
Although it is possible to water all plants using ice cubes, it is not always practicable. The Just Add Ice brand found that utilizing ice is a simple and efficient method for watering these plants as well. The ice watering trials were expanded to include anthurium, a money tree, and many forms of bonsai.
However, some large, established houseplants require more water than orchids, making ice watering difficult. Use your watering can only to water large houseplants. Two suggestions for successful houseplant watering include waiting until the soil is dry to the touch before watering and letting extra water escape from the root zone after watering. Root rot and bugs are both encouraged by a wet root zone.