Moth orchids are the most popular type of orchid commonly found in UK homes. They are native to parts of southeastern Asia and Australia, which means they love moisture. An expert shares top watering tips, including whether owners should use the trending ice cube watering method to hydrate their houseplants.
A popular method of watering that is often circulated on social media is to use ice cubes to water orchids. The idea is that instead of drenching the soil and over-watering the plant, a piece of ice melts slowly, releasing water into the plant.
However, according to one expert, it can actually “harm” orchids because they can be sensitive. Gardening expert Samantha Jones of MyJobQuote.co.uk told Express.co.uk: “While watering an orchid with an ice cube won’t harm your plant, it can damage the stem and leaves.
“So, it’s not fool-proof watering. It’s really simple to water an orchid when you see the roots. That’s why orchids are supplied in clear pots. If the roots look like silver, you can water it.” can give.
However, if the roots look green, it doesn’t need to be watered yet. Over-watering is a common problem when it comes to houseplants, especially during the winter months when plants require less water than at other times of the year.
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The expert said: “Bring [the water] First up to room temperature. It is best to water the plant in a sink or bath so that excess water can later drain out of the pot, preventing waterlogging.
Orchid owners should try to use rainwater or distilled water where possible, as most houseplants are sensitive to tap water. If you want to use tap water, leave it in the water overnight to heat it up as well as allow the minerals to disperse.
When it comes to watering indoor plants, most houseplant owners will stick to a routine, whether it’s once a week or once a fortnight. However, another expert said that houseplant owners should use their “senses and instincts” rather than a method or routine.
This is important during the hot summer months when houseplants will be more thirsty. Natalie Devereux, product specialist at Serenata Flowers, told Express.co.uk: “Watering orchids with ice cubes is a controversial topic among growers.
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“People attribute this method to the belief that it simplifies the watering routine, makes it easier for beginners and prevents over-watering. But, plants, like humans, are affected by external factors. But water has different needs.
“We’ve always advised you to use your senses and instinct rather than a method or routine.” The expert added that watering with ice cubes can shock the plant, and over time can lead to tissue death and stunted growth.
If you are unsure how much to water the plant, or are concerned about over-watering it, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recommends misting the leaves “regularly”.
Misting provides more moisture to the plant, but does not create a wet root environment. This isn’t something that needs to be done every single day during the winter months, but doing it a few times a week can be beneficial.
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Moth orchids can be viewed at any time of year, but it is best to avoid shaking after flowering. Signs that your plant needs a new home include roots growing out from under its current home.
The horticulturist explained: “If you’re repotting your orchid in a specialist orchid pot, it’s likely to be made of clear plastic and will have slotted holes around the sides or at the bottom. However it can be made to look pretty.” As tempting as it is to pop into a decorative planter, you may be blocking airflow from these holes.
“If you want it to look aesthetically pleasing, you can put it in a small wooden crate or basket.
“Line the bottom with pebbles to maximize airflow and drainage. Repot your orchid only when it is not flowering and be careful not to break the roots.
Another houseplant that is sensitive to tap water is the peace lily. Watering peace lilies with tap water can cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown due to chemicals in it, such as fluoride.
Hard water areas may contain magnesium and calcium which can be harmful to this sensitive plant. The experts at Hammonds Furniture say: “Your peace lily should be watered weekly, but make sure the soil is dry before you water.
“If your peace lily is wilting, you most likely need to water the plant as this is a sign of dehydration.
“However, if the plant is wilting and its leaves are yellowing, stop watering because your plant is over watered and needs a rest.”