Ice Cube Orchids on orchids? (ive killed two) but got a third for mothers day and i really really want to do better. Why not teach people to do it properly? But you can certainly get one flower spike. Small flowered phals are more likely to branch from an existing flower stem. b) water very carefully. Set them on roots or on the potting media. Flower stems do not have velamen. They are not all the same – no surprise there. Watering your orchid plant with ice cubes is pretty easy. What happens if the orchid gets dry, and you forget to water it? It doesn’t seem to be producing new stems from which flowers can come? Error message: "The request cannot be completed because you have exceeded your, Copyright © 2020 Garden Myths | Having been born and raised on a fruit & vegetable farm I feel really dumb that I can’t figure this out! You may have trouble getting all of them in the aquarium. Cymbidiums will tolerate ice cubes better than other orchids, just because they are from cooler climates and are accustomed to receiving cool rain. The care instructions say to water it with 3 ice cubes once a week. awesome article! Could you explain the comment you made: “When your new plant is finished flowering, repot it immediately. £ Orchid Care: Once you know how to care for orchids, you can enjoy endless orchid flowers.. All you need to do is place 3 ice cubes in the orchid container once a week. I hate it because it is very difficult to water sphagnum  properly – it is either to wet or too dry. That is the dumbest advice I have ever seen. I have closed off the cooler vents by them and added a small humidifier but they still seem “sad”. I was thinking I would dispense a small amount of water each day but I don’t know how much should be provided weekly. I do fertilize weakly, monthly. I’ve only had my beautiful moth since Mother’s Day. When the pot is dry it gets very light. What it shows is that the cold from ice cubes probably does not harm the roots of Phalaenopsis. Common advice says orchids need about 1/4 as much fertilizer as other house plants. Well one of them ended up with Mealybugs on it and as I searched for answers that I can afford, my husband decided to submerge the whole thing in out 75 gallon aquarium and let the fish have at the bugs infesting my plant. As long as there is a bit of bark between the ice and the roots it will be sufficient to insulate the plant from the very localized cold temperature. As the media breaks down it tends to settle, it stays too wet and it keep out the air. I really enjoyed reading the article. Thank you for that advice. For larger orchids, use two ice cubes a week. What happens to the roots when they sit in water? Repotting also tells you how well it is doing. For potting medium, I suggest either bark chunks or coconut husk chunks. Then repot every 2 years with no exception. I was about to give up and just repurchase my orchids to have blooms. It's just a marketing scheme. If you live in the desert, it might be very dry in summer and you need to water more often than me. My daughter gave me a small orchid for Valentine’s Day. I agree with yu my orchid does perfectly fine with ice cubes & i think is doing much better now tht i have switched to ice cubes& id alot bigger then when i got it.. An ice cube ideal for the orchids is the one that melts down to about ¼ cup of water. Thank you for your advice on watering. The ice cube, adding cinnamon for fungus, over-watering, over-pruning, too much sun exposure, they’re all easy answers and often easy mistakes we make caring for orchids. Orchids – Basic Care. Thank you so much for your straightforward, no nonsense explanation of how to water orchids. However leaf size also depends on genetics. problem-solving quiz Take our 2-minute quiz below to diagnose your orchid problem, and with a little TLC, it will be … I have several other posts about orchid care here: I’m getting obsessive about this orchid,on further inspection of the bowl I find(and I bet this doesn’t surprise you) that there appears to be at the base of the bowl Phalaenopsis leaves!!! I like to report new plants as soon as they stop flowering. How to care for your orchid at home. For larger orchids, use two ice cubes a week. If they are in sphagnum moss, I would report as soon as the flowers are done. doesnt say how much. Thanks Nicki. I had read about people putting ice cubes in order to water their orchids, but it just did not make sense to me! The biggest advantage to using ice cubes is that they melt slowly. They are in the same pot because people are trying to sell stuff and they know nothing about plants. I have never given them that much. I know that you don’t want to go to big. great! Just give them time to adjust to their new home. Water when the orchid needs water. And I came across your post. I have forgotten them for several hours will no ill effect. Not Helpful 29 Helpful 27. Now I now why I killed many orchids. Right on the instructions that came with the orchid, it stated to feed the plant 3 ice cubes weekly. The ice cubes should be placed on top of the media, avoiding direct contact with the leaves. I followed those directions every week. So how should you water them? This is a great idea … for the merchant who came up with it, because cold water will gradually kill the… Pot size should be fitted to the plant. Frank Paul is the Head Grower at Just Add Ice Orchids. When the plant is finished with the flower scape it will die naturally. If you choose to take your Phalaenopsis to the sink and drench it once a week, letting it dry slightly before re-watering, you should see the same success that these people have seen for years. The fundamentals for taking care of an orchid come down to three things: efficient watering, good drainage, and temperate environment. (Apparently people think it's easier than "Just Add Water! It means they release water in a slow drip. All orchids sold as “Ice Orchids” are really nothing more than regular Phalaenopsis Orchids, most of which are sold as NOID (No Identification). We can’t give them that perfect growing condition in the home. I just got a new Orchid. Too much salt – fertilizer is a salt – kills orchids. Fascinating website,I found you by researching ice cube watering. So, although i enjoy your article, I have to respectfully disagree with your statement that feeding an orchid ice cubes is dumb. Why not just put it in the freezer for a day? I am conducting an experiment now to test this (I’ll post results in a couple of months). Thanks. It said to water with ice cubes…so glad I didn’t! but ive noticed two new leave sprouting… so maybe its still a go! I never thought of the roots and the pot must be dry before watering them. After the blossoms wilted, i cut the spike down to about 2 or 3 inches and covered it in cinnamon(to prevent infection). See my post called Bloom Booster – Fertilizer Nonsense #5. I nearly lost my Psychopsis due to decaying monkey bark it came packed in. You can stick your finger into the pot and if it feels wet – don’t water. The drenching method has been espoused by experienced orchid-growers with great success for years. Orchid roots are covered by something called velamen, which is a spongy material. Over time the media starts to break down which creates a susceptible environment to root rot. Should you water Phall before you fertilize them? Do Marigolds Stop Cabbage Worms – Is this Good Companion Planting? Orchid Minis One ice cube, once per week. I know that doesn’t help you very much so I’ll give you a simple way to water properly. Probably not – but you can add a bit of water to make 70%. 3 Simple Care Steps. The water released from the ice will slowly absorb into the bark mixture and … Of course not! This video is sponsored by rePotme, who also provided the medium, pots, clips, some of the stakes and fertilizer I used for the Orchids in this video. Once a week with one ice cube for mini orchid, and three ice cubes for regular size plants, provided the growing conditions are ideal. I had chosen the option to wait until the blooms go before repotting,but the leaves at the base will allow rotting I’m presuming? More About Watering With Ice your ultimate resource hub There are more orchid species in the world than any other plant group. Yet my friend and at Fred meyer store clerks suggest ice cube for watering orchids. As for the myth, it’s hard to believe someone would even think to associate orchids with ice, in any form, but I believe you. You have to introduce them to it slowly. And orchid roots need lots of air. That is what I wrote when I first made this post. Or one or two for smaller orchids. That’s good info about watering – thanks. Ice Cube Feeding Alternatively, you can make things even easier and freeze your feed mix as well as your water. The problem with orchids in the store is that they have been grown in some warm, humid country. Remember not to overwater because it can cause root rot and other diseases. That does not make it a smart idea. Water with six ice cubes once a week. I just bought a grocery store one on sale a few days ago, of course in sphagnum. If I forget about it for a few days, it’s ok. ", though I find that hard to understand.) See Method 2 in … I’m so excited. But, there’s nothing worse than wondering whether or not your efforts have worked. I actually have a question that I can’t seem to get a straight answer on. People who use ice don’t do it because they think the orchid needs ice. I have bad news for you. The only tricky part to growing orchids is the watering and with my method even that is easy and fool proof. Do you recommend this or is it best to leave it? The current one will live! Simply arrange three standard-size ice cubes on the surface of the potting mix around the plant; avoid letting the ice touch the orchid directly. Phalenopsis do not grow in soil. So in theory you should report 2 years after buying them. I always wondered about the ice cubes. I am also scared of plant roots because of bugs etc. You can post a question on our Facebook Group: HELP!! I pot in firk bark chunks. First of all, orchid infections come from other plants, not water. None of mine need more than a 6″ pot. If the air is dry outside, I don’t think an air conditioner will make it much dryer although it does remove some moisture. Thanks for all this great info. It certainly does. The fundamentals for taking care of an orchid come down to three things: efficient watering, good drainage, and temperate environment. The exact size or the shape of such a cube is not relevant. I need help caring for this orchid, because I do not want it to die. How long would it take to completely drown them the bugs if the fish can’t get them all? Community Answer. Also going to follow your watering and fertilizing advice. Water until the medium is wet – then leave it alone until it is dry. An overdose of harsh light can burn … Essentially, one ice cube would not be enough water to quench your orchid’s thirst but using an ice cube also loops back to the first point in this care guide, replicating their natural environment. I have a question about crowded roots. In temperate regions of the world, our homes tend to be cooler and dryer than their homeland. I have a few too many fertz, 18-18-21, 24-8-16, 15-30-15 and some ‘Orchid’ fertz. Like any plant, you should water when the plant needs water. Just Add Ice Anthuriums 3 Simple Care Steps. Ice Cube Orchid Care & Maintenance 2 How to Trim a Dead Orchid Stem 3 How to Grow a Flower in a Beer Bottle 4 How to Make an Orchid Bloom 5 How to Clean Moss Off Window Glass 6 How Long Do Forget-Me-Nots Bloom? But why not simply learn to water when the pots are dry? When the orchid is dry, set it into an outer pot that has no drainage holes and fill it with water. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(52259, '9e89d841-72b6-4845-ae70-4763845b78c6', {}); Orchid Care Tips: Ice Cube Watering Specifics. I have had good results with the ice cube method. Orchid Minis One ice cube, once per week. If you use this method of watering, and you fertilize first, you will wash out all the fertilizer. Flower Spikes Phalaenopsis, commonly called butterfly or moth orchids… This video is sponsored by rePotme, who also provided the medium, pots, clips, some of the stakes and fertilizer I used for the Orchids in this video. If you’ve read my book or taken part in the Phalaenopsis Master Class, you’ll know that I do not recommend watering your orchids with ice cubes. About half had opened up but the rest were buds. Aim to keep leaves as large as when you buy them. I am contemplating purchasing a programmable drip watering system designed to be used to water houseplants so my 6 orchids (4 four inch pots and 2 six inch pots) will be watered when I take a 3 week vacation to Japan this fall. Write the repot date on a small plastic label, in pencil, and stick it in the pot – that way you know when to report again. If the roots are rotten – it is getting too wet. The fact that your orchid is blooming well has nothing to do with ice cubes. Please advise. This post is written for the person who bought an orchid at the local grocery store, or nursery. Do I need to change the pot, do anything with the roots, or fertilize it at all? Mealybugs are covered with a hairy surface which makes it hard for water to penetrate. We’ve found that those who follow our recommendation meet with orchid success! Take better care of your orchid plants with this surprising hack that guarantees you won’t over water ever again. A 1/2 hour soak works well, but 10 minutes is enough time. Would it be better to let them soak a bit longer? If they are completely shriveled you can cut them off. Do not place ice on rchid roots. Watering with ice is the easiest way to ensure your orchid gets just the right amount of water - not too much or too little. The thick root like structure you see is mostly velamen. I noticed the roots starting to climb out of the pot more, so i repotted my orchid and since have been feeding it 5 ice cubes weekly. The all-important ICE question! 65 … The reason for this is to wash out excess salts. I keep thinking it should have some dirt too. Though common orchid care encourages the ice cube method, we don’t recommend it. You are never wrong by going smaller, but it might mean you need to water more. If the current pot is big enough – don’t go to a larger pot. That’s after all where the flowers come from. Since it is in flower it is not the best time to do this, but if you are careful you will not damage the plant or flowers. Watering is one of the most important aspects to keeping your Just Add Ice Orchid plant flourishing and in bloom for months. I just bought my wife an orchid at the local mega store and thought the ice instructions were a little confusing. Orchids really don’t get root bound – not like other house plants. Although they’re quite hard to look after sometimes, when you get it right the rewards are that much sweeter. Either option works. Since then there has been some research to see if ice cubes harm phalaenopsis orchids. “Hi Ryan, I purchased an Ice Orchid. Then report once blooms are done. 21 Common Indoor Plant Myths – That Save You Time and Money. Make the watering procedure as simple as possible, so people can follow it. It soaks up water quickly and turns a greenish color. I thought you should watering them with consistent intervals. Thank you for your sensible, detailed advice. At first I didn’t do this, but then read a lot of the “expert” advice on the Web that said that ice cubes were the way to go. This is about the right amount of water that an orchid needs weekly, and many gardeners have gotten great results with this method. Once they land here, they get potted up. Yes it works couple weeks but then after flowered they started not doing well. Also, when do I water next? The ice cube, adding cinnamon for fungus, over-watering, over-pruning, too much sun exposure, they’re all easy answers and often easy mistakes we make caring for orchids. Really has nothing to do with cold water etc. It doesn’t rain ice cubes! The problem with orchids is that they want to be treated different than most other house plants. This beginner’s guide to caring for orchids teaches you how to water, prune, and care for your orchid plants with the proper lighting to ensure that they continue to produce gorgeous orchid flowers year after year. And my husband gets the 90% rubbing alcohol is that too strong? I have always water them where I let them soak for 15 min and then dump out the water but now they are drying out super super fast. Natural Weed Killers – Do Organic Herbicides Work? Hi really enjoyed reading your advise. A 2 year old media is starting to degrade and produces more nutrients than the orchid wants. If the sphagnum stays wet for more than 5 days try taking some out – too much will keep the roots too wet. The root is actually very thin and is only a very small part of what you think is the root. Plants with smaller flowers tend to have smaller leaves. Hi Robert,things are going from bad to worse for my Phal. Watering your orchid plant with ice cubes is pretty easy. Today's question is: Why is my orchid sick? In garden centers and box stores, you’ll often see orchids with a label suggesting to water them with ice cubes. My next post on will be on flowering orchids. I’ve also given on to a relative that had beautiful blooms but has never put up a new spike. I am getting sick of the flowers! It’s very disappointing to see the flowers die so quickly. However, the plants sold around here get potted in sphagnum moss which is very hard to water properly. The blooms fell off which is natural and I thought it would die, but this year it made a small recovery with four blossoms, two of which didn’t last a week! They can take quite a bit of sun – but not all at once. Orchids will be fine without water for 3 weeks. Try not to get water in the crown of the plant. I doubt it, provided that the surrounding area does not get covered with an oily film. The orchids irrigated with ice cubes had the same flower longevity (number of days individual flowers remained open) and display life (number of days from when the plant was received to when the last flower wilted on each plant), compared to plants irrigated with room temperature water. I was careful not to have the ice directly on top of the roots. At one point I grew over 1,000 orchids in my home – I know a bit about this subject. Wait for the ice to melt. However, orchid experts and horticulturalists advise against this, as ice touching any part of an orchid plant can ultimately damage it and cause infections. Freezing water kills bad bugs and saves your innocent orchid plant from fungal infection and other bacteria-borne diseases, at least that’s what they said. That does not make sense. Just add 3 ice cubes once a week, they say. Two mini ones and one medium sized one. If this is the goal, cut it back right to the point where it comes out of the leaves. . Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes, by Robert Pavlis. In winter the air in homes tends to be dryer and you need to water more often. Add water to the container, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then dump all of the water out. 3 Simple Care Steps. The point at which to cut the stem depends on the type of orchid and what you want. They still need small amounts of fertilizer. It means they release water in a slow drip. They grow in warm climates which are fairly humid. Hello, I live in Miami , Florida is very hot here, i would like to know how encourage reeblooming in my phall, because I dont had temperature changes (always 84*! I got a phalaenopsis for Mothers day. Ice Cubes Do Not Kill Bad Bacteria. I answer a lot of customer questions about orchids here at a garden center–and I repot customers orchids for them. Proper plant care after flowering ceases determines the continued health of orchids and ensures future blooms. I soak the pots once a week for 20 minutes and usually fert, every other week. I just want to know why “old potting medium kills orchids.” Part of that care is watering your orchid with ice cubes. Thank God there is someone speaking sense about orchid care. Thanks! Sphagnum usually ends up being over watered to the point where it kills the roots. We asked an expert from Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. They are healthy just wondering if the size means anything like the age of the plant or something like that? This gives the resting orchid enough water without drowning the plant. Thanks. It is not the age of the plant that is important, but when it was repotted last. yikes! I do have a question..does my orchid need to be in a pot with drain holes in the bottom? Orchid plants are one of the most beautiful houseplants you can enjoy. You can also lift the pot. Truth is, there is no such thing as an “Ice Orchid”. It takes a bit of practice to use the lifting technique, but it works very well once you get the hang of things. I had three orchids suddenly drop all of their flowers and one that had a leaf yellow. Orchids roots are extremely sensitive to salts – more so than other house plants. The first concern with ice cubes is that a few ice cubes once a week would not create that drenched-bark humidity that will emulate a tropical forest for a weeks time. Are Marigolds Good for Companion Planting? Step 2 Evaluate the health of the stems. 1) spray on some rubbing alcohol so it gets into the cracks and small places. As long as that’s the case, the size of the cube is only an issue if it’s crushed ice. for more on this have a look at several posts on orchids here: Offer than any of my other ones. This works great at killing not only the adults, but also the eggs – and it makes your plant smell like a new born baby. More sun produces bigger leaves. But any additional advice on stem growth? Thank you so much for all these information. Three ice cubes once a week and you are less likely to rot the roots. Nanoose Bay (Vancouver Island), BC. As to moving or rotating. Orchid roots like to be watered, and then allowed to almost dry out, before the next watering. a) repot now. It really depends on how you water. May 2, 2016 - You've probably heard it all: Watering orchids with ice will kill your orchid. Tell me you don’t do this. I have read it both ways. Do you have to wait until the orchid is finished flowering before you repot? You rarely do any harm bu using too little. The orchid is better completely dry for a few days than watering too much. Both water and fertilizer are soaked up by the roots. Place in a bright, well lit location, avoid direct sunlight. I bought the fertilizer for Orchids, should you do full strength or half strength and should you dilute it? A few nights next to a cool – not freezing – window will do the trick. 65-85°F, never below 55°F. Roots growing outside the pot are fine also – the orchid knows what it is doing. In summer it is more humid and you can water less often. Thanks again. Where I live, it is quite humid in summer – they don’t need to be watered as much. If you want more flowers right away – try this. Option 2 Rebloom your orchid. the instructions say water every 21 days. Flowering in orchids is mostly triggered by a change in temperature, usually a drop in temperature. Some research that was done after I wrote the above shows limited damage of the roots from the cold – need to blog about that some day. Make sure you observe the … Here are the three most common myths about the ice cube … That being said, I do not like to risk putting plants into cold shock by pouring ice water on them. Thank you very much. Orchids are beautiful, delicate flowers that come in array of colors, shapes, and sizes. Use rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol) on a cotton swab on larger surfaces. Is there anything that I can do to help them adjust? The main reasons for repotting orchids: To replace the media the orchid is growing in. Your expert advice would be greatly appreciated. One of them has two flower spikes and has been in bloom for about 18 months. Whatever your care challenge, we have a solution. Contrary to what is written in a lot of places, submerging the orchid roots fully in water will not harm them unless you leave them for many hours. But I use small amounts – just a pinch in each pot at watering time. I have read on various sites that it is a good idea to cut the stem down to the bottom or between two knodes after it has flowered. It's just a marketing scheme. I know it requires more water and space. I still think it is a dumb idea, but if you can’t stop yourself from watering too much, it is a simple way to control watering. As the ice cubes melt, they will slowly and evenly moisten the potting mix. I got this plant on Friday (yesterday). After all the flowers have fallen off your orchid, you have several options. I have been properly taking care of it, adding ice cubes each week. I think there is a misconception regarding Ice. The mini ones keeps on producing new leaves and roots (covered in velamen). i now have just bark chips and shes sending up her first spike in 4 years. i enjoyed the reading and when you said “if you killed your last orchid…” i looked behind me to see if you were there. I might be mistaking new stems for roots due to the velamen covering. Some people have very responsibly done research before watering their plant and are confused by recommendations they’ve found elsewhere that say to use only water at room temperature. They do it because it is a slow way to water the orchid-as the ice melts, and prevents people from overwatering. It is recommended that you use room-temperature filtered water to water your plant with, and that you soak the orchid's … But if you have more than one plant in a pot, you’ll want to give each plant its very own serving of three cubes each. If you killed your last orchid I suggest you wait until they are completely dry, and then wait another day or two before watering. My blossoms stayed full bloom for at least 3 months. Kitty. Besides that there is no such thing as “blooming fertilizer” – that is a marketing myth. In nature, a moth orchid seldom experiences temperatures below 60 degrees. Separate as soon as possible and throw the instructions away. (It can be hard to know how long the plant has been in bloom when you buy it!) Have a look at the roots. ),,,thanks in advance,,,juan. 65-85°F, never below 55°F. I have had a phalaenopsis sitting on my desk with no potting medium and no water for over a month now, and it looks great. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Mist – Huge Fertilizer Ripoff, Ginkgo Biloba Tree Myths – The Maidenhair Tree, Plants Don’t Produce Oxygen (O2) From Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Understanding Soil – A New Course Offered by Mother Earth News, Neem Oil Insecticide and Fungicide For Plants, Increasing Humidity for Indoor Plants – What Works and What Doesn’t, The Myth of Growing High Nutrient Density Food. The ice cubes should not touch the leaves or the stem of the plant. They need completely different growing media. I have written some introductory orchid care articles on my other blog. Orchid care may be easier than you think. I am probably a bit too attached to my orchids. It is in a real orchid pot with holes and potted in large orchid bark. If you forget to water for a few days, or you are away on holidays for a couple of weeks, don’t worry. Once a week with one ice cube for mini orchid, and three ice cubes for regular size plants, provided the growing conditions are ideal. If the purchased plant is in bark or coconut chips, then report 2 years after buying. Sphagnum is hard to use for an orchid medium, and any container without holes is probably a death sentence. I am working on my first book now, but it will be on natural ponds – not orchids. There have been a plethora of "ice cube orchids" readily available at mainstream grocery stores that claim to only need an ice cube to be maintained. They need very little fertilizer – if a bird poops on them once a month that’s lots. The growing medium looks pretty condensed and roots are circling the bottom of the pot. They are bare rooted when they import them. If they are not shinny you either used to little or you did not shake enough. If you are an orchid enthusiast, and grow the weird orchids, you don’t need to read this post. If you set the pot into water to let it soak up water as I recommend, then you can add fertilizer before adding water or after – both ways result in a plant sitting in water with fertilizer in it. It is a good idea to give an orchid a rest after flowering. a green leaf prolific vine like plant that will be hanging below the pot soon. Phalaenopsis are epiphytes which means that in nature they live in trees and not in the ground. So you don’t want to use anything that will melt quickly. MaryAnn Hardy have you written any books, if not please please beginners like me need a handy bedside reference! It should melt down to about a ¼ cup of water. A new plant is growing on the stem and has a stem and root. Watering orchids with the ice cube method is unlikely to have caused the flowers to drop; they may have simply been old.