Water for Orchids?

Discussion in 'Houseplants' started by carolyn, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    I bought a couple of orchids last week, but it has been a long time since I had any, I was wondering if there is a specific kind of water I should be using for them? well water, softened well water, distilled water with fertilizer, rain water (not possible at the moment, though) etc. Please let me know.

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    ( photo / image / picture from carolyn keiper's Garden )

    I went to the woods and found a piece of "drift wood" in a dry streambed and scrubbed and disinfected it, let it dry for a few days in the sun and then attached the little orchids to it with their sphagnum moss and some twine (which I will remove once they attach themselves to the wood) and wedged the whole thing in a clay pot...took all of 10 minutes or so to put them on there.
     
    Jewell, lukeypukey and Theodoros like this.
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  3. Theodoros

    Theodoros In Flower

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    I am very excited, has beautiful orchids, and has done a great job with the sapwood, the roots of the Phalaenopsis want very good ventilation, but the watering now is quite difficult, must be sprayed plants several times a day with soft water without salt
    :-D
     
  4. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Thats what I was wondering. Thanks Theo. I will buy water for these. Otherwise what I have isn't really a great water for them, I think. Our water is very hard, which I can use, but there is a lot of iron in it or softened water which does have salt in it. So, I will keep some bottled water for these in the greenhouse.
     
  5. Joe Caudex

    Joe Caudex Seedling

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    Whilst in bloom I feed my orchids once a week and mix the feed with normal tap water. They flourish and are quite happy with this.
     



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  6. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Joe, do you feed them only while they are blooming or all the time but with different formulas of fertilizer? I bought an orchid fertilizer but it is definitely for blooms/blooming time. 11-35-15 is the formula and it is specifically for orchids. Is there a different one I should be using while not in bloom?
     
  7. Joe Caudex

    Joe Caudex Seedling

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    Carolyn you cab get different formulas for different times. I have "grow" and "bloom" formulas. I feed with grow formula after flowering and once I have repotted and root pruned the plant. I don't really feed over winter and resume feeding in the spring.
     
  8. Donna S

    Donna S Hardy Maple

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    Love the colors. Very pretty.
     
  9. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    Congratulations on your orchids. I love your arrangement! Why didn't I think of that?
     
  10. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Thanks, Joe, that was what I was wondering, now I will have to do a little research as they had only one formula at the place I bought them. OR will regular fertilizer work? They formula I bought was specifically marketed for blooming orchids, but I bought it because it had no urea in it(which I am allergic to) so maybe I can just carefully use a cheap commercial formula. :-?

    Donna and Droopy, thanks. Droopy I did this arrangement because I want to hang it in my greenhouse so it isn't taking up bench space. Hopefully will start growing onto the wood soon. Don't know, I have never done this, but we will see.
     
  11. theficuswrangler

    theficuswrangler New Seed

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    Beautiful arrangement. I love creative thinking! The one thing you don't want to put on them, or any plant, is water softened with salt, or any other chemicals, I would think. These orchids, that are found so commonly now in stores everywhere, are very tough and hardy. They don't much care what kind of water they get, so long as it's wet. I don't think you need to worry about misting several times a day, just a good wetting from hose or watering can once a day should work. And feel free to experiment with fertilizer. Indulge in some research, then try what feels right to you. Like I said, these guys are tough and forgiving. Enjoy.
     
  12. Will Creed

    Will Creed New Seed

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    Hi Carolyn,

    The minerals in hard water - iron in your case - will slowly damage your Orchids and other plants over time. Likewise, most water softeners add other mineral salts to soften the water, but those are also damaging to plants. It is best for you to use filtered or distilled or rainwater.

    Orchids potted in bark mixes should be given a one-fourth dilute high nitrogen fertilizer with each watering when not in bloom. During the blooming cycle, switch to a high phosphorous fertilizer.

    Let me know if this is unclear.

    ~Will Creed
     

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