How Often Do I Water Orchid Plants?


Many indoor orchid growers are surprised to learn that orchids don’t need a lot of water to thrive. While variables such as light, soil medium, temperature and orchid variety will determine how often you should water your individual plant, there are some general watering guidelines that apply to most orchids.

    During Active Growth

  • Indoor orchids can actively grow and bloom any time of year, although most do in the winter and spring. During this time, water orchids after the soils dries a bit. Stick your finger in the soil about 1 inch deep to see if it is dry. If it is dry, water it. Usually, orchids will need watering once every five to seven days during this time. If the pot is small, such as a 4-inch pot, or your soil is high in clay or bark, you may need to water it twice a week.

    During Non-active Growth

  • After blooming, orchids rest for a while. Some varieties will grow again in a month, some in a couple months. During this rest period, still allow your soil to dry out between waterings, but now it will take about twice as long as during active growth. Once your orchids start growing again, the frequency of watering will increase again.

    How to Water

  • Water orchids at their base and at a rate so the water seeps in as you water it. Stop after the water comes out the drainage holes. Water in the morning so the soil top and stems have a chance to dry out before nightfall. This helps reduce rot and diseases from forming. Use rain or distilled water if you can, or set your water out over night so the chlorine can evaporate before using.

    Other Considerations

  • Orchid roots will rot if the soil is always soggy. Be sure not to over water. In addition, water in fertilizer whenever you feed orchids. Also, phalaenopsis orchids need more waterings than other varieties since they cannot store their own water. Still let the soil dry out an inch deep, but don’t ever let it dry out completely.

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