Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
Like Tree3Likes

Benifits to using rain water?

This is a discussion on Benifits to using rain water? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I've noticed a few people recently mention they collect rain water to use for watering ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    TwoStems's Avatar
    TwoStems is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Ali
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    the weird ones
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Northeastern CT
    Posts
    961
    Member's Country Flag

    Default Benifits to using rain water?

    I've noticed a few people recently mention they collect rain water to use for watering their orchids rather than tap or filtered water. Just wondering if there is a significant benefit to doing this, and what the best of way of collecting is.

  2. #2
    orchidlady's Avatar
    orchidlady is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Susan
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phal and Paph species
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    904

    Default

    The main benefit is that it doesn't have the dissolved minerals that can cause problems in some areas with municipal or well water that has high levels of dissolved minerals. It is an alternative to using a reverse osmosis system. Many people find that collecting it off a roof works well.

    Susan

  3. #3
    Bob
    Bob is offline Member
    Real Name
    Bob
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phrags.
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    58
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I've often thought about doing that (collecting off the roof) but what about pollutants in the water, such as in a major metropolitan area like Chicago?
    I'm a bit paranoid that it would't be clean enough, especially for Phrags.

  4. #4
    Joyce184's Avatar
    Joyce184 is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    86

    Default

    I read in another thread that many like to water their orchids with warm water. For those that collect rain water (from their roof or by other means), do you do anything to the water beforehand?

  5. #5
    RedEcho is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Craig
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    The ones that dont die!
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    179
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I like using rainwater because it is free and in my area very clean. My city provided water will kill goldfish within an hour. I cannot imagine what harm it does to my plants roots.

  6. #6
    David Boyle's Avatar
    David Boyle is offline Member
    Real Name
    David Boyle
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phal, Paph, cattleya
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    32
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    It was suggested to me that I use snow water and then rain water (north of Calgary AB). I collected snow and melted it and my orchids improved in amount of growth and vigour quite rapidly. I have just started collecting rain water from the roof. We shall see how that goes. The vendor also suggested that I let tap water rest for a few hours but not for longer than 12 hours. I did not ask the reasons but I assume that what I don't want in the water bubbles off quickly. Then evaporation causes concentration of the rest. I haven't tried this yet. Our normal snowfall and rain comes straight from the rockies so polution is not much of a worry but I would NOT go back to tapwater except for short periods of time.

  7. #7
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Amey Bhide
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya alliance
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    5,363
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Ali, as Susan already pointed out its because of the low dissolved solids, most common orchids that we grow like CAtts, Phals etc grow as epiphytes (on trees for support) in nature, with not much around their roots apart from a few decomposing leaves and an occasional bird shit. They get the water directly from the rain or the mists and fog which is pure water with just some dust and dissolved gases, the purest form of natural water, so they have evolved to like water that is free of dissolved salts. When the water hits the ground it dissolves the water soluble salts in the soil in quantities depending on each type of soil. In some areas the water is so high in dissolved solids it orchids cannot tolerate this concentration of salts and will eventually die. So an easy and cheap way of ensuring good water for your orchids is to collect snow and rain water.

  8. #8
    Bob
    Bob is offline Member
    Real Name
    Bob
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phrags.
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    58
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I've been using tap water that I let stand for as long as a few weeks on everything except Phrags. Paphs, Phals, and a few unidentifieds. They all seem to be doing fine.

  9. #9
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is online now Senior Member
    Real Name
    Geoff Hands
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya ?
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    England, South coast.
    Posts
    3,251
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    They get the water directly from the rain or the mists and fog which is pure water with just some dust and dissolved gases, .
    Sorry to contradict Amey, but its not that simple. Epiphytes grow on other plants , and the water they get is not straight from the sky , it is what has landed on other plants, and then trickled down onto the epiphytes. Most plants in active growth express sap from the leaves - the pressure applied to keep the plant erect and turgid results in some " leakage " - e.g. as "honeydew" ( Try looking at your plants at 2 am - there may be surprised how much ther is then ). This gets dissolved in the rainwater, and provides nutrients to the epiphytes.
    So I discovered when I sat in the rain forest in Thailand, in the rainy season, and took samples of water from the open sky ( EC as low as 20) and then collected drips from the roots of e.g. dendrobiums - and found the EC was up to 600. I did this at several sites,at different times, from several different genera ( paphs, Coleogynes, etc ) and always found more or less the same thing. My "research" to give it a rather grand name has been published in the orchid journals of UK, The Netherlands, South Africa etc etc ;my "experiments " have been repeated - as discussed in "The Organ Mountain Range, its History and its Orchids" by Miller, Warren et al with the same results.
    IN general people either said, "oh we knew that" (lies) or ignored it... I had been asking the question of quite learned foljk for many years as to how orchids get their nutritional needs which are the same as for any other green plant , and never getting any sensible answer... personally I feel I ought to have got a medal or something for all this... (joke ). But there you are. Now you know.

  10. #10
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is online now Senior Member
    Real Name
    Geoff Hands
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya ?
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    England, South coast.
    Posts
    3,251
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    But to go to the other questions, tap water and ground water in general contain a lot of dissolved stuff which is useless for plant growth but contribute to a high EC (Electrical Conductivuty) reading - and if you pile in proper fertiliser to give plants what they need as well, you end up with an EC so high it will scorch the roots. That why rain or Reverse Osmosis water is excellent. Nothing in it to start with ( or very little ) leaving you room to put in what plants want.
    And as for pollutants in the water - why not collect a smaple and check it out ? All you need is a pH meter and an EC meter , and personally I don't want to water a p[lant without having those to check what I putting on anyway !,
    If it comes out ( your Chicago rain) under 100EC , then its great. I doubt if your tap water is less than 500 . pH is easily put right too.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Rain Water / Dehumidifier Water
    By dougroc in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: April 4th, 2013, 07:37 PM
  2. Is rain water collected from roof safe?
    By sewcrazy64 in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: September 15th, 2009, 02:19 PM
  3. Stained Rain Water ?
    By rich63 in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 15th, 2009, 01:13 AM
  4. rain water collectors
    By nicki in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: April 9th, 2009, 05:04 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.