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Watering Phal orchid with Ice Cubes

This is a discussion on Watering Phal orchid with Ice Cubes within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I don't know if the ice cube method only works for areas like mine, where ...

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  1. #21
    erikagm is offline Junior Member
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    I don't know if the ice cube method only works for areas like mine, where the weather is very warm this time of year. Think about it, 3 ice cubes produce about 1/8 - 1/4 of a cup of water, and it slowly douses the roots (gotta be careful to keep them from directly touching the roots, stem and leaves though) with water that, by the time it reaches them, is already more room temp than actually cold. Like the drenching, it will only leave them humid, not wet, and depending on the size of the plant can last up to a week without doing it again.

    Just so you get an idea of the kind of weather we have here, he has his orchids in a greenhouse with a misting system set to go off every time the humidity level drops below a certain point. When I housesit for him, he has me thoroughly drench his orchid collection every other day, and on especially hot summer months he has me check the humidity in the substrate so that if it is bone-dry, I should water them every day. It is not extremely hot or dry here except during the dry spell starting when the cicadas start to sing until the rains start, so it's not like it's Arizona weather either.

    And since I went home before finishing this post I kind of lost my train of thought so I will leave this here, and in case something else comes up I will reply

    I don't mean to be contentious or anything, but it turns out there IS more than one way to skin a cat, or water an orchid, such is the case...

  2. #22
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    I grew up with my mother waterin her house plants with ice cubes, most were ended up to be huge. The problem with people is that they believe the if it works for them and their friends, then it has to be the only way of doing something. I see everyone screaming bloody murder about the ice cubes, using potting mix, certain fertilizers, certain pots, still and yet there are those few that have orchids thriving in the very things you deem wrong. I thought this was a forum to see new things and meet new people, learn what works for them and experiment for yourself.

    If the ice cubes are working for this guy. Find out how, why, what, when, where. Ice cubes didn't kill my mother's plants, I still have some and I wet them the same way she did.

  3. #23
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    Tamara, it'll be okay...deep breaths! Just kidding :P But really, if they're working then great! You're right, we all have different ways of doing things. What works for one person certainly may not work for another. However, watering with ice cubes isn't something I would advise someone to do if they were to ask (like this particular member did). I know that in my climate, and many others this time of year, it's so hot that 3 ice cubes just isn't enough water. And they would melt so quickly that the ice cold water would hit the roots and I just don't know how happy an orchid would be with freezing water on their feet.

  4. #24
    erikagm is offline Junior Member
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    Sand tiger, Dazed,

    I hear that the reason the ice works on the Phals is because they need a "cool" period in order to rebloom. Apparently, it helps the plant go through that "transition" where it thinks it's winter and starts blooming again. Like you said, in your climate, maybe 3 ice cubes isn't enough, which is why the number of ice cubes should be adapted to each particular weather condition. As long as they produce enough water to wet the roots generously without taking too long to do so and do not touch any part of the plant, this method should be ok.

  5. #25
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    I'm not sure how many super-hybridized Phals. need that cooling period these days - someone with more scientific experience could chime in at any time! It's hard to tell which plants retain which traits after so many years and decades of being crossed.

  6. #26
    erikagm is offline Junior Member
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    I had explained the credentials of the person who gave me this advice on a previous post where I guess I broke a rule because it was never published.

    The guy who gave me this advice is a horticulturist who has been in charge of several different botanical gardens all over the USA, has written books about orchids and is considered such an expert that he travels all around the world as speaker. He knows how to breed them, take care of them, grow them from seed and all sorts of other things. He collects orchids from all over the world and you should see his backyard greenhouse! I had no idea there were so many different types of orchids, or so many varieties from each type! (He never keeps more than one of each as he grows them for pleasure and wants variety).

    I trust this guy's advice completely so while I may not know the specifics of the scientific explanation, I do trust what he told me and that it does actually affect the growth cycle.

  7. #27
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    Well, I'm curious to see if it'll work on any of my indoor orchids. I'm gonna see if I can get it to work for me with one of my phals. Look forward to seeing your progress pic.

  8. #28
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    Just make sure you only use it on Phals and that the ice never directly touched any part whatsoever of the plant!

    And vary the number of ice cubes depending on the size of the plant...

  9. #29
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    Poor Phals...always the guinea pig. smh.

  10. #30
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    Sucks to be popular dun't it, Kelly.

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