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  • 2 Post By 78Terp
  • 1 Post By raybark

Watering orchids in the winter?

This is a discussion on Watering orchids in the winter? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi Everyone, I have read numerous threads here and elsewhere that state that orchids tend ...

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  1. #1
    Traci's Avatar
    Traci is offline Senior Member
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    Default Watering orchids in the winter?

    Hi Everyone,
    I have read numerous threads here and elsewhere that state that orchids tend to receive/need less watering the winter. However I have not come across what is "normal" for Paphs and Phals in terms of frequency. My orchids are in the sun room and are kept at about 60 to 65 degrees at night (with use of a radiator when necessary) and during the day the temps are in the 60's and 70's. My Paph delenatti needed water twice a week in the hot humid New Orleans summer but am noticing that the media isn't dry now for at least a week and a half to two weeks or a bit longer. Similarly the phals seem to only need water every week and a half as well.
    I measured the leaf growth of the paph and the new leaf growth has been 1 cm over the past month so I believe it to be growing.It has one yellowing lower leaf but it is only one and I think it is a normal process there. It is acceptable to only have to water once every two weeks? Should I be concerned about root rot? Should I not soak them in the winter and instead water only a half cup at a time? The media is 6 month old in that orchid as I replanted it when I purchased it so I am not concerned about the media being old and broken down.
    Any thoughts are appreciated as I am hoping to add some Christmas present orchids to the mix and want to make sure mine are fine.

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    Harvey
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    Default

    I live in a totally different environment than you do so my watering frequency is far different. And yes, if you are sure the media isn't breaking down or the orchid is not over-potted, 2 weeks between watering is fine. I have my dens in winter rest and some have had water only once in the last 6 weeks. They look fine and look to be actually adding roots.

    I would say trust your instincts about when one needs water/is dry enough to water.

    I am not a 'soaker' when it comes to watering and in my house during the winter it is far drier than it is in summer. I find I actually have to water more frequently for those orchids that don't want reduced watering/fert during the winter. I have found so far, in my relatively short growing experience, that if the orchid is still putting on new growth/s in the winter, then i don't reduce the watering.

  3. #3
    Catt Mandu's Avatar
    Catt Mandu is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I would water Paphs and Phals differently.

    For starters, I'll assume you don't have a bazillion plants (guessing - dozen or less? let me know if that is wrong).

    Phals, I would take each plant to the sink, run lots of water through the pot. Flood & flush water through the pot. Then, don't water again until the medium is mostly dry/barely damp. Regardless of how many days that takes. If you give fertilizer, flush/flood first, then water with fertilizer solution.

    Paphs are different. They need good fresh medium, and should not dry out. Water more than you would a Phal. Replace the medium if it seems broken down. Admittedly I grow relatively few Paphs, so others that grow Paphs may have better advice.

  4. #4
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    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    Ray Barkalow
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    Default

    I mostly agree with Catt.

    First, you have to consider what the plant needs.

    Then you have to look at the conditions you deal with - temperature, light level, air movement, & humidity - as well as the pot and the medium, to determine how they affect your ability to meet those needs.

    I find that both phals and paphs are pretty much in active growth year round, so need to be fed and watered regularly.

  5. #5
    Traci's Avatar
    Traci is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks Harvey, Catt and Ray for the info. I currently only have 6 orchids so taking them to the sink to water with my distilled water and fertilizer isn't a problem. I am glad to know that it isn't unusual for them to only need water every week and a half to two weeks in the winter. I check them every few days to make sure of the moisture levels and I check them out at least once a day. I suppose once I get through all of the seasons of owning orchids I will feel more competent about my ability to care for them. That and having one of them go into spike for me.

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