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 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
Like Tree9Likes

how does one improve water quality for orchids?

This is a discussion on how does one improve water quality for orchids? within the Orchids Which are Exceptionally Sensitive to Water Quality forums, part of the General Information category; Hello all- Does anyone know of an inexpensive way to improve water quality for orchids? ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    jayB is offline Junior Member
    Real Name
    jay
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    vanda & paph
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Newport Beach, CA
    Posts
    10

    Default how does one improve water quality for orchids?

    Hello all-

    Does anyone know of an inexpensive way to improve water quality for orchids?

    In my apartment the tap water seems to be high in minerals and i have a feeling my orchids are not loving it. i use a charcoal filter (like brita) for my own water consumption. would charcoal filtration be good for orchids? Can anyone suggest anything else?

    I've heard rainwater is the best but i cant collect it.

    Please advise, thanks!

  2. #2
    cakedaddy's Avatar
    cakedaddy is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    jason
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida Panhandle
    Posts
    1,976

    Default

    A charcoal filter does not help rid water of dissolved solids from what I understand. The only methods that are effective are reverse osmosis and distillation. RO systems aren't inexpensive. Distilling the water yourself would be relatively cheap, but a total pain. If you have a small collection, as I do, it may just be better to buy the water. Have you tested the water? If it isn't too high in dissolved solids, you could use the tap water with an organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion, which doesn't contain salts. The PH levels are important here as well...they shouldn't be extreme in either direction. I think that neutral to slightly acidic is supposed to be ideal. Someone correct me if I am wrong please...this is my plan to deal with my water.

  3. #3
    harvey's Avatar
    harvey is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Peter
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    316
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I agree the pH- levels suggested.
    It is also important to keep the electrical conductivity less than about 300 Mikrosiemens / cm. By using reverse osmosis water and adding a little bit fertilizer you can reach this. That for you need a conductivity meter. Please excuse my bad English.


    P.

  4. #4
    jayB is offline Junior Member
    Real Name
    jay
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    vanda & paph
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Newport Beach, CA
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for the very useful feedback. a cursory internet search indicates that RO systems can be purchased in the area of $100-200, which is a lower number than I anticipated.

    sounds like my choices are buying distilled water at the store or going the RO route.

    Harvey, that electricity info you discussed is interesting and ill have to research further. at this point it sounds a bit over my head!

    To everyone out there, any additional feedback on this topic would be greatly appreciated by me, and i suspect, many others!

    Best,
    jay

  5. #5
    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
    899

    Default

    Just keep in mind that you need a very complete fertilizer if you start using water very low in minerals such as distilled or RO.

    Susan

  6. #6
    Little Lady is offline Junior Member
    Real Name
    Laurie
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phals
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada
    Posts
    6
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I just read the other day that distilled water is dead water, it has no minerals at all and isn't good for plants. I'm perplexed myself. Reverse osmosis seems costly for a large collection. Boiled water is supposed to be too mineral concentrated. What is a girl supposed to do? I think I'll stick with tap water maybe someday think about RO.

  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

    Jay there are many cheap ways to get good quality water for your orchids, but all these methods depend on your starting water quality. There are many major water parameters that will determine what treatment will be useful for you. A thorough chemical analysis of your water sample will be useful (generaly the wtaer supply agency should have all the mean water parameters for your locality). For eg. If your water is too high in dissoved solids like sulphates, phosphates, carbonates and sodium, the only option will be to mix it with RO or distilled water. On the other hand if it is just hard due to bi carbonates you can just boil the water and the bi carbonates will turn to carbonats and become insoluble and form a precipitate and the softer water can be used. If the water is just alkaline adding some vinegar or humic acid will get rid of the problem. So as you can see there are many options, it all depends on your water conditions.

  8. #8
    PaphMadMan is online now Senior Member
    Real Name
    Kirk
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphiopedilum
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,059
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    There is a very simple, inexpensive, low tech way to reduce the mineral content of hard water, but it may not be practical long-term or for a large collection, and without water tests you won't know exactly how much good it is doing or if it is 'good enough'. But it does improve the quality of hard water and it might be a good short-term solution until you decide what you want to do long-term. Freeze it. A significant portion of the mineral content will precipitate out of solution as it freezes, you will see it as a very fine powder or small flakes in the bottom of the container when it melts again. You may be familiar with this if you have made ice cubes with hard water. If you don't see the powder your water probably isn't all that hard to begin with, at least not from carbonates and sulfates. The minerals will start to dissolve again, so as soon as possible after it thaws pour off or scoop out the water without stirring up the powder. Let it warm up to room temperature before you use it. Better than nothing.

  9. #9
    Silvermoon's Avatar
    Silvermoon is offline Junior Member
    Real Name
    Amy
    My Grow Area
    Sunroom
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Oncidiums and dendrobiums..
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    i live in the pacific northwest of beautiful oregon. about an hour from the wonderful ocean.
    Posts
    6
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I have been growing all kinds of plants and have just got into growing orchids about the last two years and I know from experience that RO water is absolutely the best because you can always add to it, but its almost impossible to take away anything besides boiling it.

    ---------- Auto-Merged DoublePost - Post added at 04:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:47 AM ----------

    I am very much an amateur compared to all of you Im sure but I do grow alot of other plants and thank goodness that we had salt water tanks before I got into orchids or I would have been using tap water too and until you do start using RO you just wont see the difference.So try it, maybe if you know of a friend who has fish tanks have them make you some and try it. It works awesome. Minerals will always build up over time no matter what kind of water you use but water that already is loaded with it, well you can imagine over time the damage it can cause and quickly. Especially salts, are not friendly to any kind of orchids.

  10. #10
    JayDee is offline Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Distilled water without chemical additions is bad to drink and to water plants with, because the very reactive nature of the "pure" H2O (water) molecule is to bond with any reactive molecule it can find, thus it leaches out the available nutrients by bonding to them & making them non-reactive as nutrients. But, after much reading, I decided some time ago that distilled water with carefully added plant nutrients was the best way to go for my house plants, to avoid killer salts - then I hit upon this - I use distilled water for my aquarium - the fish add waste that makes for good fertilizer, so when I change my fish water, I use the old water on my plants between fertilizing - they seem to love it. I have yet to try it with exotic orchids - I am new to them, and a half-crazed worried mom with them at this point....but I can't see any negatives, really - except if & how aquarium owners chemically treat their distilled water for pH stability and hardness before they add new water to their aquarium - this needs to be looked at.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Water Orchids, Carnivore Orchids
    By SvenLittkowski in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: August 6th, 2014, 02:01 PM
  2. Water Quality: It does make a difference.
    By Brutal_Dreamer in forum Orchids Which are Exceptionally Sensitive to Water Quality
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: December 20th, 2012, 08:17 AM
  3. Local water quality
    By madphrag in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: March 23rd, 2010, 12:11 PM
  4. Water quality issue
    By WolfinKW in forum Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: March 8th, 2006, 08:44 PM
  5. Water Quality???
    By Tindomul1of9 in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: January 12th, 2006, 09:10 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.