‘Correct’ way to water and feed ‘dry’ orchids

Orchids: Expert shares tips for looking after plant

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Orchids are beautiful houseplants with delicate flowers that can be tricky to look after. The reason orchids can seem difficult to look after is because they’re quite unusual compared to other houseplants. With proper care, orchids can thrive and bloom for months every year.

One of the aspects most people find most difficult about orchids is their watering regimen.

Miracle-Gro’s gardening guru, Kate Turner, has shared her advice for watering orchids.

Kate said if the roots of an orchid are looking brown then they need a “really good soak”.

If they’re green, they shouldn’t need watering. Black, squishy roots often indicate root rot.

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The gardening expert shared her own method for watering orchids.

Kate exclusively told Express.co.uk: “The way I like to water an orchid is I get a pot without any holes in, I fill it up with rain water, ideally.

“If not, it’s tap water that’s been left to sit for at least 24 hours and must be room temperature.

“I put a little drop of feed in [the water] and I will sit my orchid in that for 20 minutes and then let it drain on the kitchen drainer for about 20 minutes.

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“That’s a really good way to feed and water orchids – especially if they’ve gone a bit dry.

“What people tend to do is water it correctly and then put it straight back into the decorative pot and then of course all the water comes out and it’s left sitting in a pot of water, so let it drain really well first.”

Orchids generally need watering once every seven to 10 days. They need watering more frequently in warmer weather.

Watering orchids too frequently can lead to root rot, fungus problems and gnat infestations.

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Root rot can also be caused by not draining the plant properly after it is watered.

Lack of aeration, a fungal infection and general overwatering can also cause root rot in orchids.

If an orchid has root rot, it needs to be removed from its potting mix, air dryed and the rotten roots need to be cut away.

To treat a fungal infection, use a specialist fungicide and make sure to follow the correct instructions.

One of the key signs an orchid needs watering is if the potting mix is dry.

Brown tips on the leaves of orchids is usually s sign of dehydration. Increasing watering frequency can help cure this problem.

Misting is a great way to give an orchid humidity without making the roots soggy.

However, be sure not to over-mist an orchid’s flowers as they can become too wet and drop off.

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