How To Water Orchids Ice Cubes: The Right Way to Do it

How to water orchids ice cubes is a commonly asked question nowadays because many gardeners claim that their orchids greatly benefit from this ice-watering method. You will need pure ice cubes and put them directly on the soil or bark.

Water Orchids Ice Cubes

However, it’s more complicated; you must look at different factors before doing this. Keep on reading this article to know how you can water with cubes of ice the right way.

How To Water Orchids Ice Cubes? 8 Simple Steps

To water an orchid with ice cubes first determine whether the soil even needs water. If it does, put the plant in the right location and ensure they are pure. Pick and place them in the soil, and let them melt. Repeat this weekly and monitor the plant.

You should also confirm that you are placing the ice in the right plant. The orchids that we have confirmed love this ice-watering method are, the Phalaenopsis orchids (including add ice orchids), Moth orchids, Dendrobium, Vanda, boat orchid, Cattleya orchids and dancing-lady orchid.

1. Confirm if Orchids Need Water

Before watering an orchid, confirming whether the potting mix or soil needs it is important. The reason is that orchids do not like an overly moist medium. They can even die due to adding more water than required; to know if the orchids need water, look for different signs. You can check the leaves and see how they are doing. The plant needs water if they are curling, discoloring, or has wrinkles.

Furthermore, lifting a pot also lets you know whether the plant wants water, and if the pot feels lighter, the soil has no moisture. If it is heavy, it means there is water present. In short, these two methods are good, but the best way to confirm whether the orchids need water is by finding out whether the soil is dry. The most accurate way to know this is by using a moisture meter, as this instrument precisely reads how much moisture is present near the root area.

If you don’t have a moisture meter and don’t want to buy it either, then don’t worry. You can also use your index finger to know about the moisture situation in the soil. Just rub your index finger or stick it inside half an inch of the soil. If the soil feels wet, then wait a few days. Use the ice cube method immediately if it feels partially or completely dry.

2. Put the Orchids in an Ideal Location

Before you add ice cubes, it is also critical you place the pot at an ideal location, which is the indirectly lit place. Orchids need around six hours of bright indirect light to show proper growth. If you place them under a completely dark spot, then extra water won’t evaporate, leading to waterlogging, and this matter would be troublesome in the long run. Furthermore, physiological functions like photosynthesis can’t take place there.

Similarly, the ice will melt faster if you are growing orchids under direct sunlight. The water will also evaporate quickly, and orchids will enjoy no benefit from it. Therefore, choose a spot where they can fully benefit from the cubes, and this would be an indirect light source coming to it.

3. Place Pure Cubes

It would be best to use only those cubes with no impurities. Those who live near industrial ones can face the problem of impure tap water, which is why you must use water that contains less heavy minerals. If you freeze and use tap or running water for irrigation purposes, orchids can get harmed.

Well, the soil can accumulate with the chemicals that roots can absorb. This can cause toxicity, and the orchids can even die too. Furthermore, these chemicals also change the soil pH, slowing nutrient uptake, which is why adding impure ice cubes does not kill your orchids; it will surely make them fragile and vulnerable to any harm.

Place Pure Cubes

As a result, you must go for distilled water that has been freezing to ice cube forms. It is pure and does not add any impure elements to the soil. Furthermore, water that has been boiled is also free of any toxicity; in short, boil the water, leave it at room temperature, pour it into the tray, and let it freeze.

4. Determine How Many Cubes To Add

The success of ice cube watering depends on how many cubes you put in. Adding more or fewer than needed can cause lots of trouble to orchids. It’s simple. Adding more cubes means adding more water.

When you do this, the chances of a fungus attack will increase. To elaborate on the latter, these roots start to rot, and the whole orchid will turn yellow. If you see more orchids getting affected, separate them and apply fungicides.

For instance, if you think, 3 ice cubes equals how much water? the answer is about half a cup. Since orchids don’t need much water to grow, half a cup is fine to stay healthy.

Similarly, adding fewer cubes leads to water or drought stress. Water is critical for plants to perform physiological functions. When it gets limited, these processes will slow down. This causes stunted growth and poor flowering, and this why you must abstain from the matter.

On the other hand, if the pot and the orchid are big, add three cubes. Such a pot can handle the melting water easily. Furthermore, the stretched root system of such an orchid will also love a little extra moisture. Again, don’t add more cubes; orchids hate excessively moist soil.

5. Place Ice Cubes on the Soil

You must now be thinking about where to add these cubes of ice. We suggest you put them on the potting medium. It is because leaving them on leaves or flowers can shock them. The cells of such parts can also start to die, leading to discoloration or yellow spots.

That’s not it. The melting water can drip to the underside of the leaves too. Since this area faces no sunlight and the air movement is limited, the water droplets can stay there long. This can also invite fungal diseases like crown rot to attack the orchid.

Now, how many ice cubes are for orchids? The answer depends on the pot and orchid size. If the pot is small and the orchid is young, then one or two cubes are enough, and it is because small pots can handle less water; similarly, tiny orchids’ water requirement is low.

6. Let the Ice Melt

When you place the cubes on the soil, the next thing to do is to wait. These cubes will start to melt after a few seconds. The orchid roots will start to flow and readily absorb the water.

Let the Ice Melt

The whole process will occur gradually, which suits the orchids. On another note, the sun should not be too direct and it shouldn’t also be located in a dark place so that the ice successfully melts.

7. Repeat Every Week

People also ask- how often to put ice cubes in orchids? Generally, adding an orchid ice cube once a week is enough. You may have to add another watering application if you live in hot areas.

To confirm how often to add, we again suggest you sense the moisture in the soil. Add cubes or water immediately if it becomes bone dry (even if you applied it a few days ago). That’s how to water orchids properly.

8. Monitor the Orchids

When watering orchids with ice, you should keep monitoring them carefully. This will help you find out early whether you are overwatering or under-watering. Furthermore, observing plant response to ice will also let you know whether the orchids even like this watering method.

Orchid plants are found to be okay with ice watering in most cases. Gardeners have shared their experiences on different platforms about this method, and almost everyone has stated that the orchids are growing perfectly fine.

However, most people have found that ice cube orchid reblooming after adding the cubes has been done in a successful matter. You can also try this method for growing an orchid and observe how well it responds to the ice. If spots start to appear or the leaves droop down, stop adding cubes and apply water like you used to, but we are positive that it is very less likely to happen.


– How Can You Water Orchids in Bark?

Yes, you can add water to the bark if adding ice cubes is insufficient to moisten it, so pour the water directly. Do this twice weekly if you still want to use the ice method. Before putting the cubes, dry the bark to avoid fungal growth.


All-inclusive, it is really simple to add water in the form of ice cubes if you follow the steps correctly. Here, you learn about these steps in detail. Let’s now dive into the key points, to sum up, the whole article:

  • Please make sure the water quality is high before you freeze it.
  • To water an orchid properly with ice, you must keep monitoring the potting medium. If it becomes completely or partially dry, then add a watering application.
  • Put the cubes on top of the soil or bark. Please don’t put them on any plant part, or they might face a cold shock.
  • If the pot is small, don’t add more than two cubes. If it is somewhat large, then put three cubes.
  • Continuously monitor the soil or potting media to avoid overwatering and underwatering conditions.

The method of adding ice one that makes potting media adequately moist is best for orchids. Follow these points strictly and have fun watering garden orchids with ice.

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