Most orchids are best cultivated in potting media that is filled with well-drained, filtered water. The soil should be slightly acidic in order for the orchid roots to thrive. Watering a potting mix directly from the garden can be disastrous because the roots of the plants may easily get drowned. However, there are other ways of growing orchids in water:
Growing orchids in water can be as simple as using a small container and spreading the plants out horizontally or by using a growing method called incandescent lighting. In growing orchids in water, the plant receives all of its nutrients through the growing medium, not from the water. If you do opt to use a shallow glass pot, then you should take care of much of the drainage by filling it with either rock or sand and putting a thin layer of topsoil on top. And it is much easier to place a shallow plastic pot filled with rich soil in a shallow glass pot of your choice.
However, there are also significant drawbacks of growing orchids in water: excess moisture is certainly possible, and so the roots will have to constantly go to the water source, and there is a good chance that some orchids will die. Also, the roots might get snagged in the roots of other orchids, reducing their vigour and eventually killing them. And some orchids can become rather malnourished after they have been grown in the soil for a few months.
This is a common problem, especially if growing orchids in pots. But one solution to this is by using a grow light. The grow light will provide a sufficient amount of light for the roots to receive, without drowning them. If you wish to keep your orchids alive and growing well, then this is the optimum solution. The only downside is that the light can be difficult to operate if you don’t know how – and most people don’t. You must be sure to place the pot on a timer to allow it to get the required amount of light.
Some people try to grow orchids in the water on their own, but this is a very slow and very limited way of growing orchids. Orchids have a shallow root system, so to ensure a thriving garden you should never let them get more than about 4 inches of water in the day. This will ensure that they have no way of extracting water from the root systems and so die quickly. It is also important not to drown your orchids – if they are in water or pots, then remove them immediately and put them into another container. If you keep them in water or pots for too long, then they will simply drown.
A common way of growing orchids in water is by planting them directly into the potting mix. This is a good option if you are growing orchids from seed and can save money on the initial cost of buying orchids. Ensure that the pots you buy are large enough to hold the orchid, and that they have plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. You should buy orchids that come with their own pots or buy a range of pots that you can later exchange. Orchid pots can often be reused after use, which means that if you plant orchids in water, then you can always plant new orchids into the water in which you’ve placed them, saving you money on buying new orchids.
An alternative to growing orchids in water is by using pots that contain soil or compost. These pots should be placed directly into a shallow dish of soilless water. It is very important not to over-water your orchids, as they will eventually drown. If you are growing orchids from seed, ensure that the seed is contained within its own pots or buy a number of small pots and place them into one hole, or in water that has been soaked beforehand. Growing orchids from pots can often be more successful than growing orchids in the wild, as they tend to have a better root system to help them survive. However, there are many things you can do to make growing orchids in water easier and more successful.
One option that is often overlooked is the type of potting mix that you use when growing orchids in pots. Many orchids prefer rocks or clay, and these materials will provide protection against too much water or sunlight. Some orchids will even grow well in just gravel, but there are also other species that will grow better in mediums that are slightly acidic. If possible, purchase a potting mix specifically designed for growing orchids.