We are reader supported. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.

Is Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes A Good Idea?

Is watering orchids with ice cubes a good idea? Sounds crazy to me and I am skeptical, but I decided to research watering orchids with ice cubes.

Is Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes A Good Idea?

Is Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes A Good Idea?

Watering orchids with ice cubes may seem counterintuitive but some people swear by it.

On the other hand, many people that try this end up with dead orchids.

Does Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes Work?

New orchid growers are often advised to use this technique. It is supposed to help prevent overwatering. But does it really help?

Overwatering does probably kill more orchids than anything else.

So controlling the amount of water you give per week by using 3 ice cubes may prevent overwatering.

But let’s dig a bit deeper. First, no commercial orchid growers use this method. They mist their orchids from above.

Researchers at the University Of Minnesota Extension conducted tests comparing watering with ice cubes and using tap water.

The researchers found no difference in flower longevity, photosynthesis, or leaf growth and overall health of the plants https://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2019/01/be-smarter-gardener-in-2019-ice-cubes.html

The Real Problem

The ice cube method is often recommended to beginners to prevent overwatering but very few experienced orchid growers use this method.

So if commercial orchid growers and experienced orchid growers don’t use ice cubes there must be a reason.

Commercial orchids are grown in very small pots that are heavily packed with sphagnum moss.

They don’t have good drainage and are in small pots is to fit more plants in and keep production costs down.

They don’t hold on to them for very long because they need to turn over crops often to be profitable. They expect us to take it from there.

Instead of keeping them in these pots, they should be repotted into a larger pot after first removing all sphagnum moss from the roots.

You can repot them into an orchid bark medium but check the roots for rot. If there are soft squishy roots remove them first.

You might want to try using water culture which works well with new plants. Semi Hydroponic Orchids How To Easily Grow Orchids – Hydroponic Orchids

The real problem is not so much overwatering but the fact that orchid roots packed in moss in a small pot cant dry out.

So root rot can occur and the lack of oxygen causes the plant to get sick and eventually it dies.

Watering with ice cubes won’t help this situation because the way a new orchid is potted is the problem and not overwatering.

Should You Water Your Orchids With Ice Cubes?

It’s your orchid and it is up to you to keep it healthy. Personally, I think watering with ice cubes is a bad idea.

Orchids are a tropical plant that prefers temperatures in the 80-degree range.

There is no way exposing this plant’s roots or stems to ice can be beneficial.

Why Using Ice Cubes Can Be A Bad Idea

If you water your orchids with ice cubes they will not be receiving any nutrients. Ice cubes contain no nutrition.

If you have to water with nutrients anyway why not just skip the ice cubes and learn how to water your orchid?

What Is The Best Way To Water An Orchid?

I prefer growing hydroponic orchids because I think it takes out the guesswork. All you have to do is change the water weekly.

But even if your orchid is in a more traditional orchid medium you can learn how to water it correctly.

With a bit of practice you can tell by the weight of the pot how wet or dry it is.

Letting the pot get on the dry side before watering will not harm your plant.

Most of the orchids we grow experience wetting and drying fairly often.

Time for the roots to dry and get access to oxygen is the key to keeping healthy orchids.


Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes Final Thoughts

Numerous claims are made about the benefits of watering orchids with ice cubes.

After close scrutiny, many of them have little basis in fact.

I would suggest just learning how to water your orchids correctly and skipping all the latest buzz methods of keeping orchids.

So in conclusion, watering orchids with ice cubes is not the best idea. This method does not provide any nutrients to the plant and can actually be harmful to the plant.

It is a far better idea to just learn how to water your orchid correctly. Your plants will thank you. 

Read more: Are Orchids Hard To Take Care Of? Easy Growth Formula

This post contains affiliate links.