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The Ice Cube Method

Here at Love Orchids, we want to share our knowledge and tips to help your orchids thrive. One of the most contentious topics and always a heated one is using ice cubes to water your orchid! We know it sounds crazy but read on to find out why it might help keep your orchids alive for longer!!

The Ice Cube Method

It is great to see everyone is so passionate about the different ways to water orchids!

We know that watering orchids using ice cubes isn't everyone's preferred method but for those who struggle to keep their plants alive or sometimes over or under-water their plants this method ensures a simple and fast way to prolong the life of your orchid.

If you're a orchid aficionado or a horticulture expert then don't worry about the ice cube method, (you've probably got the watering schedule nailed and you're a professional at monitoring the temperature and environment of your plants!)

However, if you love the idea of flowering plants but worry about how to look after them then this might be the best method for you.

Through years of experience we've seen the biggest issue for orchid care is either over watering or under-watering orchids and adapting to the changing indoor environment and temperature. By using the ice cube method, this takes away the most common reason why orchids die and justifies the reputation of orchid's being an easy plant to care for. All you need to do is add one ice cube in the winter a week and two in the summer!

The Evidence

With orchids originating from the rain forest, where they enjoy hot and humid weather,  we can see the reason for concern when it comes to the ice cube method. But from the studies conducted and our own experience we know the ice cube method is a safe method of watering orchids.

If you want to understand the science behind this, then The Ohio state University and the University of Georgia carried out a study on Phalaenopsis (moth) orchids. Half the orchids were watered using room temperature water and the other half ice cubes. The orchids were evaluated for four to six months and the outcome showed that the orchids watered with ice cubes had the same flower longevity as the orchids watered with room temperature water. It was also concluded that watering orchids with ice cubes was just as effective as traditional watering methods. If you still want more information read the full study here.

A Step By Step Guide

Here's a step by step for those who would like to try the ice cube method! It is the ideal watering method for avoiding over watering or for those who are new keeping orchids.

1. Place a couple of ice cubes on top of the bark once a week in summer and one cube in winter.

2. Drain any excess water after watering if there is any

3. The ice cubes shouldn't touch the leaves or the stem, only the bark and roots.

4. Always check the roots if the roots are bright green then your orchid doesn't need any more water.


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Orchid Planters

We know that orchid planters (like our Blissford) can be very intimidating when it comes to watering. But this is where the ice cube method really comes in handy!

Where these planters are moss/bark filled, its hard with traditional top watering to know if you've watered the plant or just the surrounding moss. By adding the ice cube to the base of the plant (just under the leaves) you can ensure a lovely slow trickle of nutrients going directly to the plant and not the planter medium. 

We do suggest only using one ice cube at a time and monitoring the needs of your orchid has planters tend to retain a bit more water than normal potted orchids.