How to Moisturize Orchid Leaves: Three Ways to Do It

Orchids live in humid forests

Image – Wikimedia/sunoochi

One of the most common problems that orchids can encounter when grown outside of their native location is dehydration due to very low air or environmental humidity. For it, it is often recommended to vaporize them, that is, spray them with water, as this prevents them from drying out. But it’s a tip that since you live in a place where said humidity is high, if you put it into practice, you can end up without a plant.

Pienso que es un error muy serio aconsejar eso sin explicar que solo se puede hacer en ambientes muy secos, porque cuando se hace por ejemplo en una isla, con una humidad que se maintainede elevada siempre, los hongos no dudarán ni un segundo en infectar a plants. For it, I will tell you how to moisturize the leaves of orchidsin case it is necessary to do so.


How do you know if the air humidity is adequate for orchids?

Oncidium is a tropical orchid

Image – Wikimedia/geoff mckay

As they are plants that live in tropical rainforests, it is important that when growing them we try to make them feel “at home”. And, after watering, humidity is the issue we should be most concerned about, as it must be high; that is, it must be kept above 50%.

As I said at the beginning of the article, humidity is high on the islands, as well as in coastal areas, as well as in places where it rains very often long all year round. But there are other areas where it is very weak. It may even be that the humidity outside is high, but inside it does not exceed 50%.

So, in order not to make the mistake of spraying water on the leaves when it is really not necessary, we can get a home weather station. There are very cheap ones -for around 10 or 15 euros you can get a pretty decent one-, and in addition, it will also help you to know the temperature inside the house, as well as outside. outside if it is equipped with a sensor.

Another option, although not entirely reliable if you want to know the humidity inside your home, is to check it online. If in the browser you write “humidity of X”, replacing the X with the name of your locality, you will immediately be able to know what percentage of humidity there is at that moment in your area.

If you see it over 50%, then great. You won’t have to do anything to make your orchid beautiful, in addition, of course, to watering it and preventing it from getting cold. If not, i.e. if it is less than 50%, you will need to take action.

What to do to moisturize the leaves of orchids?

As long as the humidity in the air is low, there are several things we can do to prevent them from becoming dehydrated:

Spray the leaves with water

Plants without moisture dry out

Related article:

Is it good to spray water on plants?

We’re interested in keeping them from drying out, so what we’re going to do is spray them with water. This water must be soft, like rain or suitable for human consumption.; that is, we can never use a limestone one, because otherwise the lime will clog the pores of the leaves, making the problem worse.

We will do it every day at least once. In summer, it can be done up to three times a day.

We’ll keep it away from drafts

Orchids need high humidity

This means that we will not put them in a room where we have air conditioning, fans or other similar devices, since air currents dry out the environment. For this reason, even if the humidity is high, plants should never be placed near these devices, as they will have a hard time not being able to stay hydrated.

Place containers with water around the orchids

You may think that with this you are wasting the available space, or it will not be visually beautiful. But let me tell you something: there are many aquatic plants that will look lovely in these containerslike the Houttuynia cordata or the Echinodorus radicans. These, like our protagonists, need a lot of light but not direct, so that they can be close to them.

So you will get higher humidity in that corner.

Last advice: do not put the orchid in a pot without holes

It is customary to take a container or pot without holes, fill it with a little gravel, and then put the orchid inside. I think that in the end it has more disadvantages than advantages, because While it is true that high humidity is maintained, it is not always well controlled.

When watering, as the water cannot get out, it stays, yes, in the gravel, but… what happens if we put too much? So I’ll go to the roots. And since it’s inside the container, you can’t tell if you really added too much or too little water. To this we must add something that is also very important: the roots of many orchids, such as those of the Phalaenopsis, have the ability to carry out photosynthesis.

But for this they must be exposed to -not direct- light, and not inside a container without holes. Therefore, if we want them to last us a few years, it is important that they are planted in suitable potswhere they can have normal development.

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