Phalaenopsis Ice Cube Trick

First off, there is no “Phalaenopsis Ice Cube Trick.”

Most of the members of the orchid family, the Phalaenopsis included, are tropical plants. This means they don’t know what to do with ice or cold temperatures in general. Please don’t use ice cubes to water your orchid. Instead, water it thoroughly rather than partially, as suggested by the care instructions provided with your orchid. By watering it thoroughly, you’ll approximate the Phalaenopsis’ native environment that normally includes heavy rain showers.

The trick about watering Phalaenopsis orchids is that their roots should be moist, not wet, and should not be allowed to dry out. Consequently, after watering thoroughly and allowing the water to drain, expect the orchid media (the material in which the orchid resides) to be wet, but to eventually dry out until it is simply damp. It is imperative that the roots not be too damp as orchid roots will rot if kept too wet. Phalaenopsis fans will often refer to this as saying phalaenopsis don’t like “wet feet.” Be sure that the pot in which your orchid is kept will drain freely. If you take a close look at most “orchid pots” you’ll find that they are all designed to drain freely. Planters and pots that don’t allow water to drain away will kill your orchid.

Once all of your blossums have dropped, we’d recommend repotting the orchid, especially if the orchid is potted in spaghnum moss. Moreover, sphagnum moss will only last about 2 years at most, so you need to plan on repotting your orchid some time in the future. The good news is that the Jacksonville Orchid Society conducts Re-Potting Clinics at the Mandarin Ace Hardware store (see You are invited to visit and we’ll try to answer any of your questions. Our website is a source of information at: You can also find good information on orchids in general at the American Orchid Society – You may also find their information on the Phalaenopsis orchid of interest as well at: or

It’s actually funny… I’ve been hearing the “ice cube” watering instructions for years, but have never seen them until now!


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